Why You Should Care about Independent Cinema

When you think about movies, one of the first things that comes to mind might Terminator Genisys or Jurassic World. But if you want to challenge your mind while having fun, there’s nothing like sitting down and watching a good indie flick, if for no other reason than to get a good, original story.

A clear view into a director’s vision

Woody Allen - Christian Lovera

Woody Allen

You see, independent cinema is more character driven and the director has almost total control over his vision, and their names are very recognizable. For example, you might have heard of Woody Allen, who has made incredible films with his most recent muse, Scarlet Johansson, who has done practically everything from Ghost World to Marvel’s Avengers movies.

And that is what really defines Indie films, most directors have a signature shot, style o trademark that can be seen in almost all of their work. For example, director Wes Anderson, creator of The Grand Budapest Hotel always uses symmetry in his films. And almost every director inserts their own signature to their movies.

It can define an entire genre

Alfred Hitchcock, basically, defined the modern horror genre, with masterpieces like Psycho, The Birds and Dial M for Murder. As a matter of fact, he inspired a new generation of thought creating suspense that has inspired a whole generation of filmmakers.

This years It Follows was a surprise horror hit because it shows little to no violence, blood or nudity. Also, it had a surprisingly low budget and still manages to give you goosebumps, why? Good story telling for sure, and directed in a way very reminiscent of Hitchcock’s work.

You get really interesting stories

Ryan Gosling - Christian Lovera

Ryan Gosling

Ryan Gosling is best known for being a Hollywood heartthrob, but did you know he directed Lost River? That’s right, directed, and pretty well, he gives a truly unique story about life in Detroit from the point of view of one of the last families living in an abandoned neighborhood, while also giving all sorts of shocking and artistic images throughout the film.

Many famous actors try independent films at least a couple of times. In fact, some directors as well as A list stars like Jennifer Aniston started their careers in indie films.

And finally, the best reason to start paying attention to independent cinema is that you get to enjoy an original story, that means no remakes or sequels that rehash the same thing over and over again. Plus, supporting your favorite actors and directors will get them to make even more awesome movies.

 

The Top 10 Indie Films of this Year that You Should Definitely Watch

Blue Rain - Christian Lovera

Blue Rain

 

From blogs to viewers’ opinion and critics of indie films, these are the common picks as the best independent pictures of the year:

1. Ida: from Polish director Pawel Pawlikowski, who in 2001 won BAFTA‘s “Most Promising Newcomer in British Film” award, Ida portrays the story of a young girl on the quest to find her roots, as Jewish holocaust survivor descendants. Incredibly moving, we see through the film how a simple discovery turns out into an unexpected development of events.

2. Boyhood: one of the very few -or maybe the only- film that was recorded during 12 years and using the same actors. So what we get is what we see: the real deal. Growing pains, the ordinary happenings of daily life and the big moments that shape the life of a boy who turns out surprisingly well against all odds. It has been highly praised and well criticized since its release.

Boyhood - The movie - Christian Lovera

Boyhood – The movie

3. Only Lovers Left Alive: yet again, they’re still doing vampire movies. Except for this one stars Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston, and showcases the dreadness of the modern world through a couple that’s been alive for quite a while now. As described by Vanity Fair, “vampires have never appeared so cool, cultured or human“. Just the trailer is intriguing enough to make you want to watch it -even if you’re a firm detractor of the vampire hype.

4. The Grand Budapest Hotel: with an outstanding direction of photography, a picturesque story and remarkable acting, these movie features a lobby boy that inherits a great first class hotel. But way before that happens, a succession of weird events and murders take place, in a fictional country set in the years between the two World Wars. The acting of  Ralph Fiennes is amazing!

Grand Budapest Hotel movie - Christian Lovera

Grand Budapest Hotel movie

5. The Wind Rises: from director Hayao Miyazaki, this animated film takes a look at Hiro Jorikoshi’s life, the man who designed planes in Japan during World War II. The dialogues and music are entirely in Japanese, so if you’re a fan of manga or anime you’re in for a treat, even though it’s more of a kids-oriented tale film.

6. Like Father Like Son: have you ever imagined having your baby mixed up with another one after birth? This is what happens to Ryota Nonomiya. This is also a Japanese film, that shows the moving story of Nonomiya facing the difficult choice of choosing over his biological son or the one he has helped to raise for years.

7. Life Itself: ironically enough, this movie is about the American movie critic, Roger Ebert, who passed away just last year. The film walks by his journey, his illness and his reputation as a newspaper writer. Luckily, it has been received well by the critics. In fact, as some have put it “the only shame of Life Itself is that we can’t read Roger Ebert’s review”.

Roger Ebert - Life itself - Christian Lovera

Roger Ebert – Life itself

8. Blue Ruin: “The one with the gun gets to tell the truth”. This is a story filled with vengeance, suspense, the seek of justice and thrill, of how a man is capable of doing pretty much anything to protect his family, even when that means becoming an assasin.

9. Nymphomaniac vol. I: This highly expected Lars von Trier movie show a woman who is addicted to sex and, after she is saved by a man from a brutal beating, begins to recount all of her sexual encounters -which are mostly sickly-. Featuring well-known actors like Shia LaBeouf, Uma Thurman and Stellan Skarsgård, Nymphomaniac will leave you wanting more. The second part was also released this year.

10. Stranger by The Lake: this French film was launched at the beginning of the year. It tells the story of a paradisiac vacation spot in France only for men, and how one of them gets stuck in a love whimsy that seems to be destined to end with death. Regardless, this summer passion goes on…