Opinion – 6/24/2003

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, June 24, 2003

Jason Mattox Opinion

For additional opinions and articles,
pick up the 6/24/03  issue of The Panolian

Indy Flicks Provide Good Entertainment

OK, so I’m probably one of the few people not living in Oxford who was chomping at the bit for the film festival this weekend.

I found out two Fridays ago that the Oxford Film Festival was actually going to be a reality. I had been hearing rumors about one for a while, especially with Malco Theaters planning to convert the Cine 4 into an Indy/Foreign Film theater when it finishes the remodeling of the old Stage building.

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The more I think about it, Oxford should have been having one of these for years. Look at the movies that have been shot in Oxford and the surrounding areas. You have "The Firm," "The Gun in Betty Lou’s Handbag," "The People Vs. Larry Flint," "Cookie’s Fortune," and "Big Bad Love," that have all been partially filmed near Ole Miss Country.

This is the natural progression of things. I can’t count all of the times I have heard people say they can make better movies than what have been coming out lately and a festival like this gives people the chance to put their money, or shall we say movie, where their mouth is.

Whether this festival becomes one of the hot stops for independent film directors remains to be seen, but at least there is something closer than Cannes and Sundance to showcase film work.

I understand that a lot of people out there don’t really comprehend what independent films are, and, for some reason, are scared of them. I have to admit I am one who used to shy away from anything that wasn’t a major studio production but I guess my tastes have matured.

Then I happened on a little film called "Clerks." I watched it and I laughed out loud. It was edgy, raunchy and just plain entertaining. From that moment, I became a little more open to Indy flicks.

In the last few years, some of those Indy flicks have become favorites of mine, though I don’t really know why.

For the longest time now, I have had to wait for these Indy movies to find their way to video before I could see if they lived up to the hype, now all I have to do is make a trip to Oxford once a year, and I can be one of the first to see some of the new buzz films of the independent scene. Who knows, maybe I’ll even make one some day.


(Jason Mattox can be reached by email at: newsroom@panolian.com