Welcome to The Small Movies Project

Hello, my name is Mark, and I am the prime mover behind this site. I am a middle-aged Middle American who started this site in 2020 to replace the Big Ten football I wasn’t able to watch thanks to some virus. I have written on the internet about Big Ten football for twenty years, mostly in the form of a weekly predictions column called Pickin’ on the Big Ten, which has appeared on USENET, my now-defunct personal website, the also-defunct sites FanHouse, Midwest Sports Fans, Bigger Ten, and XOFan, and which currently appears on Go Iowa Awesome. But without football to fill my Saturdays, I’m turning to the movies. Not just any movies. Small ones. Movies that get overlooked by almost everyone.

I have my friend Paul to thank for my interest in smaller movies. When we were in college he suggested we watch a movie he liked: Indian Summer. I’d never heard of it before. It was released in 1993, cost $9 million to make, and earned $14 million at the box office. Hardly a blockbuster. And it’s not a unique movie at all. It’s The Big Chill set at a summer camp. The only huge stars in it are Alan Arkin and Bill Paxton. But I fell in love with this mediocre, derivative movie for one simple reason: It’s beautifully filmed. The story is crap but it’s a great movie to watch.

Since then my taste in movies has changed — as it should have after a quarter century — and I have grown to love movies that aren’t trying to start a franchise, aren’t based on already well-known properties, didn’t cost ziggabucks to make, and may not even be all that great but still offer something cool to take in and enjoy. My hope with this project is see some more hidden-gem movies that I might have overlooked and to go a bit at an angle to the sort of personal movie blogs that are out there. I thank you for joining me and hope you enjoy the site.

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