January 24, 2014

Is Your Indie Film Cliché? 'Not Another Sundance Movie' Aims to Find Out

Not Another Sundance MovieSundance 2014 is winding down, and after a week of red carpets and world premieres, everyone is heading back home to begin plotting how to make it back to next year's festival. But let's talk a little bit about the types of films that play at Sundance. It's no secret that the people who moderate and judge at Sundance have a particular taste in films, and that the films that do well at the prestigious festival often deal with similar themes. Some might even argue that many of the films that make it to Sundance border on cliché. While I think that's a little bit of a stretch, it certainly leaves room for some well-crafted satire. Prepare for a good laugh, because this spoof trailer for Not Another Sundance Movie will leave you in stitches:

Here's the trailer, which I came across via a post on SlashFilm. It's a satirical look at some of the funnier clichés prevalent in a good many independent films these days, and it was made by an online sketch comedy troupe called Tastes Funny.

While this video makes no secret about the films that it is parodying (Beasts of the Southern Wild and Ain't Them Bodies Saints, just to name a few), it does raise an interesting point about the perceived (and borderline legitimate) "taste" of Sundance. In some way, all festivals have an inherent taste, whether it's stated, as in the case of horror festivals or comedy festivals, or unstated, as in the case of Sundance and many others.

There's certainly something to take away from this video, other than its brutally honest hilarity. Despite the fact that Sundance is viewed as a Super Bowl of sorts (go Broncos) for independent film, and every filmmaker and their mother wants to get into the festival, Sundance, or even the neighboring Slamdance, aren't the perfect venues for every film. Neither are the other major festivals. Unfortunately, these festivals are viewed as the be-all, end-all of filmmaking, when it should be about getting your film in front of people who will appreciate it for what it is.

There is a vast world of festivals out there, all of which are just slightly different from one another, and some of which are a better destination for your film than others. Do the research, and figure out which ones match your film, rather than throwing all of your eggs into the Sundance basket.

What do you guys think about Not Another Sundance Movie? Is it just an internet comedy video, or does it reveal the inherent taste of the Sundance programmers? Let's hear those thoughts down in the comments!

Link: Every Indie Cliché In One Short Trailer: Not Another Sundance Movie -- Tastes Funny

[via SlashFilm]

Your Comment

41 Comments

This video is legit. Independent films should step their game up and stop with these cliches.

January 24, 2014 at 8:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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James Calinaya

+1

I'm sick of sundance films being nothing more that outlets for PC Social-Marxism. Get back to making MOVIES as ENTERTAINMENT, people... not bull-crap propaganda for the trending, equally bull-crap, "causes".

January 24, 2014 at 11:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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bwhitz

Whoah, I love entertaining movies as much as anyone but these are independent films we are talking about. Holding them to studio standards for 'entertainment' is unfair. I think they should be able to make whatever they want! At least, whatever they can get financing for.

Sundance definitely has political movements it supports, which isn't surprising since Robert Redford is its primary backer, but expecting indie films to meet some standard is a bit much. There is a reason many of these films can't get made conventionally.

January 25, 2014 at 3:06AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Dan

Lol movies = entertainment :D

January 25, 2014 at 8:30AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Kuk

I rather hate term "independent movie", lets make just good movies and stop labeling them.

January 25, 2014 at 8:33AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Kuk

Independent is how a film was financed, not a genre. Mel Gibson's "The Passion of the Christ" is an independent film that cost 30 million dollars and brought in over 600 million through private distribution. I think we can all agree that we want to see good movies, but how a film is financed is a huge determining factor in how the film will turn out. If you aren't concerned with film financing or distribution my guess is that you are probably not working in film.

January 25, 2014 at 10:42PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Dan

I work my art as selfies made on the toilet...I put it in Youtube.

January 27, 2014 at 1:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Muh

+1. Cultural Marxism has become the dominant ideology of the mainstream media as well, it just comes off more sophomoric and less nuanced in Indie films. Some of these films have a tone not so different from a college freshman visiting to inform her parents of the inherent evil of Western Civilization and the patriarchy.

January 25, 2014 at 12:24PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Marc B

interesting, cultural cold war is still a thing inside the US, this explains a lot

January 25, 2014 at 4:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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blablah

As a Marxist for the past 20-odd years, I feel pretty confident in informing you that I haven't come across any Marxist media recently - outside of avowedly Marxist sources that usually have words like "socialist" in the title. Please tell me what channels you're watching - i could use a good Marxist sitcom after a day of proletarian exploitation. As for the cliches of festivals like Sundance, again, it's not about Marxist or any other political ideology per se. It is about a general sentiment or trend that valorizes quirkiness, iconoclasm and a certain visual aesthetic, and perhaps multiculturalism or, more broadly, social tolerance of difference. More like mainstream hipsterism than Marxism.

January 26, 2014 at 10:00PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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I know other ideas that are sophomoric that I bet you believe in.

January 27, 2014 at 10:16AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Muh

AMEN!!! Hard to watch a lot of movies these days. I ignore behind the scenes because you have to listen to the actors political reasons for making the film.

January 25, 2014 at 5:30PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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VinceGortho

Like Transformer, Michael Bay goes on and on about Obama!

What movies are you talking about? It's not like Hollywood is cranking out political movies. Except sometimes weenies see one person say something they don't like, so they run off and turn on their Fox News and take a nice hot bath.

January 27, 2014 at 10:55AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Muh

Stick to 80's action hero movies then.

January 25, 2014 at 7:19PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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maghoxfr

"MOVIES as ENTERTAINMENT" I think you have enough of those every year already! Hollywood is bristling with shallowness, hollowness and emptiness these days so I'm sure you'll find quite enough of movies that will suit your taste, or as you say, that will "entertain you". I think Europe is on the bring of a new "New Wave", so the eyes of movie lovers should turn a little bit towards Europe. Pay attention to Paolo Sorrentino.

