A hearty congratulations to Gateway Film Center on being selected by the Sundance Art Institute Art House Project! The recognition is awarded to theatres that provide unique viewing opportunities in their communities and are models for the success of independent venues. Gateway has given my hometown of Columbus, OH consistent programming often unavailable in similar markets and been committed to keeping the dialogue dynamic in our film-going community, so their inclusion is fitting and well-earned. Their commitment to providing all varieties of film old and new is a gift that the city continues to discover, but Sundance recognition speaks to our emerging film community and the hard work of those that continue to foster it.
Especially in this time of year, the festival season wrapping up shortly with AFI Fest bringing up the rear in the coming weeks, the conversation for any given film starts well before a general audience can pay to see it. We rely on the festivals to stoke anticipation for what will be the Must See conversation movies of the fall, starting all the way back in May at Cannes. Then, you’ll get a second wave when the film actually drops to a usually limited audience in the major cities. By the time it hits your city, for those of us outside of the top 20 markets, you may have already read backlash to the backlash of any given film; you come to the conversation surrounding the film as a reactor to it rather than a participant in it.
This has been one of my major frustrations as a film-lover and one of the misguided excuses I’ve used to have delayed starting this site. So how do I respond to the challenge as someone who’s trying to grow their voice in this discussion? The short answer is: I don’t. Though the large amount of reviews in the first week would make it seem otherwise, filmmixtape will not just be about what you can go see this week. The site will be the past, present, and future, and hopefully reflect my point of view (my mixtape-style tastes, if you will).
But, at the end of the day, why complain about waiting a few extra weeks just to say I’m in the conversation as it’s happening (especially as it’s presumptuous to think I’m really being heard)? While I want to devour everything I can and would love to be able to see films that are stuck with the most minimal distribution, think of the film-lovers that never get to experience even the most taken-for-granted prestige picks in the theatre just because of what part of the country they’re living.
This is where I get to be a local fanboy.