San Luis Obispo gets its yearly dose of cinema culture for the week of March 7 for the first SLO Film Festival.

This year expects to be promising with the premiere of Morgan Freeman’s newest film “Lucky Number Slevin.” It promises to be a must-see, especially with a resume like Freeman’s. (That excludes “Chain Reaction” with Keanu Reeves in 1996.) Freeman also will be the 2006 recipient of the King Vidor award, given yearly to a distinguished Hollywood star.

On a more personal level, I highly enjoy the film festivals due to their original selections. To my enjoyment, they don’t pick the overnumber movies of this generation that are either less-than-popular sequels or gut-wrenching remakes.

The current film industry is on a steep downward spiral to movie hell where the only savior is the likes of Stanley Kubrick to an early Steven Spielberg. George Lucas too, in his early days of “THX 1138,” can be considered a genius. But after finishing the “Star Wars” movies with Hayden Christensen in the lead, Lucas lost my respect.

Hollywood needs to stop butchering classics in horrific remakes, such as Peter Jackson’s “King Kong,” which may have had cool effects, but lacked the original feel of the English-dubbed 1933 original. If Jackson doesn’t watch out in future films, he will develop a repertoire of the overdone “epic film” genre.

Remakes are not the only problem. Screenwriters need to write better scripts with non-cliche, sex-ridden plots that can be found in any California college town.

I enjoy movies with a bit more depth that haunt you far after the film is over. This is the sole reason why foreign or independent movies are my choice pick at Insomniac U, or movies at the Palm.

The SLO Film Festival is one of many across the world that previews the best in independent cinema.

Some of more critically-acclaimed movies have won festival awards at Cannes, Venice and Toronto. Movies like Jean-Luc Godard’s “Notre Musique” have picked up nominations and praise for their original and emotional feel.

But independent films are not only popular at unkown festivals. Consider Igmar Bergman’s 1982 masterpiece, “Fanny and Alexander,” which won “best foreign language film” at the 1983 Academy Awards.

With a majority of great movies, most made in pre-1998, there are fantastic movies few and far between in the upcoming months. Check out “Mysterious Skin” and “Brick,” which both have potential for a great watch.

Nick Coury is a journalism senior and Mustang Daily staff writer, as well as an avid foreign film watcher and horror-movie junkie.

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