The Realities of the No-Budget Film
What I'm wondering is if, by the nature of this particular medium, it's actually necessary to have a moderate budget to make great art.
A painter needs only his or talent and imagination. It matters not if you're painting an epic scene or a hovel. The cost of the paint and canvas is the same.
Same goes for a novelist. Pen, paper, a word processor -- the cost of the medium's materials are the same no matter who you are.
For film, though, the imagination can be stifled by the financial requirements of the medium.
This isn't anyone's fault. It just is. It's the condition under which all filmmakers must work.
For example, while I've learned to adapt to the current circumstances, my imagination -- even for a low budget film like Endings -- frequently outstrips my budgetary situation.
Can anyone name great film art made for less than $100,000 (just to throw out a random low figure)? Sure there are major indie successes like Clerks and The Blair Witch Project, but I don't consider those great art so much as great leaps forward for indie film. Amusing and/or interesting films, perhaps even innovative, but not great art.
So, gentle readers -- can you name truly no-budget films that are great art (with no caveats or excuses made for the budget limitations)?