November 16, 2011

Dispatches From The Indie Film World

There was a period of my life where I thought that "Independent" movies meant they were some how related to "Independence Day," which would mean they would involve aliens, Will Smith, and mass destruction of landmarks. Well, that period ended about two days ago and I can no report I have recently seen two great independent films that are def worth checking out and are not connected to "Independence Day."

Martha Marcy May Marlene - This dynamite film tells the story about a young woman (the superb Elizabeth Olsen) who escapes from a Charles Manson like cult and ends up staying with her sister and brother in law. As the film progresses we see both what her life was like at the cult and how she is having a really difficult time adjusting to the real world. The film is anchored by Olsen's dynamite performance and it's expert slow burn of just how sinister things got at the cult and just what impact they could have outside of the cult's grounds. John Hawkes, so money in "Winter's Bone" gives another terrifying performance as the cult leader. I should say the film is intense, so if you're looking for something a little light hearted, check out "Puss in Boots." But if you're looking for a well acted, slow burn of a dramatic thriller, this is the one!

Like Crazy - Love is wild! Love is Awesome! Love is Painful! Love is Crazy! This great little flick which one the Grand Jury prize at Sundance tells the story of the relationship of Jacob (Anton Yelchin) and Ana (Felicity Jones) as they go through a wicked crazy long distance multi-year intense relationship. It's a very romantic film, so if you're looking for something that isn't about cults, this is a good pick, but I should say that it isn't all happy. Director Drake Doremus provides a honest unflinching look at young love, both it's joys and it's brutal low points. Overall, just an awesome flick.

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