We Watch it for the Music | Daydream Nation

Back to Article
Back to Article

We Watch it for the Music | Daydream Nation

Claire Postelli

Hang on for a minute...we're trying to find some more stories you might like.


Email This Story






Named after the 1988 Sonic Youth album, Daydream Nation is taglined by Variety as “Juno, as reimagined by David Lynch, or a funnier, sunnier Donnie Darko.” The film follows Kat Dennings as Caroline, a sarcastic and seductive 17-year-old high schooler who recently moved to a small town with her widowed father where forests fires rage, and serial killers, well, kill. She becomes the manic pixie dream of her English teacher, Mr. Anderson, while also sleeping with the local skater boy stoner, Thurston, who likes her for more than her philosophical wit.

 

“Kool Thing” by Sonic Youth

We open with the story of Laura Lee, a beautiful and smart high schooler who makes a living as a stripper: Everyone in this little town knows that Laura Lee works at the club. Even Caroline, who moved in well after “the incident” happened. Laura Lee’s classmates heat up coins with lighters and throw them at her in the halls. But yet, she has a perfect attendance record, until the day she’s killed by the local serial killer who defies the rural odds of a “safe, small town.” Caroline, our narrator, tells us this story to emphasize just how sh*tty her new home is. No one could argue with her.

 

“Your Ex-Lover Is Dead” by Stars

Thurston and Caroline meet in the stereotypical high school house party way — out back by the bonfire. He falls in love immediately, dreaming about their future lives where she makes jam. In reality, Caroline doesn’t give him much thought until her Mr. Anderson starts to ignore her.  

 

“Telethon” by Emily Haines

After Mr. Anderson shows Caroline the novel he’s writing – one in which it’s abundantly clear that he sees Caroline as her savior, there to service his every need, she breaks things off with him and bikes to Thurston’s, where one of his best friend’s is telling him what a waste of space he is, enlightened after a bad trip, induced by a “I bet something in this kitchen will get us high” experiment.

 

“God Bless Our Dead Marines” by Silver Mt. Zion

People around town begin wearing gas masks, due to the chemical forest fire that still rages on. Caroline believes they’re simply there to provide the illusion of defense. Mr. Anderson begins having an emotional breakdown, dying his hair white and calling exes pretending to be a salesman. At this point, the audience is pegging him as the serial killer.

Daydream Anthem” by Ohad Benchetrit

After Thurston finds out about Caroline’s affair with Mr. Anderson, he goes to a party and starts to hook up with someone else. Caroline, sobbing while driving, ends up hitting the local serial killer, who, to the audience’s surprise, is just some random guy. Before he dies, he tells Caroline, “It wasn’t my fault. I was raised to hate.”

 

“Your Ex-Lover Is Dead” by Stars (round 2)

“That was the year everything happened.” After being considered a hero for catching the killer, Caroline meets Thurston on a hill while the same song that played the first time they met declares, “If you have nothing left to burn, you have to set yourself on fire.”