Nomadland Movie

Simple living, extreme early retirement, being wealthy, ...
Gilberto de Piento
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Nomadland Movie

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

I haven't seen it but this movie Nomadland looks like it might be interesting: https://www.searchlightpictures.com/nomadland/. Apparently some of the characters in it are regular RV living people, not actors.

Colibri
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Re: Nomadland Movie

Post by Colibri »

Probably is. Haven't seen it but read the book a few years ago. Really enjoyed it. The life stories of the people she is following introduced me to a reality I was not aware about ( from a Canadian perspective ).
A real eye opener.

Gilberto de Piento
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Re: Nomadland Movie

Post by Gilberto de Piento »

A friend let me use their Hulu to watch the movie. I don't want to give any spoilers but I will say it is a very slow, film festival kind of movie so people that hate that kind of thing don't end up wasting their time. I'm not sure this was the intention but it did put a present a strong counterpoint to #vanlife though overall it didn't really resonate with me. I put the book on my list anyway.

Frita
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Re: Nomadland Movie

Post by Frita »

@GdP

Thanks for the heads up. I read (and enjoyed) the book. Often I don’t like watching a movie after reading the book. My attention span for move watching is low as a baseline. I am curious on others’ impressions who watched it after reading first.

Alphaville
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Re: Nomadland Movie

Post by Alphaville »

i had another movie to check out so i got a free month hulu trial.

i've watched the first hour and paused to do some cleanup etc.

thing is--the problem i have with it is not exactly that it's slow, but that it's so miserable. if i had to live like that i'd have kevorkianed myself long ago.

and i don't mean the material conditions btw, but the social ones. there's this deep streak of depression and loneliness for me in every scene. yes people help each other but to me they're still strangers and still miserable.

i don't know, maybe it's my own cultural bias. anyway i might not be able to endure until the end, but i already found something more entertaining to follow up as a double feature:

https://www.imdb.com/title/tt3722070/

i watched the first few minutes and it was funny, but postponed so i could start with the tragedy and end with the farce (fingers crossed that it plays out that way)

--

so i finally finished nomadland and yeah there were a few cheerful bits there and one family that was lively and pleasant actually--but overall it was soooo depressing. a 2 hour funeral.

in the end i think it's not so much about van living or any of that, but about depression and being stuck in the past and unable to make new connections going forward.

and now here's hoping that the comedy to follow lifts this stupid gloom.

sky
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Re: Nomadland Movie

Post by sky »

I have not seen the movie, but I camped with Bob Wells in 2015 and was part of a tribe of vandwellers for a while in 2016. I met rich people and poor people, and the level of wealth did not matter, all were accepted as they were. I have never experienced such a close knit group, even though we were each very different from each other. For me, that time of my life was one of the best times because I love the desert and I like being with other people in a group of campers. My experience was one of joy, friendship and freedom. I was not forced to be there, I was there by choice and had a luxury class B van and ERE financial backup. If I were not a caregiver at home, I would be vandwelling in the desert today. I'm sure some people that are forced into living in a vehicle see it as a negative, but most find a way to make a positive life out of it. In my opinion, nomad living is better for the soul than living in a house.

Alphaville
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Re: Nomadland Movie

Post by Alphaville »

sky wrote:
Sun Feb 21, 2021 6:21 pm
In my opinion, nomad living is better for the soul than living in a house.
yeah, originally i was curious about watching it because i was thinking i might prefer buying a van to buying a house. i'm not sure i'm wored to live forever in one place. but the story was superdepressing.

i really like frances mcdormand but 99% of the movie she's grimacing like she's passing a kidney stone. and her life is looooooooooooooonely.

turns out by the end of the story you realize she's choosing this for a reason, but man, sure makes the whole scene look very unattractive to me.

the british movie about the lady in the van otoh was actually mostly hilarious. heavy stuff but with a sense of humor so a win.

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C40
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Re: Nomadland Movie

Post by C40 »

I think a problem with portrayal of folks in some of these vehicle dweller documentaries is they are done with the intent of showing a slice of 'American Decay'. Thus, they are more likely to show people like Bob Wells (nice guy, but shares negative slants, hangs out with folks who are at low points in their lives because his mission in life is to help them) and others who are very poor, in poor health, have serious mental health challenges, etc... - and less likely to show people like Randy Vining (old now, long-time nomad, super positive, outgoing, inspirational), Ego (back in his nomad days - adventurous, curious, exploring, enjoying), Foster Huntington (smart, artsy, hipster), Glenn Morrissette (curmudgeonly, quiet, introverted, but generally a very normal guy)

(or, I imagine some are showing another angle which is annoying - the "influencer" (Where's my office now, and so many others that you could never keep a current list of them), the guru, the super yoga/vegan/synchronicity folks, etc.)

pammys
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Re: Nomadland Movie

Post by pammys »

I saw the beauty in the movie. Lived out of a van for a little while years ago, went to the RTR, met a few of the people in the film. To me, the main storyline was the journey of the main character, dealing with grief and her past with vanliving as a backdrop. She did what she had to do to get by. It did touch on that some are forced into the lifestyle by circumstance or by choice, but wasn't really about just living in a van. Ferns story could be felt. Although slow, I will remember the film, enjoyed the book as well.

