In a hilarious anecdote on his blog for Filmmaker Magazine, Scott Macaulay relates the problematic nature of the "Independent" shorts that play before every screening at Sundance. Apparently, the short that preceded one particular screening caused a journalist adjacent to Macaulay to grumble, "They may as well salute Al Qaeda…"
What are these spots? They're these cut-out animation pieces in which people in various professions explain why they're "independent," and they end with this happy music with lyrics like, "He's not working for the Man, he's an independent guy!" The thing is, in the spots I've seen so far, "independence" usually equates to incompetence or criminally malicious behavior [...] in the "independent demolition expert" spot, which prompted the "Al Qaeda" crack, an Afro'd blaxploitation queen demonstrates her "independence" at blowing up buildings, wrecking a suburban home and then accidentally blowing herself up. And again, the music, this time with a 70's funk arrangement — "She's not working for the Man, she's independent!" — after which all the corporate logos appear…. Curious.
Read the rest of this entry, check out Macaulay's blog at filmmakermagazine.com.