Where to Next? An Ode to the Importance of the Festival Circuit
With this weekend’s Total Recall cashing in on a trend we could conceivably never see the end of (at least in this lifetime), the question I’m posing refers to what we have to look forward to, but not from bombastic, shallow-minded “anti-auteurs;” we look instead to the distinguished festival elite. Putting aside the innumerable trademarks and singularly stylish panache the P.T. Andersons, Malicks and von Triers of the medium possess, what we’re left with is a revolving door of both what we will and won’t want to see, the former remaining ever-present throughout the year-round festival circuit that ensures us the cinematic bliss we deserve.
Putting aside the notion that mediocrity will always find its place throughout the realm of contemporary cinema, very rarely do mainstream efforts push boundaries like those bursting onto the scene via Sundance, Cannes, Toronto and the like. While not revolutionary by any means, films like The Cabin in the Woods and The Raid: Redemption, while polar opposites in terms of focus, essentially helped redefine what it is to be part of their respective genres. Barring any recognition of big-budget atrocities, cheeky R-rated raunch and occasionally insightful romantic yarns, the right amount of meta absurdity and bouncing a lackey’s head off of a wall like a basketball can go a long way in completing the task I’ve briefly outlined.