So here’s a statement I think we can all agree on: Independent Movies are slow, plotless, and weird.
We know this to be true because our brains have been tricked into thinking that a movie needs certain ‘elements’ in order to work.
We have been told a movie must be temporal, or, existing in time. Sometimes Hollywood will explore the edgy technique of In Medias Res, or, beginning in the middle of the story before jumping to the beginning. This technique was invented by the Ancient Greeks thousands of years ago. So. Yeah. Not edgy.
We have been told a good story must have a plot, and that plot must have a resolution at the end: ie, the hero defeats the enemy, the boy gets the girl, the mountain is climbed. At times we are tricked with a twist into thinking the plot was Object A, when really it was Subject X, but even then a plot has occurred and no real conventions were broken.
We have been told that characters must develop and grow, learn from their lessons, and come away from the end of the movie a different man (because, let’s be honest, it’s usually a man.)
Now that, I am afraid to tell you, is a pack of lies.
Yes, good movies often have some or all of these elements, but once you conform to convention, art begins to die.
So, let’s go back to the start. Independent movies are slow, plotless, and weird… and that’s exactly why you should watch them.
We have spent the last one hundred years digesting corporate, consumerable, beige movies that Hollywood presented to us, and we have had our fill. If you, like me, are sick to the teeth of the umpteenth Transformers and the Furious Pirates of the Galaxy, but you still love movies and the whole movie-going experience, then you need to turn to Independent Film.
Indie movies are often low budget (read: innovative) passion projects (read: heartfelt), which are given the space and time to do something different. I have seen movies from the point of view of a bacteria, movies about aimlessness and pointlessness, movies which spend an absurd amount of time watching cars drive by.
And yes, not all of them are good by virtue of being indie, but at least they’re trying. Alternatively, keep watching your Straight-To-The-Chinese-Market-Sequels and tell me if you learn anything other than how to push a character through a rigid plot in order for them to learn a moral lesson and come away a better man. (Because yes, it’s still most likely a man. Wonder Woman and all.)
So do yourself, and your art, a favour. Take a dip into the wild terrain of indie movies. We even have our own arthouse cinema in the Belltable which screens movies every monday. Every monday! Every! Monday! At 8. Post Meridiem. C’MonTaFuck.
This blog post was written by Shane ‘C’MonTaFuck’ Vaughan, who is a know lover of indie movies, he likes to say ‘I was watching this German film about Squid the other day and…’ when in high company. Join him on his forays into art and extravaganza, and if you want to write a blog post yourself, send us words at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we like what we read, we’ll put it up!