Five Minute Film Guide: Every Indie Film Opening This Weekend (3/30/12 Edition)

on March 30, 2012 by Sara Maria Vizcarrondo


Turn Me On, Dammit/ Få meg på, for faen
The antidote to American Reunion comes a week early. This girl-centric coming of age film laughs at the troublesome horniness of three budding young ladies...if your grandmother would call them that. Three friends stifled in their small Norwegian town turn to their own devices when boys prove scarce, timid or just plain unfulfilling. How do you say "Boys are lame" in Norwegian?
Director: Jannicke Systad Jacobsen
Writer: Jannicke Systad Jacobsen
Stars: Helene Bergsholm, Malin Bjørhovde, Henriette Steenstrup
Genre: Comedy; Norwegian-language, subtitled


I Kissed A Vampire
Before you ask, Chris Nolan, the director of his vampire musical, had nothing to do with The Dark Knightthough that would be funnyor in this case "punny" since his musical is a word-centric, pop-infused, teenybopper contribution to a genre otherwise inundated by indie disasters. Right now, there's are more vampire and zombie films than there are Starbucks. But musicals? No, there's likely just one.
Director: Chris Nolan
Writers: Chris Nolan, Laurie Nolan
Stars: Lucas Grabeel, Drew Seeley, Adrian Slade
Genre: Musical

The Girl From The Naked Eye
A neo-noir about a guy seeking payback for the murder of his stripper girlfriend, this indie looks better than it has any right to. You'll see intermittent T&A (see: stripper girlfriend) and excessive hand-to-hand combat (see: payback). If there's a lesson to be learned here, it's that girls with dangerous jobs should fall for guys who took karate.
Director: David Ren
Writers: Jason Yee, Larry Madill
Stars: Jason Yee, Samantha Streets, Gary Stretch
Genre: Thriller

The Legend of Hell's Gate: An American Conspiracy
The story of how Hell's Gate in Possum Kingdom Lake, Texas got its name. This Western introduces a cow town where men go to forget their past and remember their bad habits. A meeting place for criminals, it's no surprise when three baddies band together and raise Caineven evil burns big and bright deep in the heart of Texas.
Director: Tanner Beard
Writer: Tanner Beard
Stars: Eric Balfour, Lou Taylor Pucci, Henry Thomas
Genre: Action



Before the Monday announcement that this semi-graphic anti-bullying doc would appear in theaters without a rating, The Weinstein Company launched a highly publicized debate with the MPAA, arguing that an R-rating would rob the film's important teen audience of exposure to the film. (The teens swear, but the censors don't think other teens should hear them.) It's rare such a battle of intentions plays out publiclybut it's a good thing it did.
Director: Lee Hirsch, Alicia Dwyer

God Save My Shoes
This film may prove that women are a marketable audience for docs. A decade after Sex and the City made Manohlo Blahnik a household name, debut director Julie Benasra got access to some of our biggest shoe designers and divas to talk about shoe-want as a carnal impulse. Heels change how we carry ourselves, our confidence, how we walk in the world-are they worthy of some interrogation? Benasra says the answer is "yes"and Carrie would agree.
Director: Julie Benasra

Player Hating: A Love Story
Hip-hop artist Half-a-Mil uses music to escape poverty with his friends in this doc about what New York Thug Life looks like today 15 years after Brooklyn-born Biggie Smalls was shot. Everybody's got their hand in some dangerous cookie jar, but the locals have to stay close when there's nothing cushioning them from the next violent outburst. Can music keep them alive?
Director: Maggie Hadleigh-West

Scenes of a Crime
Directors Grover Babcock and Blue Hadaegh edited together 10 hours of interrogation room footage from an Upstate New York prison to find out just how investigators cracked a man unwilling to reveal the crime he committed during his darkest hour. Love cop shows like The First 48? This is the real deal in what feels like real time.
Directors: Grover Babcock, Blue Hadaegh

