The A-Z of Film

I = Independent Film

Oh, hi Mark! Sorry, hi readers. The film poster above is for the ultimate independent film, The Room. So bad, yet has a massive cult following, has a film made about the making of this film, and now, star, writer and director Tommy Wiseau is making a shark film. You can’t make this stuff up. Please check out the trailer for his new shark film, Big Shark, it looks amazing.

Anyway my A-Z of film continues, and I is for the most important type of film, the Independent Film. Without independent film we wouldn’t have some of the finest talent out there today. Below I’ve picked 10 films that show how important it is that they are given a chance.

Napoleon Dynamite (2004)

Now stars and director went on to do other things, but the film is the success story here. It became a huge hit. A relatively small production but a mass appeal, that anyone in their thirties could quote at least one line from.

Donnie Darko (2001)

Well we wouldn’t have the Gyllenhaal’s without Donnie Darko. This is a cult classic independent film. One that I absolutely loved. I do sometimes wonder whether I would have the same love for it now. It’s been a good twelve years since I’ve seen it. Either way it is a great independent film.

Monsters (2010)

Now the monster king. This was the independent film that kickstarted Gareth Edwards career. A low budget film focusing on two survivors of a monster attack, it showed everything from their point of view and steered away from being a flashy monster flick. A really great film. Gareth has gone on to direct Godzilla and my favourite of the new Star Wars films, Rogue One.

Juno (2007)

This was a big stepping stone for three people. Although Michael Cera had starred in Superbad at this point, Juno really elevated his profile. Likewise for Jason Reitman, he wasn’t an unknown but this helped him. But the stand out has to be the brilliant Ellen Page. Amazing comic timing and a great actress. Pretty great film too.

Brick (2005)

Now anyone who watched 3rd Rock From The Sun knew how great Joseph Gordon Levitt was way before this film. Brick is one of those independent films that has a cult following, but not a massive one. It’s an amazing film directed by the now very well known Rian Johnson. He may have directed Looper and a little film called The Last Jedi. If you haven’t seen Brick, I urge you to give it a go.

Bottle Rocket (1996)

The Wilsons, Owen and Luke started out their acting careers with this Wes Anderson film. Both went on to do great films, and as for Wes, he is a force to be reckoned with. This was his first feature film and has his now well known style dotted all over. This is a good film and an example of someone who didn’t change their style to fit in with Hollywood. Hollywood had to except his style.

Clerks (1994)

Kevin Smith is currently filming a new Jay and Silent Bob film. Who would have thought twenty-five years later those two characters outside the Quick Stop would be getting their second headlining film. Clerks is great.

The Blair Witch Project (1999)

Not a film I particularly liked, but I do appreciate what it has done. It gave us a whole new style of horror. It is also an amazing achievement to be able to make a film so successful with such a small budget.

Safety Not Guaranteed (2012)

This was another one of those films I knew I would love just from the trailer. This film is just lovely and has one of the best endings ever. It gave us director Colin Trevorrow who went on to direct Jurassic World, and introduced me to the amazing talent that is Aubrey Plaza.

The Big Sick (2017)

My last film is one that comes from one of the new formats of independent film, the streaming service. The Big Sick is a lovely film. Starring, directed and co-written by Kumail Nanjiani, it is the tale of a comic who meets and falls in love with a woman who then becomes seriously ill. This true life tale of Kumail’s life is amazing, and although the streaming service isn’t brilliant, it does give independent filmmakers another outlet to try and get their work distributed out on.

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