January 25, 2014 at 8:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Jeff G

Me like dum movies two!

January 27, 2014 at 10:02AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Muh

:) Is this trailer typical of what you'd see at Sundance? http://vimeo.com/84934015

January 24, 2014 at 8:47PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Nope

January 24, 2014 at 9:06PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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mike

Cheers for the overused angry-girl-crying-and-slapping-a-glass-shot, it seems unfortunately that too many indie filmmakers find this very dramatic. But eventually it does NOT add any tension in the film !

Must add the ultra-conventional shaky dollying-shot-behind-the-shoulder of a man walking alone in the middle of the road...so sick of it. Then it always drives him to an underpass.

Or also the classic shot of someone's foot getting off a car, then the cam tilt up to his face.

January 25, 2014 at 12:23AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Viv

I feel good about this little creation because it verifies both 'gut feelings' I have:
(1) People still want a good story, same-old-same-old or re-run to death situations may hold your viewing interest from fade-in to fade-out, but
(2) A good story inspires you somehow and you'll remember those characters as 'real people' well enough you'll be happy to watch over and over through the years, just like a good book. Yesssss!

January 30, 2014 at 4:35PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Noni

Laughing my @$$ off finally some one gets it. Don't get me wrong a great drama done well will always prevail.

However most films these days filled with typical dramatic clichés are borderline cheesy with the same shock value scenes/dialogue that people are more concerned with trying to have that Oscar feel as opposed yo actually telling the damn story

January 25, 2014 at 2:34AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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jaye

This video made me laugh because when I mentioned white guilt and politics in Sundance on this blog I got jumped on. Fun to see this as its own post! While I would add the correction that it's not usually just a rich uncle, it's a rich uncle who is a movie producer.

January 25, 2014 at 3:12AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Dan

These indie movies don't differ that much than their hated brothers from Hollywood, they have the cliché color palettes, music, plots and twists, these have... well, everything the fake trailer listed. Both have to break up with the cliches or both will face the same future that is, that movies will have no meaning to the people anymore.

January 25, 2014 at 3:31AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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mariano

Brilliant!!! LMAO!!!!! It does need to be said. I'm all for the independent spirit, but it is diminished by cliche. My short was in a major short film festival recently. Though all the other films it was shown with are excellent, they all felt they were made by a similar mindset. No one directors style stood above the generic style of the other films. Sometimes the styles the filmmakers were trying to achieve seemed like emulation of other material. Not to detract from the efforts made as they were all done exceptionally well, but it does make me wonder if these films seem better to those in a clique rather than being products of film-knowing people who are believed to have a deep connection and passion towards film.

January 25, 2014 at 3:36AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Martin

Not funny at all compared to this one that came out years ago: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WAG9Xn5bJwQ&feature=share&list=FL5bmKNSUJ...

January 25, 2014 at 6:03AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Hampus

Agreed. The academy award one is much better.

January 25, 2014 at 1:18PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Dan

This one is waaay better. Blah blah blah blah.

January 25, 2014 at 5:43PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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VinceGortho

Also excellent. I like how both have the under-the-covers cliche.

February 5, 2014 at 3:51AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Daniel Mimura

haha my friends and I have been talking about this for years. Just that hand held dirty political, social issue feel. What happened to the innovative film makers like tarantino and aronofsky

January 25, 2014 at 7:59AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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But if you do exactly all of those things but just put the dialogue in French, it actually will win an Oscar.

January 25, 2014 at 9:35AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Saied

haha.

January 25, 2014 at 5:31PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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VinceGortho

Almost as many cliches as Martin Scorsese's cliches in a Martin Scorsese film.

January 25, 2014 at 11:56AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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DLD

Amen. Today, everything is a cliché, not just this.

January 25, 2014 at 7:44PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Mr.Floppy

Is it just my or do nofilmschooler's just sound like nofilmhater's

January 25, 2014 at 1:02PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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ryan

So that means when I say: it's fucking cold in Berlin then it's hating now and not simply stating that it's -12 degrees celsius or 10 degrees Fahrenheit?

January 25, 2014 at 3:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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mariano

^^^^ bravo

Its not hating if you have facts and arguing statements to support

January 25, 2014 at 5:28PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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jaye

If you have no film of your own then its nofilmhating

January 25, 2014 at 7:00PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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ryan

I'm probably the only one that thinks the video is not brilliant. I've saw an article on nfs with better pointers on how to make a cliche artsy film (I THINK WE SHOULD USE THE TERM ARTSY RATHER THAN INDIE or how about hipster-art, yes I might seen like a hipster-nazi but they hipsters into artsy can be overbearing sometimes).
That said I am a big Terrence Malik fan but he totally wasted my time with to the wonder. Other such older artsy films r starting to lose it. I remember watching a film what the intro was 7 mins of the lead driving a car. That slow-paces-realtime art bullshit gotta stop

January 26, 2014 at 12:38AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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thadon calico

SO TRUE.

SO SO SO TRUE.

January 27, 2014 at 9:56AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Muh

This just seemed like it was more mean-spirited than satirical. It might've been funny if the creators didn't seem to hate Sundance films, which are typically much more interesting and substantive than much of the "entertainment" industry's annual offerings.

January 28, 2014 at 9:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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Shawn

See?! See?! THAT is what your digital technology and the democratization of film has gotten you! I told you over and over and over, if it doesn't burn through a thousand feet of celluloid in 10 minutes and it doesn't weigh 65 pounds, then it ain't jack.

I'm teasing of course.

January 31, 2014 at 12:55AM, Edited September 4, 11:45AM

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