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Independent/Art Film


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Well, upon seeing the "Pretentious Music" thread in this forum and hearing about the death of filmmaker Ingmar Bergman from my parents the other day, I figured that I should start a thread devoted to the usually unseen world of independent cinema. This thread will be used primarily to talk about unusual short or indie films people have gone to see or seen at home in the past, or maybe film festivals that they've gone to (or have been dragged to, as it were).

The most recent example of such a film I've seen is Luis Buñuel's "The Phantom of Liberty". It's a feature-length film that was apparently the second to last long film he ever made, and it's sort of a surreal look into the lives of a number of people in and around France, including monks with gambling addictions, sadomasochists who engage in displays of their passion in public, policemen who "act like children" and a family searching for their missing daughter...despite the fact that she is standing next to them at all times, to name a few. It's 100 minutes long and, based on the title, deals almost exclusively with the idea of "liberty" and its meaning in the modern world. However, I would be lying if I said the theme alone would be a good reason to see this movie. Instead, you should see this simply for the bizzare portrayal of modern life and modern relationships. However, be warned, that there is full frontal nudity on more than one occasion.

Another one I saw at least part of in Portugal is a Quebec cyberpunk movie known as [URL="http://www.quietusfilms.com/webpages/film_details/film_sigma.htm"][u]Sigma[/u][/URL], and it deals with, at first, a doctor trying to rescue his wife from an unknown captor who is slowly drowning her in a water tank, and eventually encompasses a number of characters all involved in a conspiracy that includes brain-controlling nanomachines and a sentient computer network. Though the plot may seem a little cliche at first, the presentation of the film is anything but, as cameras are placed at the most bizzare angles possible (sometimes the actors are even holding the cameras or they are otherwise attached to their bodies) and footage from on-site security cameras is often used as well. Though the director claims this was the result of having little to no money for camera equipment, the resulting aesthetic is quite striking and makes the entirety of the experience that much more alien in nature. Though I wouldn't know where one could find it, I suggest that it be seen by anyone even remotely interested in creative camera work and the cyberpunk genre in film.

Anyway, that's all I can offer at the moment, but I would like to hear about the experiences of others with short or independent film. If you have a favorite movie of that type or a movie you didn't expect to like, feel free to talk about it. You should also tell us about film festival experiences you may have had. As a film student, I'm going to be expected to see a lot of these, so I'd like to hear about what everyone here thinks about such films.
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