Dirty Books

Rated: Not Rated

        It’s been said for a long time now: newspapers are a dying medium. Of course, that applies to physical newspapers, not online editions so much. With the steady proliferation of computers, social media, blogs, smartphones, tablets, phablets and podcasts, there’s a glut in the information market that will only get worse as time goes on.
        My own family was never one to get the paper. I don’t know if it was a money issue, or if my parents simply preferred TV over taking the time to slow down and read about what was going on in the world. My grandparents, on the other hand, always got the newspaper, and still do. Holding that thin, fine-particled, black and white daily and steadily reading the news as they sip their morning coffee is as routine as showering for them.
        In this day and age of being connected to the world 24/7 it’s no wonder that some people feel nostalgic and long for simpler times. I myself am guilty of such a mindset in some instances, as I prefer to make my own laundry soap and lotion, and cook everything from scratch.
        This nostalgic mindset is the premise behind the short film
Dirty Books from filmmakers Zachary Lapierre and Ian Everhart. In the film, high school student David is in charge of the school newspaper. Although the principal has told him that the paper must die because it’s a waste of money, and his friends push him to go digital; David refuses, vowing to increase readership any way possible.
Timothy J. Cox and Noah Bailey square off in Dirty Books (Photo courtesy of Timothy J. Cox)

Timothy J. Cox and Noah Bailey square off in Dirty Books (Photo courtesy of Timothy J. Cox)

        I’m not sure if it was intentional or not, but there are a lot of deeper themes throughout this short film. For example: David says that Dr. Bradley (the principal) is trying to kill the printed word. Dr. Bradley explains that the paper is simply no longer a cost effective way for kids to get their news. This seems to be a commentary on the death of countless newspapers and magazines over the years as things have trended towards digital consumption.
        Another point of focus lies in the way that David goes about trying to save the paper. Frustrated with the lack of interesting stories and sick of writing about nothing but sports and the faculty, he takes matters into his own hands, creating news that will “sell”. I won’t get into what exactly he does to create this news, as I don’t want to spoil it for you, but as I watched there were two words that kept flashing in my head as would a neon sign in Vegas: FAKE NEWS. Again, I’m not sure if it was intentional, but it seems to parallel the real world in that the more sensational and creatively worded a story is, the better it sells; it doesn’t matter if it’s got any truth to it or not.  
        On the surface of
Dirty Books is a story about a teenager who simply wants to be remembered, no matter the costs. David isn’t a bad kid by any means; he just gets swept up in worrying about his own reputation. I don’t think I’ve met a high schooler who hasn’t felt the same way at some point in their lives, and it’s something we can all relate to. We’d all like to be remembered for something, preferably good, but sometimes bad is okay too.
David and Owens discuss their readership in Dirty Books (Photo courtesy of Timothy J. Cox)

David and Owens discuss their readership in Dirty Books (Photo courtesy of Timothy J. Cox)

Dirty Books is a fantastic little film that takes a comedic look at multiple issues. David’s over dramatization of everything, (played brilliantly by Noah Bailey) caused me to burst out in laughter more than once (much to the annoyance of my husband). This is certainly a film you should check out if given the chance!

Dirty Books is not rated, was written by Zachary Lapierre and Ian Everhart, was directed by Zachary Lapierre and stars Noah Bailey, Ansley Berg, Isaiah Lapierre and Timothy J. Cox. More information about the film and Zachary Lapierre can be found here:

  • Dirty Books on IMDB