I’m not your average moviegoer.
My favorite movie of the year so far is RAW, a French indie horror film about a young vegetarian woman who becomes a cannibal. So, I think it’s safe to say I won’t be lining up to see The Fate of the Furious this week, this month or this lifetime.
If a movie has subtitles and is being shown in a theater that seats 30 people per showing, count me in. I tend to take people to the kind of films they would never see on their own. Oh, that 3-hour German-language film about a man assuming a comedic alter ego to spend more time with his daughter? You can beat your ass I kept the runtime to myself when I decided to take my husband out for movie night.
I’m not a movie snob for the sake of it. As a writer and creative person, I like to be challenged by uncommon stories, breathtaking visuals and highly stylized direction. When I watch a movie, I’m learning something. I’m taking away lessons on how to perfect my storytelling. And quite often, those films lie far outside the Box Office Top 10.
There’s a level of experimentation in indie film that’s absent from mainstream film. The stories are more specific, the chronology less linear, the writing more adventurous and sophisticated, the visuals more daring.
My favorite director is Xavier Dolan, a 20-something prodigy who’s 6 films into his career. Two of my favorite films from last year were The Fits and Elle. This year, I’m very excited to a see an art film called Manifesto, in which Cate Blanchett plays 13 different characters. If you aren’t familiar with these people or these films, you’re probably not alone. I admit—I like weird shit.
I live for awards season, and I tend to take more recommendations from the Independent Spirit Award winners than the Oscars. I guess you could call me a movie hipster. But I swear I’m not watching these films because I’m desperately trying to latch onto something cool before it’s proclaimed cool. This is just my taste.
If I want to zone out with mindless entertainment, I can do that with programs from Netflix or Hulu. If I’m paying $50 (because let’s face it, movie, drinks and popcorn for two in New York is a $50 affair these days), I want something juicy. I want boundaries pushed. I want to be moved.
Until I can find that at a megaplex near me, I’ll keep heading to the tiny theaters and reading subtitles.