Next time you want to see an independent film at a theater, look in Alameda first. The Alameda Theater has been showing independent films, and you might not have noticed.
Some of you may be asking, what exactly is an independent film? It’s a film that’s not produced by the large Hollywood film studios or distributed by the major distributors. Independent films tend to have strong, original and/or controversial storylines or unique visual perspectives. They are not budgeted for big movie stars, and less corporate oversight allows a new artist’s or filmmaker’s original vision to stay intact. Often it’s the director who draws audiences. I have found these unique films to be exceptional, thought provoking, and often just plain beautiful to see. Starting at film festivals, many of them receive the acclaim of critics and win awards worldwide.
During the fall, the Alameda Theater showed over a dozen independent films. They are now bringing in the new year with the psychological horror thriller “Black Swan” about a ballerina’s quest for perfection while dancing the dual roles of the White and Black Swan in the ballet Swan Lake. Next up will be the highly praised “King’s Speech,” a powerful, hilarious, and deeply moving story about how King George VI, the father of the current Queen Elizabeth, overcame his stuttering problem to give a speech at a critical juncture in modern history.
Because independent films are typically shown only at selected theaters (such as a Landmark or Cinéarts theater), many of us have been choosing the venue before looking at the listings. Now we can turn first to our independently owned Alameda Theater. For those who don’t know which films are independent, the Alameda Theater will tell us. Whether you’re looking online, at the marquee, or in the newspaper, it will clearly indicate “(Indie)” after the title
While mass-marketed movies offer enjoyment, we’re lucky the Alameda Theater is giving space to independent films. But how often they show these films will depend on viewership. The theater can do its part, but it’s up to us to do ours. If you know a particular Indie movie you think will attract a large audience, please let the theater know. Use their “contact us” page at <www.alamedatheaters.com>. You can even buy your tickets online.
Look for the Indie film marker at the Alameda Theater the next time you’re in the mood for a movie. You’ll not only be impressed, you’ll find yourself monitoring the theater’s listings to see more.
Originally published in the Alameda Sun