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TV: The New Indie Film?

TV: The New Indie Film?

Has it occurred to anyone else that the reason for the bleak independent/specialty box office and shaky state of independent film in general might be in part due to all the amazing television that is now available?

The Wire” alone did a great job of keeping numerous indie films bumped down on my Netflix cue for months as I immersed myself in the amazing Baltimore drama of cops, drug dealers, politicians, and everyone else connected to David Simon’s masterpiece, and I can’t help wonder if other quality shows are keeping folks glued to their laptops and televisions and out of the movie theaters.

And would any film from last year generate a whopping cover story in the New York Times Magazine like Mad Men did this Sunday? With the brilliant Season 1 about to hit DVD and Season 2 starting next month, this show will definitely garner many new fans as it keeps its already loyal base stuck to AMC this summer.

I feel like when I talk to indie biz insiders and just regular film fans alike I hear much more buzz about “The Wire,” “Battlestar Galactica,” “Weeds,” “Big Love,” “Dexter,” and “Lost,” than I would have heard about practically any film in release last year (aside from “There Will Be Blood.”)

And with the entire series of Twin Peaks now out of DVD, (the show that started it all, with its polished cinematography, complex storyline, and riveting score), anyone under the age of 30 (who has probably never seen the show) has 29 episodes of that classic to dive into as well.

And don’t even get me started on “The Sopranos,” which just realized a gigantic box set of the entire six season series on DVD, of which I’ve never seen. I’m saving that one for retirement.

On another note, it’s a wonder folks are shunning movie theaters given the crappy experience one can have… I recently saw “Iron Man” in Spartanburg, SC with my family at a Regal multiplex and the volume was too low and surround sound not even working properly. And the first time I saw the film at the UA in Battery Park in Manhattan there was some sort of digital garbage on the print for the first 10 minutes.

If Hollywood blockbusters are projected in a such a crappy way, than it’s no surprise that “The Puffy Chair” screening I went to last summer at the Angelika Center had some sort of high pitched whine during the entire screening.

All of this for $10-$12? It’s no wonder people wait for it on DVD. (After they finish watching “Heroes.”)

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