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 exciting and original voices in modern 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 Josh Boone, best known for directing the enormously successful The Fault in Our Stars and Stuck in Love. He was recently hired to direct an adaptation of Stephen King's epic novel, The Stand.
Do you feel that it is important for aspiring filmmakers and filmgoers to view independent and world cinema and why?
I consider it hugely important for filmmakers to view all kinds of different films. I have used The Criterion Collection since I was a very young teenager - I used to buy them on laserdisc - to explore world cinema and discover different directors and their work. Some of my favorite films are foreign films, as are some of my favorite filmmakers.
Kieslowski, Truffaut, Goddard, Antonioni, Kurosawa, etc. Indie films were also hugely influential. I was fourteen or fifteen when CLERKS. and RESERVOIR DOGS came out, and a local movie theater called the Naro where I'm in from in Virginia showed all the latest indie movies and I went and saw them all.
Do you feel that it is important for aspiring filmmakers and filmgoers to view films of the past and why?
I think it's of the utmost important that aspiring filmmakers watch everything they can. Go pick up Roger Ebert wonderful three-book series, THE GREAT MOVIES, and seek all those films out. That's a great place to start. When I was a teenager, I would go through director phases where I'd watch every film a director made chronologically and read everything I could about them. I believe all filmmakers should strive to be experts in their field and that means being familiar with what has come before and continuing to seek out films that inspire you that are being made today.How did viewing indies and films from around the world help you when directing THE FAULT IN OUR STARS and STUCK IN LOVE?
I've been watching films obsessively as far back as I can remember. Every single film you watch, good or bad, is a building block of your filmmaking education. The ones you love that you watch over and over are the cornerstones.
What's one English-language indie and one non-English-language film that you would recommend that film-lovers or young/aspiring filmmakers see?
My favorite film is Sergio Leone's ONCE UPON A TIME IN AMERICA.I'll suggest three of my favorite foreign films: Ozu's TOKYO STORY, Kieslowski's THE DOUBLE LIFE OF VERONIQUE, and Godard's A WOMAN IS A WOMAN.[A]nd as far as indie films...
SEX, LIES, AND VIDEOTAPE
From the Mouths of Filmmakers continues on Friday.Cassavetes