Daily Reads: A24 Films Is Saving Hollywood (Or Is It?), the Oscarification of LGBT Pain, and More

September 22, 2021 – 11:04 pm

RoomThu Oct 01 13:19:26 EDT 2015

Plus: "Review" is the bleakest, most hilarious show you're not watching, and "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" as sacred secular art.

Criticwire's Daily Reads brings today's essential news stories and critical pieces to you. In recent years, the recession and the concurrent rise of VOD streaming services have already torpedoed the mid-budget movie. Suddenly, in order to be financially viable, a project has to cost less than $2 million or more than $200 million. Anything in between is dead in the water. Many of the country's most vital filmmakers, unwilling to accept that their next movie would have to be either shot on an iPhone or connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, have begun to abandon ship. Steven Soderbergh "retired." Spike Lee turned to Kickstarter. Steven Spielberg publicly predicted the implosion of the film industry, which is sort of like God telling you to brace for rain. Meanwhile, A24 has already been building an ark. At a time when young people are increasingly going to the movies only for blockbuster spectacle, A24 has established itself as the film industry's most forward-thinking company by releasing the kind of mid-sized, stylish, quality films that seemed on the verge of going extinct, transforming them into a collective theatrical experience, and aiming them squarely at a demographic that would rather watch movies on their phones. It's not remarkable that A24 had set such a goal — it's remarkable that the company is accomplishing it. By surgically inserting each release into the zeitgeist, it has paved a new road for provocative, modestly sized cinema, bridging the gap between microbudget indies and monolithic studio products in much the same way Italy's Autostrada A24 connects Rome to Teramo. As Korine told "Rolling Stone": "I want to do the most radical work, but put it out in the most commercial way." A24 just took him up on it. Other similarly sized outfits tend to flood the flooded marketplace with a steady barrage of quality independent and foreign fare in a way that can feel indiscriminate: Send the DCPs to Film Forum and let God sort 'em out. IFC earned a raft of Oscar nominations when it decided to put its muscle behind "Boyhood" and transform it into a phenomenon, but dumping all of its eggs into one beautifully textured basket helped to underline the paucity...

Source: blogs.indiewire.com

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