In the age of mega-action and special effect packed blockbusters, more thoughtful films are growing increasingly harder to come by. With box-office takeovers of superhero movies, thought-provoking movies have had a harder time with distribution and funding. Indie movies were given smaller releases and were playing at less theaters. Slowly but surely, this seems to be changing. With more Oscar buzz and more viewer demand, indie films are getting larger and larger platforms. Enter A24. Started in 2012 as A24 Films, A24 has since started making ripples in the entertainment industry with genre-bending movies such as Moonlight, Ex Machina, Hereditary, and most recently, Bo Burnham’s Eighth Grade.
Like a Wes Anderson or Quentin Tarantino movie, all films that cross the A24 cutting room floor have signature flourishes and features that signal their authenticity and originality. A24 movies tend to focus on very specific, personal stories, while still somehow being entirely relatable. Settings bring back nostalgia and characters feel like old friends. While spotlighting very individual events, the audience still sees themselves being represented on screen. The beauty of oddity and of innate human strangeness is always highlighted in these movies. These films also tend to tell more unknown and overlooked stories. A24 movies force the viewer to engage fully with the movie and the characters, and to not just sit and watch. These movies’ intentions are to captivate the audience and to make them question motives, to analyze characters, and to make a connection with the movie, in an interactive way.
For example, Moonlight tells a multi-faceted story of a young boy’s coming of age. This story is told uniquely in three distinct chapters, ending with the acceptance of his sexuality and identity. Another example is The Florida Project, which gives a raw and genuine look at poverty and growing up in less than stellar living conditions. Lady Bird captures the lack of appreciation we sometimes feel towards our surroundings, only realizing our love of them until we have moved on.
Watching an A24 movie feels transformative, like you are seeing a reflection of yourself on the screen. Characters are presented in an organic way, the dialogue flows and plot slowly swells. For underrepresented groups in today’s media, seeing this reflection is crucial. A24 values production and cinematography, also resulting in a magnificent visual.
Since 2012, A24 has accumulated 24 Academy Award nominations, notably with Moonlight winning over La La Land for Best Picture 2017. Barry Jenkins, the director of Moonlight, discussed working with A24 in an interview- “They don’t need to know what it’s about. They just need to know how it feels.” A24 boasts a large range of television shows and movies, from indie movies to more mainstream content, there’s a chance they’ve experimented with it.
In the near future, A24 has numerous films coming. Slice boasts an accomplished cast, including Chance the rapper’s debut acting role, Stranger Things fan-favorite Joe Keery, and Atlanta’s Zazie Beetz in a pizza delivery boy murder mystery.Mid 90s is Jonah Hill’s directorial debut, a throwback skateboarding drama. Also upcoming is the television series, Euphoria, a teen drama produced by Drake which is akin to Skam and stars Zendaya and Storm Reid. With numerous television shows and movies boasting high-status actors and actresses, A24 is sure to continue making waves. This refreshing, new form of all-inclusive cinematography is quite attractive and enjoyable. The deliberate use of music and the clear focus on making a visual masterpiece makes A24 truly stand out from all other indie cinema. Clearly, A24 has just gotten started with their takeover of the entertainment industry, and maybe it’s time that they do.
Photo via The Tracking Board