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Dec 29, 2008

Indy 2008 Honors Key Figures


This year has gone like the wind and most of the films I watched were what is usually called "independent". Today there is a blur line to divide independent films from non-independent, probably because the big studios already took over the independent film world to what they consider a market with budgets under $10M. But we know most of the real indy films sometimes have budgets under $1M. Anyway, to me what it's truly independent is the soul of the project and the kind of control the creatives like writer and director have.

We could be discussing the essence of independent films forever, so let's highlight the best indy films I had the pleasure to live this past year. For most of them you may find articles or interviews in this same blog. Here I post the links to IMDb:

3 Américas
(2007, Cristina Kotz Cornejo)

Chop Shop
(2007, Ramin Bahrani)

(2007, Ariel Rotter)

(2007, Carlitos Ruiz Ruiz)

(2007, Harmony Korine)

(2007, José Padilha)

XXY
(2007, Lucía Puenzo)


In Memoriam

I can't overlook four key figures that passed away during the year. They are Sydney Pollack (director, producer, actor), Anthony Minghella (writer, director, producer), Harold Pinter (writer, director, actor), and Michael Crichton (writer, director, producer). All of them were in some way related to that soul of independent film I mentioned in the beginning, and all were highly respected not only by their audiences, but also but their colleagues. You will find below the links to The New York Times' obituaries. I was lucky enough to assist to a talk by Sydney Pollack at The New School in New York. Among other things he told a remarkable anecdote from the time he was shooting The Interpreter (2005) in the U.N. (first time ever the U.N. allowed to shoot there. Second time was Steven Soderbergh with his double feature Che Guevara during 2007). Pollack said that after a diplomatic dinner with many ambassadors and consuls, one of them took him aside. He was afraid to not follow dinner etiquette, and he was sure he would be reprimanded for that. But that enigmatic diplomat from a top European country asked him: "Can I give you my reel?"

Michael Crichton
(1942 - 2008)

(1954 - 2008)

(1930 - 2008)

Sydney Pollack
(1934 - 2008)