America’s indie films are alive and kicking. Film critic for New
York’s Village Voice Amy Taubin uses intriguing
descriptions of recent debuts at Sundance to prove the vitality of
independent filmmaking and the predictability of film distributors.
At Sundance, she saw cutting edge animation combined with tender,
witty content. Qualities that she found were lost on the
representatives of indie film distributors.
Whereas in previous years distributors would erupt into bidding
wars over the most sought-after features, this year Taubin reports
that the competition is less heated. Case in point: Richard
Linklater’s intense animated feature Waking Life only had a
few distribution offers.
In addition to commenting on the state of politics in movie
distribution, Taubin provides a useful guide for the cinema
aficionado. She highlights 10 films and mentions four others that
you may want to keep in mind for the next year, such as her
favorite, Richard Kelly’s Donnie Darko. Set in 1998, it’s ‘a
heartbreaking portrait of the kind of suicidal adolescent who
internalizes the institutionalized violence that most of us take
for granted,’ she writes.
‘All in all,’ Taubin concludes, ‘there were so many fabulous films
that little time was left for parties and gossip.’
–Sara V. Buckwitz