BOXOFFICE.COM FEATURED INDEPENDENT FILM:
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia/ Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da Wed, 1/4/12
Some critics said Nuri Bilge Ceylan (Climates, Three Monkeys) was responsible for a new wave in Turkish cinema, which puts him in the right place to make this drama about men scouring the Anatolian steppes for a dead body—all the while testing themselves against the land they call their country. This is the Turkish bid for the 2011 Foreign film Oscar.
Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Writers: Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Ebru Ceylan
Stars: Muhammet Uzuner, Yilmaz Erdogan, Taner Birsel
Beneath the Darkness Fri, 1/6/12
Dennis Quaid gets dark (or maybe "beneath dark?") in this mystery about a brutal teen murder the local high schoolers learn was perpetrated by the town hero. We may want to file this film under "Mystery?" because giving up the killer in the premise doesn't leave a whole lot to unearth.
Director: Martin Guigui
Writer: Bruce Wilkinson
Stars: Dennis Quaid, Tony Oller, Aimee Teegarden
Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same Fri, 1/6/12
A mild-mannered greeting card store employee falls for a woman she doesn't realize is an alien. Luckily co-dependence is an intergalactic language and the two get on famously, even despite the encroaching men in black. This one was a hit at Sundance and played fests a bit before its ultimate opening in NY's ReRun Gastropub theater.
Director: Madeleine Olnek
Writer: Madeleine Olnek
Stars: Lisa Haas, Susan Ziegler, Jackie Monahan
After carrying the cowbell for one too many renditions of "Don't Fear the Reaper," The Blue Oyster Cult fired Jimmy the roadie. So he returns to his mother with no idea how to hold his own or help her through a sickness that threatens to kill her. Only knowing one way to live, Jimmy parties until he realizes there's no roadie to carry him home.
Director: Michael Cuesta
Writers: Gerald Cuesta, Michael Cuesta
Cast: Ron Eldard, Jill Hennessy, Lois Smith, Bobby Cannavale
Hit Me With Music 1/8/12 doc
While the legacy of reggae music includes many names, the great Bob Marley is still the genre's figurehead. Today, the genre's spanned many different musical waves and evolved into not only a different style, but sound for a different locale: "Dancehall." This undistributed doc about reggae's transition into ragga and dancehall plays Maysles center in Harlem.
Director: Miquel Galofré
It's About You Wed, 1/4/12 Doc
The other music documentary out this week, It's About You, is the John Mellencamp doc that merges the rootsy and single amp ethos of Mellencamp with 8mm footage to dig into the spirit of Mellencamp's unique brand of Americana.
Directors: Ian Markus, Kurt Markus
Norwegian Wood/Noruwei no mori Fri, 1/6/12
Japanese novelist Haruki Murakami is, like most important novelists, criticized for his depiction of his countrymen and their shared culture. And in this romance, his protagonist watches his best friend commit suicide and find a form of lust in the grief he shares with his dead friend's lover.
Director: Anh Hung Tran
Writers: Anh Hung Tran
Stars: Rinko Kikuchi, Ken'ichi Matsuyama, Kiko Mizuhara
Players Fri, 1/6/12
Charlie Masceranhas is an accountant by day and a thief by night—how he's hidden his identity is a feat, particularly because of his name: how many Masceranhases can there be in the phone book? Charlie aims to steal a massive gold shipment. He may have math skills but what about logic? Gold is heavy.
Starring: Abhishek Bachchan, Bipasha Basu, Bobby Deol, Sonam Kapoor
Director: Abbas Mastan
Writer: Sudip Sharma
The Hunter Wed, 1/4/12
The writer/director of Sanam (the film French critics heralded as "the Iranian 400 Blows") comes to the states with The Hunter, a drama about an accidental manslaughter that leads the cops to the killer—but their form of justice is more brutal than the inadvertent act it inspired.
Director: Rafi Pitts
Writer: Rafi Pitts
Stars: Rafi Pitts, Mitra Hajjar, Malek Jahan Khazai