Who doesn’t love a good blockbuster? Big budgets, thrilling action, and entertaining set pieces will continue to drive audiences to the movies, and for good reason. However, cinema art can also provide us with great moments that capture our curiosity and spark our imagination. In fact, some of the most critically acclaimed movies of all-time, and many Academy Award® winners, could be labeled as “cinema art.”
So, what is “cinema art?” Frequently produced and distributed outside the major studio system on a relatively small budget, cinema art movies typically handle serious matters in an artistic and often experimental way, geared towards more of a niche market rather than for a mass audience. In an artform where social realism takes precedence, on-location filming is favored over studio sets and sometimes amateur actors are even used.
Stretching back to the origin of movies, the genre has provided some of the most recognizable and talented filmmakers in cinema who have put their uncompromising visions onto the screen with a unique flare and style that is all their own. Foreign language movies are also included in this genre, recognizable by many of the same features with the addition of subtitles, although rarely referred to as “cinema art” in their respective countries. Instead, they are more commonly known as “auteur” or “national” cinema, the former originally coined in France to distinguish filmmakers of the French New Wave (a movement and form of European cinema art from the 1950s and 1960s).
Below is a cinema art movie to keep an eye on this week as it debuts in select Regal theatres nationwide:
Genre: Drama, Romance, Sport
Runtime: 2hr 15min
Starring: Sterling K. Brown, Kelvin Harrison Jr., Taylor Russell, Alexa Demie, Renée Elise Goldsberry, Lucas Hedges
Directed By: Trey Edward Shults
Written By: Trey Edward Shults
A suburban African-American family in South Florida, led by a well-intentioned but domineering father, navigate love, forgiveness, and coming together in the aftermath of a loss.
Writer/director Trey Edward Shults returns for his third feature after making his debut in 2015 with the drama Krisha. For his sophomore outing, Shults tackled the horror/mystery genre with It Comes at Night (2017). In Waves, Shults tells a heartrending story about the universal capacity for compassion and growth amidst even the darkest of times. Golden Globe® winner Sterling K. Brown stars as Ronald, the well-intentioned but domineering father, alongside Renée Elise Goldsberry as his wife Catharine.
Waves is a story in two parts, the first focusing on teenage wrestler Tyler, played by newcomer Kelvin Harrison Jr. Tyler butts heads with his father at every turn and struggles to balance his home life with his girlfriend, school, and the pressures of high school athletics. The second part focuses on Tyler’s sister Emily, played by newcomer Taylor Russell. An ancillary character up to this point, Emily’s life now takes center stage as she navigates circumstances that threaten her wellbeing and the cohesion of her family alongside a blossoming new love. The shift in story is accompanied by tonal and thematic shifts highlighted by the vibrant cinematography from Drew Daniels and the score by Trent Reznor.