Posts Tagged ‘Allison Janney’

Ranking 2013’s Independent Films

The Esquire Theater in Denver, Colorado. Where I watched many of the films on this list, including Blue Jasmine.

I watched and will now rank 27 independent films that came out this year. I don’t expect to match this number until retirement absent a radical career change.

What’s an “independent film”? Defining the term is difficult. Wikipedia defines it as “a professional film production resulting in a feature film that is produced mostly or completely outside of the major film studio system [or] [by the indie] subsidiaries of major film studios [e.g. Fox Searchlight].”* That definition is good enough for me and I adopt it here.

*But why does it matter that a film is “independent”? There seem to be two prime reasons: (1) independence from major film studios — and, consequently, independence from the desires of the median viewer in the demographic the studio wants to attract — permits production of a broader range of content and (2) independent films generally have significantly lower budgets and accordingly have to make tough choices that major studio filmmakers don’t face. And a third reason for ranking purposes: outside of Los Angeles and New York City, most independent films play in different venues — independent theaters and arthouses — than major studio films and only a subset of filmgoers frequent these venues with any regularity. There surely is a bigger debate to be had on whether these reasons hold water and whether there’s a better way to define an independent film —- perhaps solely according to budget —- but I’ll save that for another day.

I missed a few of this year’s highly-acclaimed indie films (e.g. Blackfish, Wadjda, All is Lost) and I left off this list any film I saw that satisfied the above definition but received a lot of play in standard theaters (e.g. Twelve Years a Slave).

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Getting Lost: Across the Sea

It’s time for another installment of “Getting Lost,” where John S takes you through all the salient questions from last night’s episode of Lost:

OK, Question #1: How is it possible that this guy STILL doesn’t have a name? (shaking my head) I don’t know…. I don’t know.

I suppose I should give up any hope of him ever getting a name, right? Well, if he were going to get one, this would seem like the episode for him to get it. I think Damon Lindelof and Carlton Cuse probably think being nameless is intimidating.We’re probably stuck with “Man in Black” (or Flocke, or Smokey, or the Smoke Monster, or Esau, or Blackie, or any of the other nicknames he’s acquired over the last year) for good.

At least his mother took the trouble of color-coding him from birth, right? Yeah, that was awfully nice of her.

Should we talk about the episode now? Continue reading