Big studio movies—films that play in cineplexes and were produced with big budgets—are the primary fare for moviegoers. Four of the top five films at the box office last week make on shudder at the level of intellectual content of such works. First was “Dawn of the Planet of the Apes.” The first part of the original string of “Planet of the Apes” films, with Charlton (“Get your hands off me, you damn dirty ape—and you can take away my gun when you pry off the fingers of my cold dead hand”) Heston was decent. I was in high school. I was easily amused. The versions that followed were not all that great. Second was “Transformers: Age of Extinction.” In “Big,” Tom Hanks’s character, a kid whose brain was transformed into the body of an adult, thought transformers were bogus—in 1988. Fourth at the box office last week was “22 Jump Street.” I cringe when I see a film based on a TV series. With a few exceptions (“Addams Faimly”), they suck. They especially suck if the series sucked. Fifth was “How to Train Your Dragon 2.” I only will say the title and the format are enough.
In other words, most of what you will be offered at the cineplex will be crap.
For the next eight days you have alternatives.
The Indianapolis International Film Festival runs through next Saturday. Go to indyfilmfest.org and read the descriptions of the films and check the schedules. If you find a description or two interest you, you should try to attend.
The films will not be reprises of bad 1970s quasi-sci-fi flicks or “covers” of former TV series. They will be original and their forms and topics cover a wide area.
You might watch a film and think it was mediocre. You might see several films and think they were okay. You might see a couple and think they were great.
Most importantly, you will think—as you relax and watch movies otherwise you would not have seen.
The Festival runs from July 17 to July 26. Visit the website at indyfilmfest.org. “Civil Discourse Now” has its own network on the internet—“7bitsofinfo”—on Live 365. We shall try to interview as many directors, screen writers, actors, editors and Film Festival people as we can. Tune in to 7bitsofinfo on Live 365, or the link on FB or on this web page.