Monday, December 16, 2013

REEL'S INDIE PICKS OF 2013 by Pamela Powell

What constitutes an "indie flick" anymore?  The definition has changed over the years and the lines have become blurred.  It used to be that any film made outside the Hollywood studio system was considered an independent film.  These films were made in opposition to the traditional and powerful Hollywood system.   Now, these large production companies have their own subsidiaries that cater to the smaller "independent" films.  These companies go to the film festivals, searching for the next "Silver Linings Playbook," purchase the rights and then distribute the film.  But that's not the case with all films.  Many of the smaller films never get picked up by the bigger companies for distribution.  Luckily with technology where it is, the films can at least be picked up and seen via VOD (Video On Demand).

While some may not consider films like "Silver Linings Playbook" to be independent due to its star power, it did meet the criteria of the Independent Spirit Awards.  It was at least 70 minutes, it played in a theater for at least one week, it was at one of six key film festivals and it had a budget of less than $20 million.  Ok, it was $21 million, but what's a million bucks?  Minor detail.  Oh, if only someone would make that mistake in my paycheck!  Anyway, I have my own thoughts on independent films.  While all of these criteria are great, I love finding that hidden gem of a film that most people don't know about.   I wanted to share with you my top list of independent films that perhaps will never play in your town's theater, but you will be able to see on VOD or DVD in the near future.  Perhaps it's a film that the marketing just wasn't there or maybe the film will only appeal to a smaller group of people.  Whatever the case may be, there are some great films out there that are worth your time and money to see.  Please note that these are not in any ranked order.  Most (but alas not all) films have been reviewed on my blog.  Check it out!  Click on the link for the trailer!  See these movies!

Here they are:

"It's a Disaster," written and directed by Todd Berger and starring Julia Stiles and David Cross
IT'S A DISASTER movie trailer

2.  "Fruitvale Station," written and directed by Ryan Coogler and starring Octavia Spencer and Michael B. Jordan

3.  "Between Us," written and directed by Dan Mirvish starring Julia Stiles, Taye Diggs and David Harbour.  Dan Mirvish will be my first guest on the new NPR show THE REEL FOCUS in January 2014. BETWEEN US movie trailer

4. "Struck by Lightning" written by Chris Colfer and starring Mr. Colfer, Rebel Wilson, and Allison Janney  STRUCK BY LIGHTNING movie trailer
5.  "Hours," written and directed by Eric Heisserer and starring Paul Walker.  HOURS movie trailer
6.  "The East," written and directed by Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling, starring Alexander Skarsgard and Ellen Page.  THE EAST movie trailer
7.  "In a World," Lake Bell's first feature film that she has written, directed, and starred in along with Jeff Garlin, Fred Melamed, and Rob Corddry.  IN A WORLD movie trailer
8.  "Some Velvet Morning," with Alice Eve and Stanley Tucci, written and directed by the playwright Neil LaBute  SOME VELVET MORNING movie trailer
9.  "August: Osage County" (This one pushes the limits to me on the definition of "independent" because of the mega star power, but it was written by Chicagoan and Steppenwolf actor and director Tracy Letts so I had to include it!  We Chicagoans stick together, ya know!)  AUGUST: OSAGE COUNTY movie trailer
10.  "Enough Said" starring Julia Louis-Dreyfus and the late James Gandolfini, written and directed by Nicole Holofcener  ENOUGH SAID movie trailer
11.  "Blue Jasmine," written and directed by Woody Allen, starring Cate Blanchett  BLUE JASMINE movie trailer
12. "No," starring Gael Garcia Bernal, written by Pedro Peirano and directed by Pablo Larrain
NO Movie Trailer
13.  "Nebraska" NEBRASKA movie trailer
14.  "Dallas Buyers Club"  DALLAS BUYERS CLUB movie trailer
15. "Mud" MUD movie trailer

Additional independent foreign films:

1.  Sightseers  SIGHTSEERS movie review
2.  Wadjda
3.  The Hunt
4.  Starbuck
5.  Instructions Not Included
6.  Banklady
7.  The Patience Stone
8.  Northwest


1.  Blood BrothersBLOOD BROTHER movie review
2.  Honor Diaries
3.  20 Feet From Stardom
4.  Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me
5.  The Genius of Marian
6. The Project
7.  The Rider and the Storm
8.  My Name is Faith

Movies to watch for later this month and early in 2014 include:

1.  Favor  FAVOR movie review
2.  Eat, Spirit, Eat
3.  Twenty Million People
4.  Mistaken For Strangers
5.  Labor Day
6.  Philomena
7  Breathe In

Keep checking back as I will be adding films as I recall them...that's the beauty of a blog!

No comments:

Post a Comment