Essays

Exploring the Revolution of A24

Brand loyalty is big in independent film these days. And for good reason, especially in the case of A24 Films.
By  · Published on April 14th, 2016

https://vimeo.com/162767824

In the world of indie film, just as there is in the world of big studio entertainment, there are cultish loyalties to certain brands. These are relationships between an audience and the logo that runs before a film that develop over years. It’s not all that different than those who identify as “DC people” versus being “Marvel people,” or those who followed intensely the early work of Harvey and Bob Weinstein at Miramax. It’s not hard to find a label that, for you, represents quality. Will I see just about anything produced by Megan Ellison’s banner Annapurna Pictures? Yes. Do I perk up a bit when I see that a film has been selected to become part of the Criterion Collection? Certainly. In the world of film — especially the world of independent film — the banner under which a film is produced and/or distributed can be as important as the names in its credits. Some banners signify a consistency of quality where others do not.

This idea of brand loyalty is the basis behind a new video montage from our friend Fernando Andrés, a talented filmmaker and video essayist we’ve featured a few times here on the site. His love for A24 — the company behind the distribution of such films as Spring Breakers, Room, Ex Machina, Amy, Obvious Child, The Witch, The Spectacular Now and more — is on full display in this four-minute video.

Andrés describes his video as being inspired by David Ehrlich’s article “The Distributor As Auteur,” saying, “Let’s not kid ourselves — the film industry has and always will prioritize money and publicity over all. And so, A24 is not returning to form — it’s going into the future. A future where films can be made for the sake of film, and filmmakers can harness the reigns of their story. Within the last half decade, A24 has established itself as a behemoth of indie cinema — a fearless and often risky venture aiming to bring the bravest and most unique voices of today to audiences everywhere. This is an ode to the revolution they have started, to the flame they have kindled, and of course, the films they have championed.”

This revolution will ultimately be defined by A24’s longevity — whether or not they can continue to be a home for quality cinema for many years to come — but I can’t help but agree that they’re off to a wonderful start.

A24’s next release, Jeremy Saulnier’s Green Room, is another example of its diverse, innovative slate. Here’s our own Rob Hunter, reviewing the film at Fantastic Fest 2015: “Green Room is a vicious, grisly, suspenseful roller-coaster ride with a razor-sharp safety bar, and you are going to get cut. As dark and violent as it is though it’s also a thrilling crowd-pleaser guaranteed to leave you spent, exhilarated, and ready to watch it again.”

Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the upcoming One Perfect Shot TV show (HBO Max, 2021) and the co-host of The Storm: A LOST Rewatch podcast. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)