And if that isn't enough, have your characters tote around cameras and record each other saying profound things. The layers of mediation are hella artsy and prove that not only are you completely unsusceptible to the manipulations of Hollywood yourself, but you are also giving your audience kudos for being astute enough to watch your hella artsy film.
It's always good to have someone mention the stars and how they're really images of long-dead stars from millions of years ago and make the point that our skies are lighted by illusions. Make sure somebody is melancholy about this. Underline the melancholy with lotsa shots of people's bummed out faces.
And while you're at it, "layer" the film with multiple failed father/son or father/daughter relationships that are, ultimately, no one's fault. Fathers -- especially fathers taking anger management classes who have restraining orders from their pregnant teenaged daughters -- are always desperately sad, and these days we're armed against the sentimentality of mothers, unless they're elderly black foster mothers who are going blind. Make sure your lead kid is harboring a delusion about what happened to his absent father -- a delusion his partly abusive, partly caretaking older sibling has fostered -- and make sure his climax includes the collapse of his delusion.
To clinch it, put a developmentally disabled kid in a cobbled together
superhero costume on the roof and have him fetishize flying. Also, make
sure that another kid calls him a "retard" and that the kid who is nice
to him gets mad at the climax of the film and yells at him, only to
regret it later. Pathos in a bottle, dude. You can't hold back the tears!
Make sure that the situation of every character in the film is unrelentingly bleak, without a moment of joy or satisfaction. Make sure nobody has a reason to live, and yet they live on, with that scrappy spirit that is the soul of the urban downtrodden. Make sure your cast is multiracial and, for the most part, competent actors, especially your lead kid. If you fumble the ball and waste a scene near the middle of the movie that should have been either the climax or the opening scene, you can fix it by making everyone suddenly and inexplicably behave better towards each other. Resolve everything easily and with no pain or struggle, and set everyone on a better, healthier course so that the audience doesn't leave the theater feeling bummed.
Et voila! Easy bake art movie!
... Yeah, I'm a bitch, but I'm so furious at being manipulated by this unoriginal flick that I can't find anything good to say about it. I know I'm supposed to be advocating for a hapa brother by telling you all to get out there and support, but dude, do yourself a favor and see Watchmen instead. Now there's some gritty urban realism!
This blog entry is graciously sponsored by Toyota Matrix. Check out their website dedicated to the best in Asian American film.