Why A24 is the best film production company right now
A24 is the film production company that has specialized in releasing arthouse films, such as Moonlight and Spring Breakers. Their strategy has paid off with critical acclaim, as they’ve currently already received 24 Oscar nominations.
One of the biggest narratives in culture is to say something is dead. TV is dead, cinema is dead, and music is dead. Anyone who is over 5 years old, knows that’s not true. Culture is too vast to go extinct, and although certain genres can fluctuate in popularity (horror is a good example here) they will never go entirely out of fashion. At the moment the narrative of cinema appears to be controlled by Netflix, and it’s true we have also spend a lot of time writing about the streaming giant disrupting the big screen experience (see How Netflix is banned at Cannes, the problem with film aspect ratio on Netflix, and Netflix’ attempts at localization. It’s also true superhero films are dominating the big screen, but that doesn’t mean there’s no space left for great smaller films. And perhaps no company has been better at releasing those recently than A24.
A24 was founded in 2012, specializes in film distribution, and kicked things off with the unassuming A Glimpse Inside the Mind of Charles Swan III. This was a simpler time, when having Charlie Sheen as the star of your movie still seemed like a good idea. Since then however, the logo has popped up in front of some of our favorite recent movies. Here’s an overview.
Spring Breakers (2013, dir. Harmony Korine, cast: James Franco, Selena Gomez): This is a divisive film, but it’s also a true uncompromised work, in this case from the mind of director Harmony Korine. The movie sends up our society’s shift towards vapidness, with protagonists that are either bikini-clad teenagers or James Franco’s Alien, a wigger we still quote occasionally. Look at my shit indeed.
Under The Skin (2014, dir. Jonathan Glazer, cast: Scarlett Johansson): Director Jonathan Glazer doesn’t work much, but when he does his films are a must-watch. Before this he made Sexy Beast (from 2000), and Birth (from 2004). For this tale of an alien (played by Johansson) who moves through Glasgow, Scotland feeding on men he relied less on B-movie schlock such as Species than on older classy Sci-Fi fare such as 2001: A Space Odyssey and The Man Who Fell To Earth.
Ex Machina (2015, dir. Alex Garland, cast: Alicia Vikander, Domnhall Gleeson, Oscar Isaac): Speaking of great Sci-Fi films, Ex Machina would be in our top 5 for this decade. The movie proves good Sci-Fi can still be seen on the big screen, and not just as Black Mirror episodes. This is a riveting three character piece, focused around an AI robot.
Good Time (2017, dir. Josh & Bennie Safdie, cast: Robert Pattinson, Jennifer Jason Leigh): No other film in recent history has riveted us as much as this tale of a robbery gone wrong. This movie is pure energy on film, powered by a pulsating soundtrack from electronic artist Oneohtrix Point Never. It’d be a shame to get into details about this one, but let’s just say you’ll fully embrace Pattinson as a proper actor after having seen it.
Those are our favorites from A24, but it’s been difficult to pick! As we mentioned the studio has been responsible for some of our favorite recent fare, and beyond these we also loved/liked movies such as The Spectacular Now, Enemy, Locke, Obvious Child, The Rover, A Most Violent Year, While We’re Young, Slow West, The End of The Tour, Mississippi Grind, Room, The Witch, Green Room, The Lobster, De Palma, Swiss Army Man, American Honey, It Comes At Night, Moonlight, The Disaster Artist, The Florida Project, and of course A Ghost Story.
It’s one hell of a list, especially given that the company has only been active since 2013. In terms of upcoming movies we are especially looking forward to seeing First Reformed, which we covered in our article on Ethan Hawke’s upcoming movies.
If you want to see the full list of A24’s movies, then head over here.