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Wednesday, August 6, 2014

From the Mouths of Filmmakers: Damon Lindelof

Damon Lindelof
Image courtesy
By Damon Lindelof 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 responses below are from Damon Lindelof, co-creator and showrunner of Lost, co-creator of The Leftovers, co-producer of Star Trek, co-writer/co-producer of Star Trek Into Darkness, co-writer of World War Z, and co-writer/co-executive producer of Prometheus.  Damon also co-wrote/co-produced Brad Bird's upcoming film, Tomorrowland

Do you feel that it is important for aspiring filmmakers and filmgoers to view independent and world cinema and why?
It is absolutely important.  Limiting oneself to just "Hollywood" movies is borderline shameful for anyone who wants to tell stories for a living... Indies and foreign films are nothing short of mind-expanding!   
Do you feel that it is important for aspiring filmmakers and filmgoers to view films of the past and why?
When I was nine years old, my dad starting taking me into New York City to see Orson Welles and Preston Sturges (his two favorites) film retrospectives.  I remember this vividly... not just seeing a film from the "past", but seeing it in a THEATER... nothing could have been more magical.  We study history under the auspices of not being "doomed to repeat it," but we study film history for the exact opposite reasons.  
How has viewing indies and films from around the world helped you as a filmmaker?
Certainly, my movie work would easily be viewed as more "mainstream," but I love foreign cinema (my favorite is Michael Haneke) and am incredibly influenced by ambiguous storytelling which seems much more accepted and embraced in indie and foreign formats, particularly in my television work.
What's one American film and one film not in English that you would recommend that film-lovers or young/aspiring filmmakers see?
Everyone MUST see both Locke and Under the Skin.  Two astonishing movies unlike anything I've ever seen before.
From the Mouths of Filmmakers continues on Friday.

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