Independent movies are those written and shot outside the studio system. Most times they are self – financed or made with money secured from highly creative means. Most have actors trying to make a name or get back on the Hollywood Radar. In my opinion they are the best films, much better than the pre-fabricated Hollywood knock offs. And here are the all – time faves.
Paul Thomas Anderson
Or as I like to say PTA. The SF Valley kid loves to explore the San Fernando Valley and the interesting characters who reside within it’s hot, dry Hollywood outskirts, such as Boogie nights and Magnolia – two of his international classics. He’s a time machine – back to the LA we heard about, but never got to see. From Porn, to Oil, Licorice Pizza and a romance thrown – in just to work with Adam Sandler I believe, PTA explores the man or women trying to escape themselves and find salvation from trauma which has forged their path in life. He’s mastered the underdog. If that Underdog is from Van Nuys.
Austin’s own has a predilection for a garage-bandish brand of filmmaking, which elevates the slacker to king status. He is like a Texas bred Kerouac of movie making – who expounds on the tales of the drifters. The ones living on the border between the regular life and that of the lonesome loser. He’s not afraid to show – maybe life is about living and, not about material gain. But that’s why he’s indie. The Hollywood system likes – money, money, money. He’s a true artist in the realm of cinema.
I once watched a film called primer and was knocked out of my socks. Shane Carruth wrote, directed, and stared in the low-budget film about time travel out of a storage space. The former software engineer danced with brilliance, and proved one can step outside of the system to bring their vision to the people. If it’s good the people will come. Next was Upstream Color a masterful display of superior visualization. I believe he never got his true accolades and fell victim to burning too bright in an industry of fake lights. I hope to see something new soon.
Jason once said: “I think other than financial issues, which are an obvious problem in the independent filmmaking world, I’ve been challenged by the process of working with non-actors. It’s both a blessing and a curse they haven’t made a film before.”
You see this in his masterful – the low budget indie Toad Road – story about a couple of friends who travel to a forbidden place the locals call the Seven Gates of Hell. What he did with little to no budget and non-actors is itself a work of art? Check out the film – he makes a meal out of breadcrumbs to deliver an excellently crafted psychological thriller. He is what independent film-making should be.
Larry Clark asked a Skateboarder to write about teenagers with AIDS. Boom – Kids. And that was the start of Harmony’s career as a Filmmaker/Screenwriter. He wrote the script in three weeks. From there Korine helmed Gummo, based on his childhood in Ohio, in a town destroyed by a tornado. Much of the cast were locals from Tennessee. Julien Donkey and Ken Park gained cult film status soon after. Ken Park was another script written by Korine and shoot by Clark. Korine considers himself – a unified aesthetic, who studies the dysfunctional family and teens gone awry, usually trapped in poverty. He is the master of the youth movement experimental film. But you can see for yourself. Oh, he’s also banned from Letterman – but you didn’t hear that from me…