Alphaville
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Re: Nomadland Movie

Post by Alphaville »

pammys wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 8:56 am
To me, the main storyline was the journey of the main character, dealing with grief and her past with vanliving as a backdrop. She did what she had to do to get by. It did touch on that some are forced into the lifestyle by circumstance or by choice, but wasn't really about just living in a van.
yes!

but while she got by, she also self-sabotaged emotionally, i think, and that colors the whole movie.

--

anyway, movie aside, i'd like to hear more on the positives of this lifestyle, if anyone cares to share.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Nomadland Movie

Post by AxelHeyst »

I read the book, haven't seen the movie. My memory of the book is that the *point* the author was trying to convey is that in the aftermath of the 2008 Financial Crisis, a bunch of folks (mostly retirement age) got pushed in to the choice "do I pay rent, or do I buy groceries?", said "eff this, I'll live in a small metal box out in the desert instead", and many (but not all) have discovered they prefer that lifestyle anyway. It's sort of like a Granola Shotgun lens applied to vandwellers.

Also, a lot of the characters in the book are diehard introverts, who I can't imagine make great cinema (anyone following me around with a camera would surely die of boredom), even if they are having a grand time, so I'd understand that the film attempted to pull a different story lens than the book did.

@alphaville - positives? Freedom, autonomy, lower CoL, I can live at the trailhead if I choose to, I'm somewhat naturally more prepared to deal with a Texas style grid failure because I live off grid already and assuming the gas pumps still work and I check the weather ahead of time I can scoot out of an area before the SHTF, (a downside is I can't have a 3+ month pantry, and I couldn't outrun a global SHTF like Covid), I live every single day outdoors, it forces you to learn a number of skills and solve problems creatively. The camraderie of people living similar lifestyles is fantastic too, some of my best current relationships are with other nomadpeople. The scenery changes as often as you want it to.
Image Image

eta: I mean this was my "office" for a week (really early on before I'd finished the build):
Image

Alphaville
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Re: Nomadland Movie

Post by Alphaville »

AxelHeyst wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 10:52 am
@alphaville - positives? Freedom, autonomy, lower CoL, I can live at the trailhead if I choose to, I'm somewhat naturally more prepared to deal with a Texas style grid failure because I live off grid already and assuming the gas pumps still work and I check the weather ahead of time I can scoot out of an area before the SHTF, (a downside is I can't have a 3+ month pantry, and I couldn't outrun a global SHTF like Covid), I live every single day outdoors, it forces you to learn a number of skills and solve problems creatively. The camraderie of people living similar lifestyles is fantastic too, some of my best current relationships are with other nomadpeople. The scenery changes as often as you want it to.
yes but a lot of thst can be found without the traveling, like in a rural homestead.

a bit of SPOILERS: the happiest people portrayed in the movie have a nice little homestead with trees, animals, views, etc. they look like a nice happy multigenerational family that has a really good time together. main character gets the opportunity to join but leaves because idk wtf (i think it's because strange metaphysics of immortality: moving on with her life would "kill the memory" of her past life, and therefore actually kill it, or something. very unhealthy. i told my wife if i croak ahead she'd better find some good company and don't try to be miserable for my sake ).

so the homesteaders are prosperous and happy but the nomads otoh are portrayed as a bunch of sad people hanging on to menial jobs and desperate hopes in precarious situations. and again instead of banding together when in trouble they go their own way and "send" each other something that looks like "thoughts and prayers." the relationships are very... abstract.

/end spoilers

anyway, i get a lot of that outdoor lifestyle in my cabin but nobody kicks me out of the parking lot at 3 am. and i can be near family.

the other thing is that the relations with people who don't live together are going to be pretty superficial by comparison. yes, i am an introvert too, but i also need "deep relationships" which can't develop on the move.

last, is that i easily tire of nature. i mean, yes i like trees and rocks but not that much. eventually i find humans more interesting to watch. so the most fun change of scenaries for me happen in cities. seriously, going through different types if neighborhoods, looking at the interactions, watching different cultures, etc. is great. so being stuck in the boonies forever for me is almost like being sentenced to transportation. but that's a separate thing and a matter of taste more than anything objective.

i wish i could live in a van in new york city :D
Last edited by Alphaville on Mon Feb 22, 2021 12:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Nomadland Movie

Post by AxelHeyst »

Ha, you asked for the positives, I coulda told you all those negatives. It's no accident that I'm swinging my lifestyle towards the rural homestead end of the spectrum. I "needed" the vandwelling to break the pattern of my previous life, but I see it as a stepping stone towards a more rooted lifestyle.

