The Arthouse of Cinema: My Love-letter to A24

When I first watched “Swiss Army Men”, I didn’t know that it was one of the unforgettable films in 2016. Regardless of the fart jokes, this is one of the movies I can’t really forget. It first makes you laugh and then you didn’t know this is an absurd film, for some reason too, makes you cry. Next, I watched “Moonlight“. I first didn’t know what this movie was actually. On IMDb, a synopsis explains that this is a drama between people and a search for self-identity.

I need times before I can understand how complex this movie was. So, I watched “Room”. This is one of the most heartwarming films, very difficult how this film is compelling and tense on the other hand. There is so much feeling in it, you don’t know how to describe it but with a simple premise, this film got a lot of awards. The film brought Oscar in the category of Best Actress in Leading Role for Brie Larson in 2016.

After months passed, I watched an essay video on YouTube about what the true meaning of “Moonlight” was. At first, I don’t know what exactly these videos were. Then, I watched it again and damn, it’s one of the most depressing movies I’ve ever seen since so many years. Initially, I didn’t agree with this film as Best Picture (because of my obsession with “La La Land”). But after I watched it again and again, now I know what exactly Barry Jenkins wants to convey. And then, I watched “The Disaster Artist”, a Tommy Wiseau biopic as one of the best worst directors of all time.

In early 2019 when I went to a village for one month as my college activities, I watched “Enemy“, “Ex Machina“, and “Lady Bird“. I consider the three films as one of the most astonishing films. First was “Lady Bird”, an overrated movie then I know why I really, really love this film. The second was “Ex Machina”, one of the best science fiction movies where every science fiction movie had to. And third, “Enemy” as one of the thrilling movies and the most insane plot twist I’ve ever seen. You never know what exactly this film is unless you see the ending and then you know you don’t know what exactly watching.

So, what exactly is this? Why do all these films are matters? One of the interesting points about those movies is the premise. All the premises of the films are so simple. But, in the world of cinema, I could be amazed by the quality of the image, performance, score, cinematography, and personal view of what the director wants to tell. Interestingly, almost all of these films were the director was the same as the writer. For instance, Barry Jenkins’ “Moonlight”, Alex Garland’s “Ex Machina”, and Greta Gerwig’s “Lady Bird”. I also forgot to mention I watched Ari Aster’sHereditary“, Claire Denis‘ “High Life“, and Jonah Hill’sMid90s“.

But, really, what exactly am I saying? The main point why I wrote this is the amount of my love for A24, an indie film company. I mean, it’s just a company so why does this matter? A24 is different from everything. They treat the director and writer as an artist, leaving them free to create without limits. Almost all A24 films have a personal view of the director. Like for example Greta Gerwig as a love-letter to Sacramento in “Lady Bird”. There is also Jonah Hill as a personal feeling of his childhood in “Mid90s”. And there are many more reasons why directors and writers make films like this.

A24 was formed in 2012. When compared to other film studios such as Warner Bros. or Universal Pictures, A24 is like a cat. However, it’s their vision that makes the A24 able to gain a solid market share in a short span of time. Just a week ago, A24 released three new movie trailers such as “Low Tide”, “The Kill Team”, and “The Death of Dick Long”. We got “Midsommar” this month in my city and I also can’t wait to see Robert Pattinson and Willem Dafoe in “The Lighthouse”.

“Viewers are always there for our films. Meanwhile, we tried to create a platform that had never existed before. We do focus on low or medium cost films. However, all of it has good quality. We are sure in demand if we bring it to the national and even international level. “

David Fenkel, A24 co-founder | LA Times

A24 managed to make loyal fans as marketing agents themselves. They don’t necessarily follow the Hollywood business style, focus on following trends, marketing, audience, blockbusters, and so on. On the other hand, A24 compromises an arthouse cinema-style from Europe or as we call it as artsy movies.

“A film is good depending on marketing and popularity. This movie, “Parasite“, is a bad movie because it’s just a festival movie, not a cinema movie.”

In the name of one of the netizens on the internet when I read the “Parasite” review.

Well, I never knew that it wasn’t just me whose an idiot but there were still people who were more idiots than I was. If I watch a movie based on popularity, either it gets a bad rating, then all the films are bad then. The relationship of one of the “professional” critics with A24 is that if you want to compete with a giant company, they must win a battle in terms of cinema-quality. Not just a promotion without essence and just a cash-grab cinema. I watch movies because I want to see what the writer and director want to convey. For me, thoroughly, A24 is a future of cinema.

We want all our films to cross over.”

David Fenkel, A24 co-founder.


Salman Al Farisi

An Indonesian who loves to watch and read everything. A literary student who likes to write about reviews and essays on Crackdown Review. But, I just wannabe critics who love arthouse than anything.

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