Friday, January 22, 2010

on Cinema

For those looking to the future of "indie" filmmaking, (personal, message, documentary or otherwise) this interview conducted on Elvis Mitchell's radio program, The Treatment, is particularly illuminating:

http://www.kcrw.com/etc/programs/tt/tt100120john_cooper

Speaking with John Cooper, the new director of the Sundance Film Festival (currently running until January 31st), Elvis discusses the focus that the festival is taking this year, especially in the guise of a new competition with an emphasis on "no-budget" filmmaking. While not entirely a return to the hallowed days when Sundance did signify independent film (circa: the early-90's), those at the festival are now at least acknowledging modern developments in the realm of cinema, perhaps in contradiction with their more recent reputation as being a minor-leagues to mainstream film. This collection of newer work appears to be a nod towards the SXSW aesthetic which has spurned a renewed vitality to those who seek a personal, idiosyncratic type of film. What has been cultivated at the SXSW film festival since the late 00's is an approach in line with current technological advances, (the advent of digital video primarily) and an admission that these developments can be used to accommodate work more in line with personal, reality-based filmmaking. Granted, talent and effort are certainly factors as well.
This interview points towards a trend, but more importantly, a direction. If anything, it depicts one side of the coin, basically the increased accessibility to filmmaking options and forums. However, there is still the subject of distribution to be addressed. Principally, I'm speaking of new avenues that might be possible through grass-roots distribution. I have some ideas, but I'm still working them out. For a later date....

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