Alphaville
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Re: Nomadland Movie

Post by Alphaville »

haha, ok, no, i appreciate that you mentioned the positives, i wanted to see if there were any that i haven't already priced in.

AxelHeyst
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Re: Nomadland Movie

Post by AxelHeyst »

Yeah, to my mind, there are a small number of reasons to *permanently* full-time that people will find sustainable:
.You're a dirtbag (climber, paddler, etc provides extrinsic motivation to be mobile)
.You're a seasonal outdoor worker (guide, etc) who dirtbags when not working
.You're a retiree and want to full-time RV until you can't physically do it any more
.You identify as an overlander (this is just a form of dirtbag, where roaming *is* the activity, but typically you're after more technical terrain and/or more exotic locations/routes, such as motorcycle overlanders). But most overlanders only do it for a period of time, then return to a more stable life.
.Forced economically (it beats being homeless).

Pretty much for everyone else, and even for most of those folks, it's going to be a fun(?) phase of their lives.

Alphaville
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Re: Nomadland Movie

Post by Alphaville »

yah i spent a time post-college as a bit of a hitchhiker/backpacker/bum. had a blast, but no longer interested :D

the best thing about traveling for me, besides the exposure to other ways of life and the realization that humans are so similar everywhere in spite of the surface differences, was to observe cultural practices and techniques to bring home with me, and reproduce them. i'm a huge cultural appropriator :lol:

i'd be more interested these days in international nomadism than in rv living, but this time comfortably and without having to wash dishes or pick up crops to pay my way :lol:

by this i mean i'd like to live for a time in different places. but as a resident, not a tourist.

Frita
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Re: Nomadland Movie

Post by Frita »

The author Jessica Bruder does seem respectful of the people and enjoyed her participatory journalism with the folks in the book. I didn’t get a sad, woe-is-me vibe so much as seeing reality and then making the best decisions possible. Here is an interview I found that gives a glimpse at her demeanor: https://www.c-span.org/video/?438871-3 ... -nomadland

People in the US used to be able to work hard at jobs-for-life, get a pension, and own a home free and clear. In the mid-80s, I saw friends’ parents lose their jobs and never be reemployed at the same level. Some lost their mortgaged homes. Others went bankrupt. Because if this, I figured that it was all on me. Some of the folks in “Nomadland” seemed to have to reach this conclusion after realizing the American Dream was no longer available.

I am with @Alphaville at preferring living abroad over vanning around. When we still had our class B, three weeks out was our record. Our teen wasn’t too thrilled. Perhaps my spouse and I will try again when he flies the coup.

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Ego
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Re: Nomadland Movie

Post by Ego »

Frita wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:05 pm
I am with @Alphaville at preferring living abroad over vanning around.
Same here. One of the things I like most about living abroad is expanding my perspectives.

That said, back when I lived on a sailboat some of the most interesting people in the free-anchorage where those who were working menial jobs to save for their next cruise to some amazing place. They had incredible adventures on shoestring budgets and taught twenty-two-year-old me what was possible.

Alphaville
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Re: Nomadland Movie

Post by Alphaville »

Frita wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 9:05 pm
Here is an interview I found that gives a glimpse at her demeanor: https://www.c-span.org/video/?438871-3 ... -nomadland
thanks for that link, i managed to watch half before tv turnoff time.

it's clear from this that the story really is about economic dislocation and labor issues, not about any sort of romantic vagabonding. also it looks like the protagonist of the book was someone else, not "fern."

funny thing though, the journalist is based... in new york :D

Frita
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Re: Nomadland Movie

Post by Frita »

Alphaville wrote:
Mon Feb 22, 2021 11:01 pm
it's clear from this that the story really is about economic dislocation and labor issues, not about any sort of romantic vagabonding. also it looks like the protagonist of the book was someone else, not "fern."

funny thing though, the journalist is based... in new york :D
And that is why I am leary of watching movies after reading a book. Hollywood has to commercialize for the masses. (Side note: I heard on NPR that some of Octavia Butler’s books are being made into movie. Ugh!)

Perhaps being based in NYC prompted some joy to hitting the road?

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