Independent films have been a very influential and “liminal” aspect of modern culture for the last few decades. Whether we are talking about movies made with a cheap digital camcorder and posted to YouTube, borderline mainstream indie type movies that are featured at major film festivals, or the vast number of movies that fall in between these extremes, indie films are a serious way that we express and perceive the world today.
Movies also bridge the continuum that separates high and low culture. “Low brow” culture, such as horror, sci fi and gross-out style comedies can achieve cult or kitsch status and gain a wide following for decades. Meanwhile, “high brow” or art films can be appreciated as the highest expression of the cinematic art form –or dismissed as pretentious/elitist tripe. It’s all up to the viewer!
Today as never before, the media is becoming democratized with the availability of cheap technology. Nowhere is this more apparent than in the realm of movies. It is now possible for just about anybody to make a movie of some sort. Of course, in many cases, this is of dubious value, and we could question how good it is for culture in general. That’s not the point however. The point is, that this culture of the masses is here to stay, at least as long as our civilization manages to survive!
For more about the various and ever-changing culturescape of independent films, see: