Acceptance, encouragement rise for “artsy” movies


Ethan Glick photographed by Isabella Kneeshaw.

Ethan Glick, Entertainment Editor

Cinema is a crucial part of culture, and has been for nearly a century. We watch trailers for the films that we go see, and when we’re not watching the films themselves, we watch the people that are in the films parade around on talk shows, red carpets and award shows. Films and celebrities have ingrained themselves in our lives from the moment they first graced our screens.

Recently, however, I’ve noticed a rise in a style of films that are far less traditional and much more artistically formless, with the film studio A24 being a major producer of these exact kinds of films. I honestly think if these films had been made three decades ago, they would’ve been shunned and probably blacklisted. 

The first film I remember seeing that took this drastically formless turn was The Green Knight starring Dev Patel. I wrote an article on it when it came out because I thought its format was so viscerally formless. If you haven’t seen that film, I highly recommend doing so; it’s worth it. That film was one of the first of these “big-budget fever dreams,” as I like to call them, and a plethora of films have followed, all reaching a fairly impressive level of success for the non-traditional style that they’ve adopted. 

Like I mentioned earlier, A24 has been behind a fair number of these films, with films like The Northmen and Men being the films that first come to mind that fit this same vein of cinema. I think it’s interesting that films like these are gaining more and more traction, while the major blockbusters that have been hugely successful in the past have seen a fairly steady decline into mediocrity. 

The prime example of these new films, and certainly my favorite of the ones mentioned in this article, is Everything, Everywhere, All at Once. It’s no secret how incredible this film is, and this is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. The film is, without question, a fever dream through and through, but it manages to blend the wacky nonsensicalness of the film with coherent, meaningful storytelling. This blend has been attempted, but not really achieved to Everything, Everywhere’s level of perfection  in The Northman. It comes closest, incorporating the Viking occult with a story of vengeance in a successful way; however, there was a tangible disconnect between the separate sides of the film. 

I think trying to combine traditional storytelling and new-age cinema would be a terrifying task for any filmmaker, let alone a smaller studio like A24. Movies like the ones I’ve talked about are massive financial risks, and these filmmakers deserve respect for being willing to take that risk in the first place, regardless of the level of their success.