Watching Indie Films Does Not Make You Snobbish.

 

 

I have a deep love of independent film, but that doesn't mean that I don't appreciate mainstream film as well (and everywhere in-between). I resent implications otherwise, which often come from those who feel insecure about their own tastes ("Oooh, Mr Fancy, always watching films with subtitles!"). I judge a film on its merits, and if it's written, filmed, and acted well, I generally enjoy it as a viewing experience.

Nevertheless, I generally find that the films that resonate with me most strongly are indie flicks. There's something about the uniqueness of vision that you often find in an indie film that makes the experience feel more authentic and artistic. Granted, you sometimes encounter flops -- films that aspire to mainstream Hollywood status but fall short due to low budgets and/or poor planning. I definitely enjoy my fair share of B movies (anyone ever seen Hausu from 1977, or Tommy Wiseau's jaw-dropping The Room from 2003?), but I think the most satisfying of films is the indie piece that manages to achieve its artistic vision.

In particular, I'm drawn to John Cassavetes' work, and I find him a fascinating figure, considering his often misogynistic moments and the fact that he wasn't trying to shirk the Hollywood system so much as simply try to make films his own way (based frequently on improvisational techniques). Though I doubt many would consider him an entirely "independent" filmmaker, I also have a fascination for the surreal mysteries of David Lynch.

Other directors who intrigue me include Michael Haneke, Werner Herzog, Alejandro Jodorowsky, Marina de Van, Maya Deren, Francois Truffaut, Jim Jarmusch, and Jean Cocteau. But sometimes it's an individual work that really strikes a chord, whether it's Alain Resnais's Last Year at Marienbad (1961), Robert Rossen's Lilith (1964), Peter Greenaway's The Pillow Book (1996), Shane Carruth's Primer (2004), or Tarsem's The Fall (2006).

I'm curious -- which do you find yourself drawn to more often, individual films or specific directors?

DareDareDare DareDareDare
31-35, M
Mar 2, 2010