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Friday, July 18, 2014

From the Mouths of Filmmakers: Reinaldo Marcus Green

Reinaldo Marcus Green
Courtesy of Reinaldo Marcus Green
By Reinaldo Marcus Green and Joshua Handler 

Recently I've been disturbed by the amount of people who don't seek out independent films, non-English-language films, and classics.  So, I asked some of the most distinctive voices in independent and world cinema to submit responses to a few questions about why/if they think indies/non-English-language films/classics are important to view, and how those films have been influential on their careers.

The response below is from Reinaldo Marcus Green, writer/director of "Stone Cars" which is currently showing on HBO.  It also showed at Cinéfondation at the 2014 Cannes Film Festival and the 2014 Los Angeles Film Festival.  

Do you feel that it is important for people to view independent and world cinema and why?
It's absolutely necessary to watch films, lots of them, from various genres.  Filmmakers should watch what scares them and what they think they won't like.  Many times, they'd be surprised by what else is out there.  A good film is a good film is a good film, no matter what language, format, or country.
Do you feel that it is important for aspiring filmmakers and filmgoers to view films of the past and why (if you don't feel that it is important, please tell why)? 
It's imperative for filmmakers to know their history.  Would you go to war without studying your opponent?
How did viewing indies and films from around the world help you when making "Stone Cars" or any of your other films?
Viewing films from around the world gave me a much larger sense of the world's taste in film, especially related to genres.  I gained appreciation for smaller niche films and everything in between and from great filmmakers, some maybe not well known in America.  I think seeing these films helps filmmakers create their own visual language, like building a vocabulary.  The more words you learn, the more sentences you can make.  The more films you watch, the more options you have in terms of shot selection, where to put the camera, and ways to tell a story.  It's all about language.  I have plenty more watching to do, but hopefully "Stone Cars" is one step in the evolution of my cinema language.
What is one American indie and one non-American film you'd recommend that filmgoers or aspiring filmmakers view? 
Gun Hill Road (2011)The Celebration (1998)
From the Mouths of Filmmakers will continue on Monday.

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