Larry Clark, of Kids and Bully fame, will debut his new film Marfa Girl at the Rome Film Festival on Monday, November 12. According to Clark, it will be the only time the film plays on the big screen, as it will be released solely on larryclark.com, Clark’s “first and only” site. Renting the film for 24 hours will cost $5.99.

Marfa Girl will be Clark’s first film since 2006 (Wassup Rockers and, if you were watching closely, Impaled.) It looks to involve all of Clark’s old standbys: sex, drugs and minors.

But it also marks one more film in a tepid trend towards eliminating the middleman in independent filmmaking. Put another way, a trend towards independent distribution as well as production.

It’s been slow going, but should be ideal for Clark, who has a sturdy core of fans. For those fans, his name will probably be reason enough to cough up $5.99.

But online, and video on demand, releases rub many the wrong way, because they’re inherently small-screen releases. Many cinephiles are loathe to abandon theatrical exhibition (as are myriad film artists.)

Laptop cinephilia is on the rise though, and we’ll likely see more and more directors selling their work online as art house theaters close their doors. I think the notion of independently distributing online is extremely exciting, as cutting out a corporate distributor could mean commercially feasible filmmaking on a smaller and smaller scale. At a time when low-budget indie often still implies a multimillion dollar budget, that’s pretty attractive.

Of course, all of this depends on the existence of viewers like you who are willing to experience watching a brand new film on their own small screen. So: check out Marfa Girl at larryclark.com on Wednesday– available immediately after its premier in Rome. 

-Max Berwald

(photo: Larry Clark, 2012. Tumblr.)


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