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Two Independent Films I Watched: My Left Foot and Boyhood

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To begin with, an independent film is a film that is not produced in a major film studio. These films usually do not have big name actors, nor have certain special effects. Usually these independent films have a restricted budget. Independent films are only filmed at different film festivals, national or international. Sometimes these films can win an award even though the advertisements are low and the budget is cheap. Independent films are unique and can be very successful in their aspects of films.

The foreign movie I watched was The Left Foot. The movie was about a kid named Christy who had cerebral palsy. The movie began with him when he was older and able to use his left foot for certain functions, a function that he learned at 5. When he realized he was able to use his left foot, Christy was able to able help his care giver. When he found out he can use his left foot, he started to write on the chalk board. Due to his mindset and willingness, he was able to overcome different obstacles. Throughout the movie, with his mother’s help, Christy was able to become a painter, poet, and writer in spite of his cerebral palsy. Towards the end, he even published a book called “My Left Foot” and they had a get together celebrating his success.

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You are able to see that My Left Foot is an independent movie due to different characteristics. The biggest characteristic was that it was a foreign film. It was an Irish background film that was published in 1989. This characteristic is the most noticeable because it was not made in any big-name production and was probably made at an international film festival. Another characteristic that you can see is that My Left Foot is an independent movie is how there are no big name or well-known actors. From the beginning to the end of the movie, you have no strong relationship with these characters, because you do not exactly know who they are. With this being set in modern day in Dublin, it is another reason the film stands out. Independent films are filmed in current day, not past nor future, and you can see that in this film. Christy is brought up in a working family during the times of his life. The last reason this is an independent film is what this film is about. I say this because a characteristic of an independent film is a story about an outcast, and Christy fits that role because he was not a normal kid or man, he was someone who had cerebral palsy. He only had the function of his left foot and with that alone, he was able to be very successful. With being able to see these certain characteristics in this film, you can analyze and know that it is an independent film.

The second film I watched and analyzed was Boyhood. The movie was about watching a boy named Mason grow up. Seeing him grow up through the highs and lows of his early childhood. Throughout this movie I saw different milestones Mason was able to reach from road trips to a number of birthday parties. Being able to see the whole family grow up throughout the years is something that is astonishing. Even more astonishing was being able to use the same cast throughout these years portray the same characters.

After watching the film Boyhood, you are able to see that this too is an independent film. One characteristic I noticed indicating this was an independent film is the music was from well-known groups instead of music from an orchestra in certain scenes where defined moments are happening. For example, when Mason goes on a trip with his dad, they played modern music from a popular band as they drove away rather than them using music from a orchestra. Another characteristic that makes it an independent film, just like from My Left Foot; the actors are not well known. This is the same case in Boyhood where these actors are not well known, and they also use the same actors for the whole film throughout his years. This brings up another point, budget might have been another part of this film because they used the same actors to make the story more impactful. Also, the film is made in present day. It may go throughout the years of Mason life, but it goes through current day not in the past nor the present, just like the movie ‘My left Foot.” Lastly, this film may have been made in America, but it was not a film where it was at a well-known production it was probably made at a local film festival.

I was able to see that in both these films I watched and analyzed that their characteristics that obviously indicated they were independent films. Both the films Boyhood and My Left Foot were filmed in current times, they did not have popular actors in either of these films; and the last similarity was that these films were not produced by big productions companies. The differences between these two independent films is that My Left Foot was a film that had to deal with an outcast, Christy was a boy who had cerebral palsy, and Mason lived a regular life. The difference was in Boyhood, they had in certain scenes music from groups like Coldplay instead of having more of an orchestral scoring in big name films.

To conclude with, independent films are films are film that are not produced in big name productions. They are produced and made in different film festivals either local or even international just like a film I watched. I also was able to understand that the films usually have budget limits that restrict them from doing fantasizing scenes that you see. Also, these independent films are not advertising as much as films in bigger production, but these independent films are always up to win an award when the time comes.

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