Five Minute Film Guide: Every Indie Film Opening This Weekend (12/16/11 Edition)

on December 16, 2011 by Sara Maria Vizcarrondo


Jodie Foster and Kate Winslet go gloriously head-to-head in this chamber play directed by ever-controversial Roman Polanski. Set in the cushy environs of upscale Manhattan, two pairs of parents battle delicately over an altercation between their sons: one wielded a stick, the other broke a tooth. But as with the couples, the baddies are hard to pinpoint.
Director: Roman Polanski
Writer: Yasmina Reza
Stars: Jodie Foster, Kate Winslet, John C. Reilly, Christoph Waltz



Cook County
On first sight, casting soft, blue-eyed Xander Berkeley as an ex-con mending ties with his son in backwater American seems...ill-advised. But Berkeley does good in this SXSW winner about a dad who comes home to his kids in time to see his brother raising them in a meth lab. Shotguns dole out swift justice in this family drama.
Director: David Pomes
Writer: David Pomes
Stars: Anson Mount, Xander Berkeley, Ryan Donowho

Satan Hates You
Inspired by the "golden age" of Christian propaganda film, this horror is out to prove that if God is love, Satan is hate. The dark lord targets a sociopath and a slut for his gleeful, impish punishments. Indie scream stars Michael Berryman (The Hills Have Eyes) Angus Scrimm (Phantasm), Debbie Rochon (Tromeo & Juliet) and Larry Fessenden (everything else) add street cred.
Director: James Felix McKenney
Writer: James Felix McKenney
Stars: Don Wood, Christine Spencer, Angus Scrimm

The Pill
Fred likes being single, but still gets swept up in a one-night stand with Mindy, a free spirit/wild card he's not sure he wants to see again. When she tells him she's not on the pill, an unprotected-evening becomes a day-after punctuated with emergency contraception. Fred loiters with fake affections until Pill #2 is swallowed and they fall for each otherwithout the awkward pretenses.
Director: J.C. Khoury
Writer: J.C. Khoury
Stars: Noah Bean, Rachel Boston, Anna Chlumsky


Addiction Incorporated
Scientist Dr. Victor DeNoble worked for cigarette maker Philip Morris CO around 30 years ago and his findings forced the industry to choose between making their cigarettes more addictive cigarettes or less deadly. As this is a David & Goliath story, I'm sure you know which they chose. Archive footage reigns in this anti-corruption doc.
Director: Charles Evans Jr.

Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel
Exploitation moviemaker Roger Corman has been an indie filmmaking workhorse for nearly six decades. From his willfully low-budget movie production house, he's trained many of the industry's biggest names. Director Alex Stapleton interviews Nicholson, Bogdanovich, Demme and more about this elegant, stubborn man and his love of monster movies.
Director: Alex Stapleton

Daguerrotypes/ Daguerréotypes
This documentary about shopkeepers on the rue Daguerre in Paris was released in France in 1976 but sees US theaters for the first time this week. With a title that pithily recalls the name of the earliest glass printed photographs, this doc is one of many odes to the people who live near the Grand Dame of the French New Wave, director Agnès Varda.
Director: Agnès Varda

Empty Quarter
Oregon farmland is roughly one-third the state's landmass but only contains two percent of its population. This doc takes an old-school tack to telling the stories of the locals. Interviewing Basque sheepherders, Paiute Indians, Latino immigrants, and more this doc admires the loneliness of the landscape and respects the "fat of the land."
Director: Pam Minty, Alain Letourneau

Sleepless Nights Stories
Jonas Mekas, the 90-year-old founder of Film Forum in NY and one of the most important contributors to American Avant Garde film made this "journal film" out of his visits with friends. He visits loved ones late in the night: singer Byork, actor Louis Garrel, artists Louis Borgeois, Yoko Ono, Marina Abramović among many others walk down insomnia lane with him.
Director: Jonas Mekas


Spellbound World
Plagued with visions of the dead, Yeo-Ri's skill with ghosts is noticed by a street magician who incorporates her into his act. When she drinks too much at a dinner-party the ghosts rudely insinuate themselves during cocktail hour, taking control of their medium and wreaking many-layered habit over the guests' may-layered dip.
Director: Hwang In-Ho
Writer: Hwang In-Ho
Stars: Son Ye-jin


Tags: Carnage, Cook County, Satan Hates You, The Pill, Addiction Incorporated, Corman's World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel, Daguerrotypes, Empty Quarter, Sleepless Nights Stories, Spellbound World

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