Shall I compare thee to a midsummer’s day?
If you’re at all as big a movie nerd as I am, you’ve no doubt heard their name before or at the very least seen their logo. The small stamp before any sort of indie film is an encouraging sign that you’re in for something special. Good? Usually, but not always. But definitely special every time. I continually find myself absolutely baffled by the consistent quality of their films, granted I haven’t seen them all. I can list a number of my favorite films that are products of this independent distribution company including Ex Machina and The Lobster. If you’re not familiar with them, or are a more casual movie fan, you should search their entire catalogue and just watch as many as you can. You won’t regret it. You know what, never mind. Don’t even bother Googling it. Here’s a list. You undoubtedly recognize a few names. There’s Best Picture winner Moonlight and their most recent release It Comes at Night (check my review of that here). So maybe you haven’t seen all their films, but you’ve definitely heard of them.
So who are these guys? Full disclosure: I didn’t even really know what they did either until like 2 weeks ago, despite my long-time admiration for their work. So they’re a distribution company, which basically means they go to film festivals and other places to buy independently made films, and then they help them get seen by handling promotion, trailers, and the the actual distribution to movie theaters. It’s a cool part of the industry to be in and an important one. The reason A24 is so good is because of their eye for film and their emphasis on the filmmakers’ vision. One of the worst thing a big studio can do is get in the way, and according to numerous artists in this awesome GQ article spotlighting the company, that’s not what they do.
What really inspires me about this company though, is that they just get film and what it is and is supposed to be. Their films are quirky, usually pretty small, artistic, and above all, human. Film, and art in general really, is meant to be an expression of the human experience at its absolute most raw. There’s typically many layers on top of that, sometimes to the point where it’s unrecognizable, but that’s always what’s at its heart. Even in massive superhero blockbusters human moments abound in the characters and their struggle with good versus evil and what that even means. A24 finds films that accentuate that aspect of cinema and help them reach a wider audience and that automatically makes them one of the best in the business.
Long story short, if you see A24’s logo on a film, watch it. It’s worth your time.