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 are a few cinema art movies to keep an eye on this week as they debut in select Regal theatres nationwide:
Well Go USA Entertainment
Genre: Drama, Sc-Fi, Thriller
Runtime: 1hr 44min
Starring: Emile Hirsch, Bruce Dern, Grace Park, Amanda Crew, Lexy Kolker
Directed By: Zach Lipovsky, Adam B. Stein
Written By: Zach Lipovsky, Adam B. Stein
A 7-year-old girl named Chloe (Lexy Kolker) lives under her father’s (Emile Hirsch) protective and paranoid control. She is both fearful of and fascinated by the outside world where she believes Abnormals create a constant threat. When a mysterious stranger (Bruce Dern) offers Chloe a glimpse of what’s really happening outside, she finds that while the truth isn’t so simple, the danger is very real.
Freaks premiered at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF) where it took home a nomination for Best Canadian Feature Film. Writer/directors Zach Lipovsky and Adam B. Stein previously collaborated on the television series Mech-X4 (2016-2018) and have most recently teamed up to direct the television movie Kim Possible (2019).
The young star of Freaks, Lexy Kolker, made her feature debut in Female Fight Squad (2017) before appearing in Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. (2017-2018), Shooter (2016-2018), and alongside Academy Award® winner Shirley MacLaine in The Little Mermaid (2018). In her latest feature, Kolker stars opposite Emile Hirsch and two-time Academy Award® nominee Bruce Dern.
LINDA RONSTADT: THE SOUND OF MY VOICE
Runtime: 1hr 35min
Starring: Linda Ronstadt, Dolly Parton, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris, Jackson Browne, Don Henley, David Geffen, and Aaron Neville
Directed By: Rob Epstein, Jeffrey Friedman
Music icon Linda Ronstadt burst onto the scene in 1967 and later became the most popular female recording artist of the 1970s. Although known as the “queen of country rock,” her extraordinary vocal range and ambition created unforgettable songs across rock, pop, country, folk ballads, American standards, classic Mexican music, and soul. With Ronstadt as our guide, accompanied by moving performance footage and appearances by friends and collaborators including Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, Bonnie Raitt, and Jackson Browne, Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice celebrates an artist whose desire to share the music she loved made generations of fans fall in love with her—and the sound of her voice.
Directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman use a treasure trove of archival material including concert footage, TV and stage appearances, home movies, and behind-the-scenes photographs and films to track Linda Ronstadt’s career from her childhood in Tucson, Arizona to sold-out stadium shows. “Linda’s always been so true to herself, and so authentic at each stage of her life,” says Friedman. “Even as she was getting interested in different kinds of music, she was still so true to her essential self.” Epstein adds, “Throughout her career Linda communicated to all of us how a song spoke to her, and how she feels about it.” Ronstadt won 10 Grammy Awards® on 26 nominations and became the first artist to top the Pop, Country, and R&B charts simultaneously on her way to attaining a level of stardom the Tucson native never could have imagined.
Runtime: 1hr 39min
Starring: Stephen Olvey, Terry Trammell, Mario Andretti, Bobby Unser, Helio Castroneves
Directed By: Roger Hinze, Michael William Miles
In 1966, medical student and life-long racing fan Stephen Olvey began volunteering at the Indianapolis 500. It was a dream come true, but unfortunately, the dream rapidly evolved into a nightmare as Olvey witnessed numerous gut-wrenching accidents, made worse by the terrifying lack of medical care available to the drivers. Once a doctor, Olvey set off on a mission to revolutionize motorsports. Based on Dr. Stephen Olvey’s memoir Rapid Response: My Inside Story as a Motor Racing Life-Saver, this documentary traces the roots of safety in the sport, beginning with the most fatal era of the 1960s at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway through its expansion to other circuits in the ‘70s and ‘80s. The science and procedures Olvey and his team developed through these three decades still influence modern trauma medicine, the United States military, NASA, and consumer vehicles.
Co-directors Roger Hinze and Michael William Miles revisit the subject of motorsports safety following their collaboration on the television documentary Yellow Yellow Yellow: The Indycar Safety Team (2017). Their latest work, Rapid Response, features interviews with current and former race car drivers, including those who raced through the dark days of the sport like Mario Andretti, Bobby Unser, Parnelli Jones, Rick Mears, Helio Castroneves, Tony Kanaan, and Chip Ganassi. The documentary also includes exclusive interviews with Dr. Stephen Olvey and orthopedic surgeon Dr. Terry Trammell.