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: Biography, Drama, History
Runtime: 2hr 6min
Starring: Mark Ruffalo, Anne Hathaway, Tim Robbins, Bill Pullman, Bill Camp
Directed By: Todd Haynes
Written By: Matthew Michael Carnahan, Mario Correa, Nathaniel Rich (magazine article)
Corporate environmental defense attorney Rob Bilott has made a name for himself at his prestigious Cincinnati law firm due, in part, to his work defending Big Chem companies. However, he becomes conflicted after two West Virginia farmers tell him that the local DuPont plant is dumping toxic waste in the area landfill, thus destroying their fields and killing their cattle. Bilott risks his career and family to uncover the truth behind a dark secret hidden by one of the world’s largest corporations in what becomes a 15-year fight to bring justice to a community dangerously exposed for decades to deadly chemicals.
Three-Time Academy Award® nominee Mark Ruffalo plays defense attorney Rob Bilott in the biographical drama from Participant, the makers behind AcadSpotlight (2015) and Green Book (2018). Ruffalo is no stranger to portraying real-life characters, having starred as The Boston Globe journalist Michael Rezendes in Spotlight and Olympic gold medal-winning wrestler David Schultz in Foxcatcher (2014). Joining Ruffalo in Dark Waters are Academy Award® winners Anne Hathaway as Rob’s wife Sarah Bilott and Tim Robbins as Tom Terp.
Academy Award® nominated director Todd Haynes, whose credits include I’m Not There (2007) and Carol (2015), returns to the big screen for his eighth feature-length movie, working from a screenplay penned by veteran Matthew Michael Carnahan (World War Z, Deepwater Horizon) and Mario Correa, making his feature-length debut.