Founded in 2012, A24 is an American independent film studio that also specializes in TV production. Since breaking out on the indie scene, they’ve slowly built up fame and popularity (not to mention high-profile Academy Awards wins), to the point that they’ve become one of the premier representatives of Hollywood independent cinema today.
The studio is characterized by granting artistic freedom to the filmmakers, but most of their films have some hard-to-explain similarities – an atmosphere, if you will. That’s why it’s always nice to discover movies that may look like they were produced by A24, but in reality aren’t.
A Gruesome Climb Out of Hell – ‘Mandy’ (2018)
Mandystarring Nicolas Cage in one of his best modern roles, is like a slow descent into hell and a bloody, grueling climb out of it. It’s about Red Miller (Cage), a broken man who hunts down the cult that killed the love of his life. Be warned, the clip below contains graphic content that is everywhere mandy.
A24 loves to produce visually stunning horror movies full of color like Midsommar and Climaxbut also to give these stories a sense of mystery and a slow burning rhythm. Mandy checks all those boxes and more, delivering a thoughtful and contemplative yet loud, gory and over-the-top film about doomed love.
Who gets the favor of the queen? — ‘The Favourite’ (2018)
Known for his absurdist writing and bizarre style, Yorgos Lanthimos and A24 are pretty much a match made in heaven. The favoriteone of his best-known films, follows the rivalry between a pair of cousins (Emma Stone and Rachel Weisz) as they compete to become Queen Anne’s favorite (Olivia Colman).
The film has an oddly pleasing visual aesthetic, a compelling story, captivating performances and sharp humor that is beyond eccentric, traits you can see in many A24 productions. That this isn’t one is as weird as the movie itself.
Beauty Is Cruel – ‘The Neon Demon’ (2016)
Nicolas Winding Refn‘s The Neon Demon is a gripping horror film about an aspiring model who, after moving to LA, has her youth and vitality devoured by a group of beauty-obsessed women.
Many A24 films attempt to redefine the boundaries of cinema as an art form and question traditional notions of beauty. As such, it may come as a surprise that this film, which is a study and critique of beauty and aesthetics, was not produced by the famed independent studio.
Have no regrets, remember – ‘Portrait of a Lady on Fire’ (2019)
Yet another famous independent film studio in Hollywood, NEON has been producing countless films for years that exude a strong A24 vibe. But if you had to pick just a handful that did that most noticeably, then what? Celine Sciamma‘s Portrait of a burning ladyabout a female painter who has to make the wedding portrait of a young woman, would certainly not be missing.
The film is a beautiful and contemplative romantic LGBT drama with cinematography as beautiful as the portraits of the protagonists, deliberately slow pacing, and a character-focused story that often pushes its own boundaries, reminiscent of the Oscar-winning film. award-winning film from A24 Moonlight.
She did *what* with that car?! — ‘Titan’ (2021)
Titane is another NEON production, without a doubt one of the strangest. It is a stylish and surreal drama about a former firefighter (Vincent Lindon) who is reunited with his son (Agathe Rousselle) after being missing for 10 years. Once again… Is he his son? Or is something very strange going on?
Titane is an experience you just have to see to believe. It’s about two lonely, broken souls who come together to ease each other’s pain; it’s about fatherhood, sexuality and femininity, and it’s an absolutely mind-boggling movie that you just can’t forget.
In this Oscar-nominated film, a drummer begins to lose his hearing and must come to terms with the silent future that lies ahead.
Sound of metal is a film as powerful as it is heartbreaking, which can also be said of many A24 films. It definitely has that cozy indie feel, along with great performances (led by Riz Ahmed), a complex story and pushing the boundaries of cinema as an art form in the form of one of the best sound designs in any film of the 2000s.
What are the limits of love? — ‘Hair’ (2013)
Spike Jonze‘s wonderful romantic sci-fi drama is the story of Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), a lonely man who begins to fall in love and start a relationship with a newly developed operating system, voiced by Scarlett Johansson.
A24 movies like to think about themes like human nature and the characteristics of love, so Hair feels like a movie that’s right up their alley. It can get a little bizarre at times, which fits the studio in question perfectly; but at its core it is a bittersweet little film about loneliness, comfort and love.
A Summer on the Italian Waterfront – ‘Call Me By Your Name’ (2017)
Yet another romantic LGBT drama that would feel right at home among A24’s series of films, call me by your name tells the fleeting romance that blossoms between a teenager on the verge of adulthood (Timothy Chalamet) and an older man (Army Hammer) was hired as his father’s research assistant.
The setting of Northern Italy provides a beautiful backdrop for this sweet but ultimately sad love story, where the characters move poetically through the story, helping the themes develop slowly.
He prepared them for anything but the real world – ‘Captain Fantastic’ (2016)
Captain Fantastic may sound like a superhero movie, but it’s anything but. It’s basically a film about a father who raises his six children in isolation in the forests of the Pacific Northwest, and the problems that arise when he has to reintegrate them into society after a tragic event.
Viggo Mortensen plays the lead beautifully, and the supporting cast is fantastic. The film feels like one of A24’s more quirky, less overwhelming forays. It is a super endearing film about fatherhood, masculinity and learning to deal with trauma.
Famous But Tormented – ‘At Eternity’s Gate’ (2018)
What, if it wasn’t a NEON movie, would it have been worthy of being considered the most A24-esque movie not actually produced by the studio? Julian Schnabel‘s At the gate of eternity follows Vincent van Gogh (played by Willem Dafoe) while spending the last years of his life in France, painting masterpieces of the world around him.
The film is as hauntingly beautiful as any of Van Gogh’s paintings, an absolutely mesmerizing and stylishly poetic exploration of the deepest recesses of a man’s fragmented soul. It is a love letter to Vincent, to art and to the film itself. While it’s not an A24 film, it’s well worth standing shoulder to shoulder with the studio’s best films.
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