Independent film is the only way we can find originality in cinema anymore. If you’re sick of prequels, remakes, comic books adaptations, and a never-ending supply of sequels, you may need to expand your horizons. So even though this is Beneath the Underground, I know we have readers that appreciate all types of films. Usually I do something weird like this around award season. A couple years ago, I offended some readers by talking about The Revenant. Anyway, I like looking into films of the more mainstream variety at times; so deal with it, or scroll on.
A24 is the most important indie film company out there right now. They’re also producing great horror films. Their financial backing gives them an advantage when it comes to creating stylistic films while supporting the independent filmmakers. Two recent additions to my A24 collection includes The Florida Project and Under the Skin. Most people saw Under the Skin a long time ago, some may have missed it though. I’m sure most people just heard that Scarlett Johannsen got really naked, and they just skipped to those parts. So whether you’ve seen it or not, it is a haunting and stylized sci-fi film that really does a lot in regard to social commentary. It utilizes dark and ominous set designs that many fans of weird aesthetics will enjoy. It is one of the cheaper releases from this company too, so I definitely suggest that you pick it up.
Moving forward through their catalog, brought me to a recent rental of The Killing of a Sacred Deer. Yorgos Lanthimos is known for his absurd and unpredictable stories. I love his work. This film, however, isn’t as strong as The Lobster or Dogtooth. The strained monotone dialogue and flat characters bugged me. It is still, however, a strong showing that creates a memorable cinematic experience for those interested in the strange and unusual. It reminded me of My Son My Son What Have Ye Done, if that means anything to anyone. While it is a newer release, it isn’t quite cheap enough for me to pick up yet. I think it is decent, but won’t add it to the collection until the Blu drops below ten dollars.
One of the most recent releases from this company, is the amazingly well-made and emotional test, The Florida Project. It has been a long time since a movie messed with my head like this one. I think this is primarily because of the fact that it was just too damn real. It utilized awesome cinematography, juxtaposing the bright and sunny Florida skyline with the low-angle point-of-view shots from the eyes of a child in need of escape. It is shot in an up close and personal manner that gives you that documentary feel. This is also perhaps, why the movie can be so emotionally jarring. It is one of the best movies I’ve seen in quite awhile, and the place where you should start your A24 journey. While it isn’t a horror film, it has the feel of the older indie and underground favorites Kids and Gummo. It isn’t as exploitative as either one; however, for me, this helped in decreasing the disturbing factor while increasing the cinematic appeal.
In closing, A24 as a studio, transcends genre. Many horror fans have seen Tusk and Green Room. They have a lot more coming for those fans as well. I think this is a company to watch for fans of all films, so keep an open mind and check some of this stuff out.