We may have only started distributing video in 2008, but that doesn’t diminish the influence that the films we’ve worked on have had on us.
In honor of our 15th anniversary, our video team’s Brendan Nunn and Danielle DiGiacomo have put together a selection of 15 films that have shocked us with their beauty, truth or extremes. And oh, have we seen some extremes!
From documentaries to dramas, action sports to music… we’ve covered a wide array of genres and styles that have helped us widen our horizons and contribute to our growth.
The Idiots 
Lars Von Trier – controversial? Can’t be! The man who was banned from the Cannes Film Festival for professing to sympathize with Nazis directed The Idiots, his first film made in line with his Dogme 95 manifesto, in 1998. In the film, a group of middle class adults “rebel” against a safe, bourgeois lifestyle by taking up in a house together and acting as if they are developmentally disabled, purportedly for the sake of liberation. A film that polarized critics — many of whom were offended by a salacious group sex scene — this is Von Trier at his best, or worst, depending on your taste for the Danish provocateur.
Jandek on Corwood 
Jandek, a Houston-based recluse, has made 51 records on a label called Corwood Industries. With music that is best described as “free-form experimental,” Jandek has become a cult figure by trying to be the opposite, invisible. Missouri filmmaker Chad Friedrich’s film about Jandek pieces together his subject’s life and art, using an aesthetic that reflects the man and his music, that of a stark and decaying, but eerily beautiful Middle America.
Randy and Jeremy Stulberg, a New York-based brother and sister team, proved themselves as filmmaking forces with their first nonfiction feature. Off The Grid, which aired on the Sundance Channel, examines a group of individual outcasts who chose to live outside of government control, haphazardly forming a community in the Mesa, 5 miles from the Rio Grande river. Alcoholic war veterans, teenage runaways and even a pig farmer form a motley crue form bonds and friendships but, at times, erupt in violent conflict. The documentary is currently being adapted into a fiction feature starring Patricia Arquette.
Special When Lit 
Hear the buzzes and bells; see the light o’flashing; play by sense and smell with this groovy look back at the silver ball amusement. Before Xbox, before Pac-Man… there was pinball.
Welcome To Nollywood 
In this film from IndiePix, Director Jamie Meltzer explores the world of self-styled auteurs and producers working in funky Lagos. Home to the third-largest film industry in the world, Nigeria — dubbed “Nollywood” by its inhabitants — has developed into a hot bed of DIY, amateur, shoot-from-the-hip filmmaking. Produced straight to video and sold in markets across the region, these films offer a unique perspective of the political, social and historic life of post-colonial Africa not usually depicted in Western media.
Few politicians stand in greater opposition to the oft used, and misunderstood, quote by F. Scott Fitzgerald “there are no second acts in American lives” than former Washington D.C. Mayor Marion Barry. From student activist to civil rights leader, mayor to criminal, Barry’s life and acts don’t seem to fit the traditional narrative arc of any other political figure. “He May Not Be Perfect, But He’s Perfect for D.C.”