It turns out that the perfect antidote to reading in depth about the inherent and growing inequalities present in the Hollywood studio system* was watching The Voices close out Sundance London 2014. A dark comedy thriller with talking animals directed by an Iranian-born French woman precisely sums up the benefits and importance of independent cinema.
A short Q&A session with the director and lead actors followed the screening. Ryan Reynolds, no stranger to independent film, was asked what drew him to the role of Jerry Hickfang.
Ryan: “Well I wasn’t going to do Green Lantern 2, so…”
Gemma Arterton commented on the benefits of working outside of the studio system. One being the freedom to shoot the movie where they wanted.
Gemma: “We shot the film in Germany. German crews are the best.”
Ryan: “Well, lately. Not so much in the Forties.”
Unapologetically making no effort to educate public opinion on mental health issues, the director, Marjane Satrapi, said the script appealed simply because “[it was] so fucked up I had to do it.”
Which is awesome.
* Laremy Legel’s concisely subtitled See Change: How Studios Abandoned Women to Focus on Sequels and Superheroes - And Why It’s Ruining Cinema is equal parts informative and depressing.