Monday, December 21, 2009

Those "Little" Movies

At the risk of sounding like a commercial for Netflix, I have to admit that belonging to it has opened up a whole new world for my family – the world of independent movies. The movies I’m talking about are character driven, sometimes with big names attached but not always. They don’t have millions of dollars devoted to special effects or grand pyrotechnic displays. They just tell stories about people.

We happened upon these movies by accident – one of those cases of “If you liked that, you’ll love these” that Netflix does so well. Many didn’t make it to the big screen; they were shown only in Art House theaters. In our neck of the woods, that would entail an hour-and-a-half drive into Chicago, where parking costs would rival ticket costs, and together, well, we’d need to take out a second mortgage on our house.

We live in a town with one multiplex theater devoted to the big Hollywood releases. A larger city nearby has two multiplexes, but again, they’re totally Hollywood. Nothing wrong with that, by the way, but I do wish they would also show indie movies. So many people are missing out on an opportunity to see some really compelling stories. But I guess that’s where Netflix comes in.

Our favorites are from the UK, a few from France, but we’ve also found some real gems among the US producers. Today we watched one called “Sweetland,” that was poignant, moving, and captured the flavor of rural America in 1918 perfectly. Last week we watched a French flick called, “Priceless,” and it was.

Now that I think about it, aren’t some of our favorite holiday movies “little” movies? Like “A Christmas Story”?

Are you a fan of indie movies? Does your family enjoy them? Do you have any personal favorites?
Oh, and one more question. Will you or won’t you be watching Jimmy Stewart and Clarence the Angle, and Zuzu, and Mr. Potter on Christmas day?

Kate, wishing you health and happiness.
See you in 2010.