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Hollywood decisions made for the love of the Benjamins
Why do you pay almost $10 to see a movie? For entertainment, right? To get swept into a world where reality doesn’t have to follow boundaries and a place where your problems no longer exist?
So when you’re looking on Fandango and you see “The Hottie and The Nottie” or “Who’s Your Caddy?” take a deep breath, all hope is not lost. Mainstream movies have taken a nose dive in the last decade. In fact on IMDb (Internet movie database), around 80 percent of the 100-worst rated movies were made post 21st century. I don’t know what movie executives are thinking when they pass on these scripts, I mean do you think “Gigli” would have even got a look back when movies were made with passion 30 years ago? (“Godfather,” “China Town,” “Star Wars: A New Hope,” “Annie Hall,” to name a few) I doubt it very much so.
If you’ve seen the two or so good movies playing at the AMC but want to see a quality film, I have your solution.
Look for one.
Due to the money-hungry movie studios that are passing over quality for the Benjamins, there are plenty of independent and smaller-scale producers and directors who are putting their dreams on the line to make movies that have depth and meaning. You just have to dig a little deeper to find the needle in the haystack; head to your local art house theater (Historic Orchard (Port Orchard), The Rose (Port Townsend), or Lynwood (Bainbridge Island) and look through their films and you’ll be sure to find a dozen movies you’ve never heard of. Sure they don’t have George Clooney or a $100 million dollar budget, but they have more soul and enthusiasm for what they’re making than the majority of blockbusters out today.
Trying not to be a hypocrite myself, I decided to go to the Twin Peaks/David Lynch Movie Night at SAM (Seattle Art Museum) to check out “Surveillance.”
But before the feature film started, the “Twin Peaks” fans got their fill. Several short parodies before the show and thank you videos to David Lynch inspired me: “What have I got myself into?” Then Adam Harding, an assistant producer and creator of a behind-the-scenes short about the movie, came out of the audience. As he explained his time on the set and with the actors and directors, I thought to myself, would George Lucas (a personal hero) spend this kind of quality time with his viewers? This is pretty cool.
The 20-minute short was packed with interviews with everyone on set and it really got the crowd into the upcoming feature. This was something I could get used to.
The film, directed by Jennifer Lynch, which premiered at Cannes Film Festival earlier this year, and will launch in the United States during the holiday season, is chocked full of actors not seen in summer blockbusters and has an edge and personal stamp from the director that can’t be seen in big budget films. Lynch took the dark plot of “Surveillance,” vicious killers in the Midwest run wild committing homicides with no motive, and took it up another notch. She made you feel as if you were in a nightmare: echoing the audio to an almost sophomoric point, playing up the shadows as well as shooting with a darker lens really brings you into her world. The plot is centered on three witnesses, each telling a story not lined up with the others. You come to realize the small town of Long-roads-nothing-else, America, is filled with people who don’t seem to have their heads screwed on straight. First, a cop whose morals remind me of Orson Welles in “Touch of Evil,” reeking havoc with his partner (whom karma caught up to) on passing cars by shooting out their tires then proceed to torture the passengers. Second, a heavy drug abusive 20-something woman who is more worried about getting her fix than telling the truth. And an 8-year-old girl, whose innocence gleams from her pained eyes, how can she recall what happened when her parents were killed before her eyes only hours before?
Still want to see “X-Files?” Think you still might believe? Didn’t think so. If thrillers aren’t your thing, there are smorgasbords of great movies out there to be seen. Want my suggestions? All right, if you insist; “The Fall” is a gorgeous feast for the eyes, a mythical fairy tale by director Tarsem Singh; “Gonzo,” the fast-paced and even-handed examination of Hunter S. Thompson’s whirlwind of a life; and “Tell No One,” a refreshing thriller about a man finding out the truth about his murdered wife: she is alive, but is told “tell no one, we’re being watched.” If you appreciate quality movies and don’t mind spending a night out in Seattle, search through your papers and pick one out, but make sure you plan around catching a ferry, or you might miss the end of a great movie.