I appreciate that the above title makes me seem like your average snobby critic, who looks down his nose at anything that cost more to make than a McDonalds Happy Meal.
Nothing could be further from the truth, there’s no room in this world to dismiss films out of hand, everything deserves its chance to surprise. I have loved many mainstream films, I am on record as a big fan of the MCU, and recently enjoyed the newest Godzilla film.
Merely what I am trying to say is that on the basest possible level, the film business lives and dies on its independent output. The newest directors, actors and writers come through smaller films, there’s so much exciting material flying completely under the radar that either doesn’t get a look in, or is shown in such small circulation that it might as well not be shown.
My local cinema is an example of one that doesn’t embrace the independents, it mill show the latest big-budget offering for weeks, and sometimes months, yet smaller films which a good subset of their regulars would be interested in either don’t get shown, or are shown at such unreasonably late and inappropriate times that it makes no difference.
There exists in each cinema a core group of people who love films and going to the cinema, granted, the largest group will be your casual crowd who flock to the latest blockbuster, but they exist, the group that are interested in new films, new ideas. It makes sense to me to cater to as broad a palate as possible, and when you have upwards of 10 screens in a cinema, there’s really no reason why more of the space can’t be used.
Which is why it’s important to look out for local independent cinemas, or groups who put on the smaller films that some may not know about. Not everywhere has a dedicated independent cinema, my city does not, but we do have a dedicated group who put on weekly showings at the mainstream cinemas.
You will find that these cinemas, or groups, will be ran by passionate, dedicated people who love film and delivering new experiences, I have only attended a few showings, but in conversations with the people who run it, you can feel their passion, their love for what they’re doing, and that improves the movie-going experience for the viewers.
I suppose the moral here is, mainstream films are not the issue, it’s the shoddy promotion and not embracing smaller profile films that is the problem. I remind you that these films are the breeding grounds of new creators and talent, and they should be used as such.
I’m not proposing they get the same exposure as say Avengers or the like, but just ANY exposure would be a start, but until that happens, it’s worth going to Google and find out if there are any like-minded people meeting up to watch the newest releases among themselves, it might just open up your eyes to new experiences.