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Culture Warrior

In the late 1990s, two quite divergent Iranian films were recognized on the Western stage. During the 1999 Academy Awards, Majid Majidi’s Children of Heaven, a touching Satyajit Ray-like neorealist drama about a pair of siblings searching for lost shoes, became the first Iranian film nominated for an Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film. Two years earlier, in May 1997, Abbas Kiarostami’s minimalist exercise Taste of Cherry won the Palme d’Or at Cannes, the first Iranian film to do so. By the tail end of the twentieth century, Iran had made its way onto the stage of world-renowned arthouse filmmaking. While other cinematically underrepresented nations have oscillated in and out of prominence as the place where great new movies are being pioneered (South Korea, Romania), Iran has consistently, albeit quietly, given the West a limited but incredible output of challenging and innovative films.

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IndiePix is the latest site to get into the game of streaming movies with IndiePix Unlimited, but their site fills a much, much needed void. While Netflix’s indie section seems filled to the brim with sex dramedies, explorations of filmmakers’ sexuality, and narrative commentary on sex and sexual relationships – IndiePix goes far beyond that by directly celebrating the best of the best in the independent film world. Its success stems from the large selection and ease of use, but there are still flaws, and the site will need to grow (even beyond its 4,000+ available films) in order to truly become a household name. Let’s take a quick test drive:

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If you’ve ever wondered about the intimate hell of finding financing for an independent film, Edward Epstein has written a strongly worded, easy to understand primer on the subject that should be required reading for anyone even remotely interested in making their own film through traditional channels. As a (frustrating) standard, his essay is incredibly compelling, but even though his points are all correct, his ultimate conclusions about the possible negative fate of indie movies is slightly off. It’s not independent movies that are endangered. It’s the corporately-sponsored brand most have gotten used to that’s really in trouble.

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Landon Palmer explores the nature of the Oscar nominated film The Hurt Locker, and the right of critics to call it an art house film.

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published: 12.19.2014
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published: 12.18.2014
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published: 12.17.2014
B+


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