Indie Reviews - Genre, Cult, Unique

Panic Fest 2016 Review: EVERLASTING Fragments A Young Woman's Fall

A young woman runs laughing in a field - and in a blur. "Catch me!", she shouts, eluding both her addressee and even the camera's focus. Sunlit, soft and slo-mo, the opening images of Anthony Stabley's Everlasting may suggest something... More »
By Anton Bitel   
  

Review: HOW TO EAT YOUR WATERMELON IN WHITE COMPANY (AND ENJOY IT) Gets Revolutionary

Melvin Van Peebles is an amazing real-life character. As documented in Joe Angio's How to Eat Your Watermelon in White Company (And Enjoy It), Van Peebles lived his life as he saw fit from an early age, following his artistic... More »
By Peter Martin   
  

Now On Blu-ray: SAMURAI COP 2: DEADLY VENGEANCE Is A Movie That Got Made

Amir Shervan's Samurai Cop (1991) was a miracle of modern megalomania.Shervan's film, the tale of a samurai trained renegade LA cop taking down the yakuza in the USA, is the rarest of beasts. A cult film that earned its cult... More »
By J Hurtado   
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: FRANCOFONIA Shows All Is Fair In Art, Except War

When you look at his filmography, it is no secret that Russian director Aleksandr Sokurov loves history and art, and most of his works are meditations on those two subjects. One of his most heralded films, Russian Ark, was a... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Springbok Cinema Review: THE ACTOR Transcends Its Existential Demons

"Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask and he will tell you the truth."  - Oscar WildeThe Actor made my Springbok Cinema list for 2015, putting it among the very best South African... More »
By Stuart Muller   
  

Slamdance 2016 Review: IF THERE'S A HELL BELOW Offers Prime Post-Snowden Intrigue

Nathan Williams' debut feature steps onto the independent film stage with the calm, steady aim of a confident marksman ready to make the shot. A meticulously crafted tale of government secrets and whistle blowers in a post Edward Snowden world,... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2016 Review: SPA NIGHT, A Quietly Striking And Mature Debut

Much like its lead, articulation has failed me in the days since watching and processing Andrew Ahn's glorious Spa Night. The film presents itself with such ease and confidence that its easy to miss its complexities at first glance. A... More »
  

Sundance 2016 Review: THE FITS, Or Maybe All Girls Are Magic

What makes a black girl fly? Is it her magic-- the frightful inheritance of her sex? Or is it illusory? (the shape of their hips in blue and gold sequins...) What makes a black girl fly? Is it her fear... More »
  

Rotterdam 2016 Review: LOWLIFE LOVE Is Crafty, Filthy And Bitter

In Uchida Eiji's new film Lowlife Love, we get a nasty peek at the underbelly of the Japanese independent film scene. These are not the indies with a low budget, these are the indies with no budget, often made by... More »
By Ard Vijn   
  

Slamdance 2016 Review: EXCURSIONS, The Best Worst Trip

Sometimes you just have to get away. Far, far away. Sometimes you can't see the forest for the trees. And sometimes those trees seem to get to talking to you. Fuck.Filmmakers Daniel Martinico & Hugo Armstrong came to Slamdance in... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2016 Review: EMBERS, Fresh And Fascinating Sci-Fi

When we talk about ourselves we are building the conversation off a varied, often strange and impressionistic collection of moments stored over the culminating years of our lives. When we talk about ourselves, we talk about our memories. The time... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2016 Review: DARK NIGHT, Scenes From The New American Apocalypse

Close your eyes. Picture the scenes:

You gotta keep your head down. She runs hers hands through your hair; it must feel like walking barefoot on freshly cut grass, it's so short. The burnt orange dye bleeds into your scalp. You... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Blu-ray Review: Criterion's INSIDE LLEWYN DAVIS, The Full Ballad

"If it was never new and it never gets old, then it's a folk song."--Llewyn Davis.A great folk ballad has a powerfully worded chorus, then journeys through a descending series of verses to emote its hard-luck tale. By the time... More »
By Zach Gayne   
  

Sundance 2016 Review: NEWTOWN, A Simple Tale Of Universal Grief

The horror of what took place on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook elementary school captured the world's attention. A young man, armed with an assault rifle, handgun and plenty of ammunition, walked through his old school and butchered... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Slamdance 2016 Review: DRIFTWOOD, On The Strange Life Of Objects

Against the onslaught of the crashing surf we arise into a world of soft, foaming white. From a distance, we can make out an approaching figure. Soon we see it's a she, a young woman, soaked to the bone, shivering... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2016 Review: CHRISTINE, A Report On The Art Of Self-Destruction

Performance>Perfection>Breakdown.

No. That's not right. Run the film again. What do we see: A woman in her late twenties, dark hair, big eyes, tall; walking down the halls of a TV station. Take the splicer to the footage. Chop it in... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Sundance 2016 Review: THE GREASY STRANGLER, Absolutely Disgusting, Yet Strangely Funny

The weird and disgusting genre has always had a home in the midnight film lineup. Enter Jim Hosking and his go at taking over the throne as weirdest and most disgusting midnighter with The Greasy Strangler. Well, good work, Mr.... More »
By Ryland Aldrich   
  

Sundance 2016 Review: SWISS ARMY MAN Is Surprisingly Glorious

What do you want from the world of independent cinema? Well, ideally you'd like a story told without the overt constraints of market, where filmmakers can tell a tale to a wide enough audience that appreciates without sacrificing to... More »
By Jason Gorber   
  

Sundance 2016 Review: OPERATION AVALANCHE, For The Love Of Cinema

There is a lure to the film camera that is almost primal. It draws you in, ever closer, a potent combo of machine and magic. Pressed against your ear, your cheek, the click-whir miracle of celluloid is god calling you... More »
By Ben Umstead   
  

Slamdance 2016 Review: DEAD HANDS DIG DEEP Only Scratches The Surface

There is much within Jai Love's Dead Hands Dig Deep (which premiered at Slamdance 2016 tonight) that is meant to shock us --- from footage of genitals and other body parts being pierced with screws and bolts, to a flap of skin... More »
  
 
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