What Rogue Cinema Means to Me – By Philip Smolen

NOTE: The opinions expressed here are by the author only.

There’s been a quiet cinematic revolution going on within the pages of this webzine for the past 10 years. It started slowly. Back in June of 2004, the first issue of Rogue Cinema contained only 19 items. Two interviews, seven articles and 10 (count ‘em!) 10 reviews. But just like indie cinema itself, Rogue Cinema grew. Within two years, the number of reviews and articles doubled. By 2014, it has more than tripled. And believe it or not, this site has real street cred. Last year I covered the Tribeca Film Festival (in New York City) for Rogue. I’ll never forget going up to the sign up area and getting my press ID. The attendant asked for my name and organization (I had to show them my driver’s license to prove I was who I said I was) and when I told her, she looked at me and said “Oh, we like Rogue Cinema. There’s always great stuff there.”

And just like the webzine, my cinematic revolution started slowly. I first approached Duane Martin back in May of 2009 and asked about contributing to the magazine. He said sure and guided me for those first few months as I wrote about genre topics and classic sci-fi and horror films. It was a good way to get my feet wet. After a couple of years, I asked if I could start reviewing some indie films. Duane said sure, and once again he guided me. Then I started reaching out to the filmmakers themselves for interviews. I wanted to get the word out on the incredible work that these amazing filmmakers put out.

And that brings me to my point. Rogue Cinema is about opportunities and heart, just like the films that it supports. This webzine gives a powerful voice to a burgeoning industry that’s revolutionizing movies. Indie cinema used to be thought of as contemptible by the uninformed. Now, indie cinema is alt-Hollywood. There are so many talented writers and directors and actors and musicians in indie cinema that they can literally make any kind of movie that they want. The passion that these incredible people bring to the screen is unbelievable. And I have seen so many wonderful films, that I believe that indie cinema is one of the last growth industries in America.

And that is why Rogue Cinema is here. Yes, there are other great indie websites out there, but for me Rogue Cinema is special. What you see is what you get. There’s no three card monty going on here. Our writers are amazing and they write with passion about the films that they review. Their interviews with filmmakers are honest as well.

This webzine has stood the test of time even though it gets difficult sometimes to get it out every month. Duane Martin is like the pied piper. And he’s attracted terrific writers and talented filmmakers month after month. I am deeply honored to be a part of this place and my articles, reviews and interviews for Rogue are some of the best things that I have ever written.

I would like to thank Duane, all of my fellow Rogue writers and the filmmakers that I have interviewed over the last five years for their time, training and infectious enthusiasm. Rock on Rogue Cinema. As Ray Davies once shouted out: “You really got me!”