AVOIDING THE INDIES?
A lot of political bloggers (which I’ve been reading to check out the responses to tonight’s amazing but also surreal evening of politics, which included not only the speeches by the three major candidates but also Terry McCauliffe’s bizarre, would-be comedy act on The Daily Show) have been linking to “101 Movies to Avoid Watching Before You Die” on the Crooked Timber site. The point of the post is self-evident; it’s a riff on those lists like The Guardian’s “1000 Films to Watch Before You Die.”
And as an independent film champion, I’m startled by a lot of the responses the blog has prompted. I’m reminded of Harmony Korine’s quip about Janet Maslin’s review of Gummo, which read, “October is not too early to call Gummo the worst film of the year”; Harmony would always say with surprise, “And that was the year of Eight Heads in a Duffle Bag!”
What’s on the Crooked Timber list so far? What are those films that eke even more life force from a dying soul? Well, there are a lot of indie films nominated — yep, the films we imagine provide a respite from the hollowness of studio product. Here are a few: Chasing Amy; House of Sand and Fog; Happiness; My Dinner with Andre; Junebug; Magnolia; Kids; Reservoir Dogs; Pulp Fiction; “the entire oeuvre of Gregg Araki”; Leaving Las Vegas; The Usual Suspects; and Juno.