Friday, July 29, 2016

Indie darling

I'm really excited to see the kind of career Daniel Radcliffe is going to have outside of Harry Potter. Obviously he's been working on other projects and I've enjoyed every not-HP piece of work I've seen from him, but it's a bit sad because A LOT of his not-HP films are little indie oddballs that not enough people get to see.

Swiss Army Man is a great example. And it is great - the film is whimsical and sad and charming. Swiss Army Man evoked all of the feelings I wanted but didn't get from Where the Wild Things Are but used a farting corpse instead of relentless nightmare fuel to get the point across. But it is a TINY movie. It had a budget of around three million dollars (almost all of which I hope went to a brilliant set team and prop department) and it's barely made back its budget. Last weekend it took in around $100k, this weekend it's going to be on fewer screens.

You don't get to see movies like this if you live in Arkansas, you don't get to see them if you live in North Dakota. When I went to go see it with my sister only three theaters in a thirty mile radius were playing it, those theaters had only one or two showings of it each, and I live in Los Angeles where we get to see ALL of the movies.

I know DVD and streaming are the future of films - there's no way a charming indie flick is going to do well during blockbuster season but it can perform beautifully on Netflix a year later. And I hope that happens because I want people to see movies like this.

Dano and Radcliffe are both fun to watch but Radcliffe's performance is the more technically impressive because of how limited he was by the role and how much he still communicated in spite of that. The Dans who wrote and directed the thing should get a cabinet full of shiny awards, which they would deserve, and then hand those to their prop department and cinematographers, who were amazingly brilliant and pulled of wonderful tricks that I didn't even know to look for in this odd little movie.

Swiss Army Man has been described as Castaway with a corpse or an hour of fart jokes but it's so much more. It's sad and sweet and it's the story of two lost people (or maybe one lost person) finding out who they are.

     - Alli

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