The idea of the cult movie and the birth of the cult phenomenon is a tricky concept that can’t be answered in one shot. While Danny Wolf approaches film fans with a three part feature length look at some of the best and most controversial cult films of all time, there isn’t a lot of examination of the cult film. Despite a round table of people like host Joe Dante, and guests John Waters, Kevin Pollak, and Illeana Douglas, “Time Warp” is a lot more a celebration of cult and indie films. If you want something more cerebral that discusses the whole idea and anomaly of cult films then you may probably want to look elsewhere.
I’m a big fan of the thought provoking documentaries that can usually be found on Turner Classic Movies, but every once in a while, I also adore documentaries that just celebrate the magic of film. “Time Warp” is a fun and insightful look at some of the all time greatest cult films, films that have helped shape the cinematic landscape. Before the internet age, cult films were often accidental. They were films that were usually born from word of mouth or crept up from the corners of studios and captured some sense of awe from the gradually growing fan base.
When Victor Gruen invented the mall, it’s explained that he envisioned them being small metropolitans allowing people to commune and live. They became tax shelters and giant symbols of American consumerism until finally suffering slow deaths in the aughts. “Jasper Mall” is a somber and engaging tale of one of the last dying mega malls in America that is suffering a slow, painful death and is resuscitated, ironically, by the loyalty of its patrons and the sense of community that’s attracted to what was once a pantheon of consumerism.
Satoshi Kon’s “Millennium Actress” has become one of the most celebrated animation masterpieces of all time, and for good reason. It’s managed to transcend everything about its medium to convey a tale that everyone can relate to. A big departure from “Perfect Blue,” his grim polemic about fandom, Kon gifts us “Millennium Actress,” a film that is a great and often riveting celebration about life.
As with every single year, we try to cover as much indies as possible, but we just never have the time to see them all, sadly. For the first time ever, we’ve separated our five choice Indies in to Feature and Shorts categories. This will be five indie films we loved that are short format and feature format.
It’s not to say the films that didn’t make the list are terrible films, or that the films the other writers on Cinema Crazed enjoyed aren’t good, either. This is merely my own subjective list of five independent films I highly recommend to you that I saw this year. It’s good to remember this is opinion, and not gospel.
If you want to see what films the Cinema Crazed collective consider A+ Indies, visit the link included!
Also, be sure to let us know some of the best indie films you saw all year!
In 1969, America was forever rocked by the vicious Tate-LaBianca murders which saw the Charles Manson family convicted for murdering five people including up and coming actress Sharon Tate. Decades later, Hollywood and many artists are still considerably fascinated not just by Charles Manson, but the Manson Family. On the anniversary of Sharon Tate’s murder, a lot of Hollywood jumped on the band wagon to find a way to highlight or explore the events leading up to her terrible murder. Except for Quentin Tarantino. “Once Upon a Time in Hollywood” has managed to become yet another Tarantino masterpiece that has sparked endless discussion and arguments.
Despite the fact that Tarantino stages another alternate reality where the bad guys endured horrible deaths, “Once Upon a Time…” still managed to get approval from Sharon Tate’s family. And that’s probably because, refreshingly, Tarantino takes the piss out of Charles Manson and the Manson Family.
Quentin Tarantino has always been a connoisseur of Hollywood and the concept of filmmaking and storytelling. There’s a certain peculiar magic that comes with creating a narrative and how it allows the creator to do whatever they want. With all of Tarantino’s movies, he’s paid tribute to ideas like Chopsocky cinema, gangster pictures, blaxploitation, and with “Once Upon a Time… in Hollywood” he pays tribute to Hollywood and the one and only Sharon Tate.
Taika Waititi has always been a filmmaker that’s managed to challenge conventions and deliver tales that are always completely out of the ordinary. With “Jojo Rabbit,” it’s another in a long line of tales about the male ego and the weird world that they belong to. In Waititi’s case, it’s the briefly controversial “Jojo Rabbit,” a movie that received a lot of buzz for its depiction of Adolf Hitler. Once you got down to the meat and potatoes of the narrative though, you learn that it’s the destruction of Hitler and how he’s so uncomplicated that he’s reduced to an imaginary friend of a young child.