Staffer prefers indie films over big budget blockbusters

Will Jones, Staffer

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     A large topic of debate among moviegoers is that independent films are not as good as  blockbuster movies. However, in my opinion, independent and foreign films are better than blockbuster films, and here’s why.

    While blockbuster movies are great, they are mainly for show. Movies like Interstellar, Alien, Captain America: The Winter Soldier and The Lord of the Rings have amazing writing and feel like they have passion behind them, but movies of this caliber are few and far between.

    Movies like Transformers, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and Skyscraper are prime examples of bad blockbuster movies. Although these movies grossed large amounts of money in theaters, they were just cash grabs, with bad writing, unconvincing stories and bad art direction.

    Indie movies, on the other hand, generally have decent writing, convincing stories and incredible art direction.

    Take Bo Burnham’s debut film Eighth Grade. This movie is about the anxiety that comes with being a teenager and how an eighth grader deals with her last couple of weeks before summer. She struggles with one of her new high school friends trying to take advantage of her and tries to cope with the loneliness and other emotions that come as a result of her situation. Burnham gives the audience an realistic depiction of what happens in many teen’s lives, making the story very relatable.

    The writing and sound design in Eighth Grade keeps the entire theatre on the edge of their seats. Audience members can feel panic, confusion, fear and anger ruminating in the main character’s head, as the highschooler leans in for a kiss. This scene shows how impactful the writing in indie movies can be, unlike scenes from blockbuster movies, which are anticlimactic and predictable.

    Even though they have a large budget, with A-list celebrities and sponsors from around the globe, blockbuster movies are typically generic. They repeat the same story over and over, with slight changes to make each film seem unique. The writing in these movies is uninspired, with a plot that is usually easy to predict, and includes a main character overcoming a seemingly unachievable feat. Writers often use tension builders like broken platforms or hostage situations to hide the lack of weight any action has in these films.

    On the other hand, Indie films are less predictable and include stories populated with real people, real stories and real stakes. They avoid cookie-cutter tropes and cliche themes, like  blockbusters use. Indie films use interesting ways to convey tension, using people, ideas, actions and feelings as focal points of the narrative, building tension around that. They also use  clever dialogue and characters’ actions to send a message to the audience.

    Unlike blockbusters that spell out everything from the beginning, indie films evoke more emotion and buy-in from the audience. Patrons are exposed to engaging writing, intriguing plots and form a memorable bond with characters who are truly identifiable.

    If you haven’t seen an independent film, you should give one a try. It might not be as flashy or include as many heavy-hitters as the movies you are used to, but give it a chance. You won’t be disappointed.

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