Tier one studios like Universal and Warner Bros run the box office when it comes to big budget star-studded film productions. There will always be money to be made with superhero movies and high-octane thrillers.
But what about the independent studios?
These are the filmmakers of tomorrow who pour their blood, sweat, tears and last dollars into their work. They tell extraordinary stories with great screenplays, top-notch acting and eye-popping cinematography.
The Edinboro Film Series, organized by John C. Lyons, provides students the opportunity to see a variety of independent films, each conveying a worthwhile story and its own unique filmmaking techniques.
The first month of the series this semester has showed “The Big Lebowski” and “Game Loading: Rise of the Indies.” Here are the films still scheduled for viewing this fall semester:
Hunger (2008) – Sept. 24
Directed and written by Steve McQueen (“12 Years a Slave”), this film is a retelling of the real life events from 1981 revolving around the IRA Hunger Strike in the Maze Prison of Northern Ireland. Starring Brian Milligan and Michael Fassbender, “Hunger” is a testament to the depths people fall to and the extent they go when their minds and bodies are pushed to their highest limits.
The Stanford Prison Experiment (2015) –Oct. 8
An experience that can only be described through observation, Ivy League Stanford undergrads volunteer in a mock prison experiment conducted by the psychology department. Some volunteer to play the part of the prisoners and the others the so-called “guards.” In no time at all, things get out of hand and traumatizing violent behaviors take over everyone involved. From start to finished, this drama induced thriller shall take you for a ride the likes of which you have never experienced.
Repulsion (1965) – Oct. 22
Directed by the ever so hailed Roman Polanski, “Repulsion” follows the story of young Belgian girl Carol Ledoux, a shy soul with a tendency to walk around in a daze and fall into obsessive habits. When her older sister leaves her alone, she quickly descends into madness, which has rippling effects on her and everyone she comes into contact with. This film is certainly classified under the self-imposed Charlie Sheen category of a “sober acid trip.”
Tangerine (2015) – Nov. 5
The softer and more touching film of the semester lineup, “Tangerine” is an interesting film by Sean Baker shown as part of the Rainbow LGBT Arts Fest. This follows a hard working former prostitute who rips through Tinseltown during the holidays tracking down her former pimp who left her heart broken.
Warrior (2011) – Nov. 19
A sports drama about mixed martial arts fighting, this film pits brother against brother in the octagon as they both fight to provide for their family while struggling to deal with wreckage between themselves. Starring Tom Hardy and Joel Edgerton, these men give a solid performance in the ring as they fight for themselves, their loved ones, their livelihoods and the biggest cash prize in MMA history. No matter who you root for, this movie is an absolute slugfest.
One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975) – Dec. 3
The 5-time Oscar winning adaptation of the mind-splitting novel by Ken Kesey, this film follows the actions and reactions of hard headed rebel Randall Patrick McMurphy and his misadventures with fellows in a mental ward. In a mindsplicing performance by Jack Nicholson, audiences see the efforts of a self-made man who tries to give mental patients a voice outside the establishment of their tyrannical hospital staff. With a multitude of allegorical messages, this film has been regarded as one of the greatest film of the previous century of filmmaking.
All films are shown bi-weekly in the Pogue Student Center on Thursdays at 8:30 p.m. Director John C. Lyons informed audiences at the “Rise of the Indies” premiere that this could very well be the last semester for the film series due to “lack of funding from SGA as a result of the university’s budget cuts.”
Even if this is the last time Edinboro will have this proprietor of independent films, be sure to check out this fantastic lineup for the semester. Perhaps with enough support, this series might not only be saved, but successful once again.
Brady Wesp is a staff writer for The Spectator.