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Where Have All the Indy Movies Gone?

June 16, 2010

I work at a movie theater. To be more specific, I work at a relatively famous “art house” theater that supposedly shows independent films.

However, with the exception of a few rarities like Severe Clear (see my review), the movies we show are not Indy. They might be foreign, or quirky, or low-budget, but thy are most definitely not Indy. Most are produced by such distributors as Fox Searchlight who are really just subsidiaries of huge conglomerates.

Furthermore, as has been made painfully clear by the increasingly arbitrary and oppressive work culture I endure, the theater itself is not Indy like it was years ago. It is owned by a large conglomerate with locations across the country, as our popcorn bags suggest. We show car commercials mixed into the trailers. Gross, right?

I spend a lot of time squeezing my hand into the locked box our customers drop their comments and suggestions into. A lot of people complain that we don’t do festivals, or retrospectives, or anything other than the mostly mainstream. I agree with them. Our corporate office does not.

I wish that my theater would dedicate one night per month to student films – just a few hours, in one of the small theaters, kicking out the show that only would have sold 3 tickets anyway (which happens a LOT these days). We could sell double feature tickets even.

Wouldn’t that be so cool? You can’t get much more Indy than that.

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