Various Artists -- Fast Food Nation (Park The Van)

Five years ago, Eric Schlosser authored Fast Food Nation, a blistering non-fiction indictment of the fast food industry that inspired a critical examination of its widespread abuses. Director Rich

Various Artists — Fast Food Nation



Five years ago, Eric Schlosser authored Fast Food Nation, a blistering non-fiction indictment of the fast food industry that inspired a critical examination of its widespread abuses. Director Richard Linklater envisioned a movie in the book's story, but rather than a filmed documentary, he chose to collaborate with Schlosser on a fictionalized screenplay that elucidated the book's message through the journeys of a trio of characters (a fast-food chain's marketing exec, a ground-level employee of the chain and an illegal immigrant employed by a slaughterhouse). Both book and film expose the hypocrisy of the fast food industry and its detriments to our diet, culture, economy and workforce. One of the ways that Linklater and Schlosser increased the emotional impact of the book's message in the film was through the intuitive use of music, long a strength of Linklater's films as a whole. Fast Food Nation is no exception and might stand as the pinnacle in Linklater's canon to date. The soundtrack to the movie is dominated by Friends of Dean Martinez, longtime indie darlings who provided the film's otherworldly and gripping score, a perfect complement to the horrifyingly sublime images and ideas that the film presents. Because of the immigration subtext, the film's music leans heavily to Latino expression, from La Sinfonia's "Respira" to Nortec Collective's Latin Techno hybrid "Don Loope." The soundtrack is equally powerful in its range beyond FODM's ambient excellence and north-of-the-southern-border flavor with the inclusion of Spoon, the Capitol Years, Robbers on High Street and the T-Bones' classic '60s instrumental anthem, "No Matter What Shape (Your Stomach Is In)." Fast Food Nation hits the rarest of trifectas; a must-read book, a must-see film and a must-hear soundtrack. (BB) Grade: A

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