I Heart Indies

In the past few weeks I’ve seen a couple of movies that would fall loosely into the genre of Independent Film.  Loosely because it’s hard to tell what’s really independent and what’s got financing or other meddling from a major studio.  But it doesn’t matter – Indie is more a feeling than anything else.  These are small movies, the anti-blockbusters of our time.

Small movies do not necessarily boast small casts, and certainly not unrecognizable casts.  In The Shrink, Kevin Spacey stars as the titular character.  Hardly a no-name actor, why would Spacey take a role in a film that got virtually no publicity, probably made a buck and a half and was seen by about seven people?  This is why I love the Indie.  It isn’t about money, it’s about love.

A lot of these movies are projects those involved simply wanted to do — they are labors of love.  Maybe Spacey took that role as a favor to someone, maybe the director accepted the project because his brother-in-law wrote the script.  Honestly, I have no idea.  But somewhere in the credits is a person for whom this project was their baby, their dream.  The Shrink is not the best movie ever – far from it, it’s actually very sad and rather grim – but the spark, the love is there.  You can see it in the performances – these actors gave a lot of themselves for this movie.

And that’s how it goes.  There’s almost always something to like in an Indie.  Maybe it’s performances, maybe it’s cinematography or the basic premise of the story.  Even if the execution leaves something to be desired, you can tell that someone involved truly cared.

I love me a big ol’ blockbuster (especially if it, perhaps, stars Robert Downey, Jr……just sayin’…) but on many evenings I would rather see something that came from the heart than something slick and packaged with a huge budget.  Even if the end product sucks, you know you’ve seen someone’s dream come alive.  It’s even a little heartwarming.

If an Indie does suck, of course, I’m happy to bash the daylights out of it in a review.  But at least I can do it with a warm heart and the knowledge that even in days when it seems like every movie is a sequel or remake or just plain stupid money grab, there are still people who make movies because they love them.

I heart that.

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