Five Minute Film Guide: Every Indie Film Opening This Weekend (2/10/12 Edition)

on February 10, 2012 by Sara Maria Vizcarrondo


By the mid '90s, multiple police brutality cases made the LAPD look like a band of bigots. The Rampart office had the worst record, and men like Woody Harrelson's Dave Brown were part of the problem. Dangerously comfortable with the sort of authority that puts a man in charge and destroys the system from the inside, his time on the force is up.
Director: Oren Moverman
Writers: Oren Moverman, James Ellroy
Stars: Woody Harrelson, Ben Foster, Sigourney Weaver


Death of the Virgin
May goes to a provincial town to take her vows for the convent, but the town is not the save haven of Catholic values and piety she was led to believe. Fingers crossed this indie horror enters Wicker Man territorywith or without a Nic Cage type running around screaming at bees.
Director: Joseph Tito
Writers: Joseph Tito, Silvio Oddi
Stars: Natasha Allan, Daniel Baldock, Maria Grazia Cucinotta

Exit Strategy
James has only been dating his GF for three months when an eviction forces his hand and they move in together. It's not going to workbut if he breaks up with her she'll kick him out, so the split has to be "her idea." In this fake marriage of real inconvenience, James' impotence is an afterthought of eviction.
Director: Michael Whitton
Writers: Jameel Saleem
Stars: Misty Alli, Rick Amieva, Noelle Balfour

Kung Fu Joe
If it had more sex in it, Kung Fu Joe totally could have starred Dirk Diggler. The title character is a detective/martial arts expert who tries to stop the terror when a local gang led by a hunchback starts threatening a neighborhood shopkeeper.
Director: Glen Berry
Writer: Glen Berry
Stars: Wilson Large, Victoria Maurette, Jeremy Parrish

Oscar Shorts
A must-see if you're planning an Oscar Party. Every year, Magnolia pictures wrangles the Oscar Shorts nominees from all three categories (Documentary, Fiction and Animated) into one feature presentation to allow audiences who would otherwise have less knowledge of them a chance to pit them all against each other. Your Oscar ballot will much easier to put together.
Director: Various
Writer: Various
Cast: Various

Private Romeo
These lovers don't need to be from feuding families to be star-crossed and ill fated. Inspired by Shakespeare's play, this adaptation resets the romance in a military school, where eight cadets studying Romeo and Juliet find the bard's tragedy a versatile and potent force in their own romantic dramas.
Director: Alan Brown
Writers: Alan Brown
Stars: Hale Appleman, Seth Numrich, Matt Doyle

Linda Cardellini returns from war unmoored and stumbling. She takes odd jobs and struggles to find some place in the everyday life she left behind for her tour. Impressive actors and performances abound in this drama of post-war recovery that co-stars Michael Shannon, one of the best actors we've got.
Director: Liza Johnson
Writer: Liza Johnson
Stars: Linda Cardellini, Michael Shannon, John Slattery

The Dish and the Spoon
Rose is a handful and gets worse when she finds her husband cheated on her. On a post-betrayal bender, she happens into a backpacking Brit who was ditched by the girl he chased to New England. Together they play-act traditions that would be totally functional if they weren't play, and the tenor of the romance (if you can call it that) is always bittersweet. A brilliant indie starring Greta Gerwig.
Director: Alison Bagnall
Writers: Alison Bagnall
Stars: Greta Gerwig, Olly Alexander, Eleonore Hendricks


Bonsai People
If you've been waiting for a doc about micro financing, wait no longer. Bonsai People looks at the phenomena Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus launched in both financial and social spheres to end world poverty and create sustainability in third world countries, one $100 goat at a time. Can we help each other? Yes, we can.
Director: Holly Mosher

I Am Bruce Lee
Packed with pugilists and personalities (Kobe Bryant, Mickey Rourke, Haywire's Gina Carano) this doc is less about who Bruce Lee was when he lived than it is about what Bruce Lee meant and how he lives on todayinside the guts of his countless fans, many of them bad asses, all of them eager to honor a role model.
Director: Pete McCormack

The Miners' Hymn
Coal mining used to be a dangerous trade, but it's become an increasingly mechanized industryand that mechanization has resulted in the end of a fairly massive working class trade and culture. British multimedia artist Bill Morrison speaks to the men and women who lived in Northeast England's Durham coalfield and excavates the landscape they mined for a living.
Director: Bill Morrison


Chico & Rita
A piano player and a singer fall for each other in Batista's Cuba, just in time to bear witness to the massive cultural shifts Latin music and culture will face at the hands of changing politics and the broadening of America's tastes. Their romance weaves its way through the century, as unforgettable and hard to control as the music the two of them play. Nominated for a Best Animation Oscar.
Directors: Tono Errando, Javier Mariscal, Fernando Trueba
Writers: Ignacio Martínez de Pisón, Fernando Trueba
Stars: Limara Meneses, Eman Xor Oña, Mario Guerra

Ek Main Air Ekk Tu
Previously called Short Term Shaadi, this RomCom begins with one too many cocktails in Vegas and ends with two too many wedding bands in the bus to the airport. Bollywood heartthrob Imran Khan makes eyes at Don's Kareena Kapoor in this Hindi-language confection.
Director: Shakun Batra
Writers: Shakun Batra, Ayesha DeVitre
Stars: Imran Khan, Kareena Kapoor, Boman Irani

In Darkness
Based on the book In the Sewers of Lvov, this Holocaust drama watches a dozen Jews survive in a sewer with the aid of a Catholic guard who's just in it for the money. The guard is neither principled nor a monsterand as much can be said about the survivors, who live in putrid circumstances and face their own moral conundrums just as their guard collaborator does. Nominated for Best Foreign Film.
Director: Agnieszka Holland
Screenwriter: David F. Shamoon
Cast: Robert Wieckiewicz, Benno Fürmann, Maria Schrader, Agnieszka Grochowska

The Turnin Horse
Béla Tarr shocked audiences at TIFF by calling The Turin Horse his "last film." Based on Frederick Nietzsche's anecdote about a horse he tried to protect during a whipping (after which the philosopher descended into mental illness), this haunting and Hungarian Horse may indeed bring an end of worlds.
Directors: Béla Tarr, Ágnes Hranitzky
Screenwriters: László Krasznahorkai, Béla Tarr
Cast: János Derzsi, Erika Bók, Mihály Kormos



Tags: Rampart, Death of the Virgin, Exit Strategy, Kung Fu Joe, Oscar Nominated Shorts, Private Romeo, Return, The DIsh and the Spoon, Bonsai People, I Am Bruce Lee, The Miners' Hymn, Chico & Rita, Ek Main Air Ekk Tu, In Darkness, The Turnin Horse

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