I am an independent filmmaker. I’ve made 6 short films to date and I am in the process of raising the funds for my feature film debut, which I wrote with a writing partner.
And I am desperately trying not to lose hope that the movie industry will return to its 60s/70s-era spirit and revive the mindset of vying to create art for wide audiences.
Scorsese, Coppola, Cassavetes… just a few filmmakers who had something original to say and did so in a creative way. Where are they now? Scorsese has somehow managed to figure out how to maintain his art while working in the studio system – God bless him!; Coppola figured out a way to finance his own work (largely through his winery) – YAY!!!!, and Cassavetes, well, he unfortunately has passed on, but may he RIP knowing he created original films. Who is following in their foot steps? Very few. I am trying. And in my personal opinion: Wes Anderson, Sophia Coppola, Richard Linklater, Kenneth Lonergan and David O,Russell are among the few who have attempted to break through the studio system and make original and intellectually stimulating films that tell humanistic stories in artistic ways.
Look, I get that people like comic books and being scared and I understand there is an audience to see Avengers 25 and Saw 15 but what about the rest of us? It is so hard these days to find an original film at a movie theater that is character-driven yet not written down to appeal to the lowest common denominator. Fortunately, the Internet has allowed for easier viewing of more options but the studio system has in large part shunned the rest of us in terms of theatrical releases.
That’s why when I go to an AMC (which screens indie pics to some degree btw) and watch a film like BOYHOOD by Richard Linklater, I am brought to tears.
This film is unique. It’s raw. It’s real. It’s smart. It’s honest. It’s slow. It’s life unfolding and yet manages to make sense of it.
When I walked out of the theater, thinking about the film I just saw, I had a smile from ear to ear. Not so much because I was happy a film similar to those I make was getting some recognition, but because of another very important factor that has stayed with me to this moment.
It gave me hope.
GO SEE IT.