Films are, more often than not, based on something else. Take a look at what your local cinema is showing right now; you’ll see sequels, prequels, reboots, adaptations, and spin-offs, but more than likely, very little original film-making of its own right. This is a double-edged sword; it’s sad, because we don’t see as much originality as we would like, but it does also allow us to treasure the original films we do see trickle through the multiplex.
This article is about the ten greatest, in this writer’s opinion. The ten greatest films, where the film came first. The ten most exciting, powerful, thrilling films that are original creations of the screenwriters, directors and actors. I know I’ve almost certainly missed some, but these are what I think they are. So, here we are; the ten greatest movies not based on anything that already existed…
10. Clerks (1994)
This is an ingenious little film, because it takes the revolutionary concept of bumming about with your friends whilst working in a job you don’t like, and turns it into comedy gold. It’s a loosely autobiographical film made primarily from the experiences of then first-time director Kevin Smith, and it’s one of those films that gets funnier the more times you seen it.
It might not be based on anything, but anyone who has ever done a shift in a rubbish job, or has even just spent a day having achieving nothing will seriously relate to this film; it is truthful, and dare I say it, almost profound, being intelligent enough to relish in the lifestyle of these characters whilst also hinting that actually it really isn’t leading them anywhere.
It certainly isn’t the definition of high-art, with its grubby black and white look, no-name cast and lewd outlook on sex and movies, but this adds to the originality and charm of it all. It’s almost like a filmed play; minimal sets are used, the actors just sit and talk, nothing much changes. Like the greatest conversations, however, you become involved even if the conversation is basically about nothing. The dialogue is acerbic and quotable, the film is fast and screamingly funny, and overall it’s a wholly original cult classic.
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