The Beat Hotel
Most know the Beatsthe musicians and poets of the '50sas a San Francisco phenomenon, but sometime in their prime their roving footpaths convened at one ultra-cheap hotel in Paris where they shared space with artists, photographers and a few cops who kept mistresses among the bohemians. It's an undiscussed phase in the "movement" but it would explain all the berets.
Director: Alan Govenar

The Island President
It's hope-inspiring to watch people of principle fight the indifference of others. President Mohammed Nasheed suffered exile and imprisonment before the Maldives elected him president. No sooner was he inaugurated that he saw the sea threaten to swallow the Maldives' coastline. His indomitable efforts underscore that there's more to politics and global warming than those sad stories about polar bears.
Director: Jon Shenk

They Come To America
An upper-middle class businessman went to the Mexican/American border to find out "how bad it is" and attempted to make an unbiased look at something even he characterizes as so messy it can't be explained. His tagline "The must-see movie so many people don't want you to see" transforms detractors into unwitting supporters-so allow me to contribute my "support." Immigration isn't a red or blue state issueit's a human issue.
Director: Dennis M. Lynch



Artificial Paradises/Paraísos artificiales
This drama about the friendship between an out of luck woman and an old caretaker is located in a literal paradise. The countryside they inhabit is lush and green and the weather is always placid, but these two ignore all that to revel in their misery and seek solace in drugs-altered states offer a long-lasting artificial paradise.
Director: Yulene Olaizola
Writers: Fernando del Razo, Yulene Olaizola
Stars: Luisa Pardo, Salomón Hernández
Genre: Drama; Spanish-language, subtitled

Four Lovers
The French are famous for excavating romantic love, particularly for seeing it as a compulsion that changes like weather. In this film, two couples make a pact to switch partners and wind up losing their mates in the process. To find each other again requires a twist of fate and a stoking of desire.
Director: Antony Cordier
Writers: Antony Cordier, Julie Peyr
Stars: Marina Foïs, Élodie Bouchez, Roschdy Zem
Genre: Romance/Drama; French-language, subtitled

This Spanish horror was made in English for international distribution by the guy who directed 28 Weeks Later. The main character is a schoolgirl particularly adept at storytelling and the chiller she shares with her class-about a slinking, faceless, sandman character called "Hollow Face"-ends up being more than fodder for kid's nightmares.
Director: Juan Carlos Fresnadillo
Writers: Nicolás Casariego, Jaime Marques
Stars: Clive Owen, Carice van Houten, Izán Corchero
Genre: Horror

Love in the Buff
A sequel to the Chinese-language rom com Love in a Puff, Buff begins when Jimmie and Cherie break up and move apart. They find other conquests and know they their love disappeared "in a puff" but can't stop thinking of all that puff meant to themwhich stinks for their new mates, who are all like, "Let's see if you like me better once I bail."
Director: Ho-Cheung Pang
Writer: Ho-Cheung Pang
Stars: Miriam Yeung Chin Wah, Shawn Yue, Mini Yang
Genre: Rom com; Chinese-language, subtitled

Nameless Gangster/Bumchoiwaui junjaeng
What Goodfellas did to romanticize the classy criminals of the '60s, this Korean gangster movie does to gloss up the '90s, the golden age that ended when the Korean government declared war on organized crime. In the final days before the end, baddies resembled businessmenonly resorting to baseball bats when they had to, and never soiling their $1000 shoes.
Director: Jong-bin Yun
Writer: Jong-bin Yun
Stars: Min-sik Choi, Jung-woo Ha
Genre: Crime; Korean-language, subtitled

Eva Green has played a number of sexually complex roles and this may trump her turns as Bond icon, seductive sorceress (Dark Shadows) or blind seeker (Perfect Sense). As her lover nears death, Green decides to bear his child so he can live on. But the loss of her man leaves a reservoir of need she struggles to fill with something more than their son.
Director: Benedek Fliegauf
Writer: Benedek Fliegauf
Stars: Eva Green, Matt Smith, Lesley Manville
Genre: Drama


Tags: I Kissed A Vampire, The Girl From The Naked Eye, The Legend of Hell's Gate: An American Conspiracy, Bully, God Save My Shoes, Player Hating: A Love Story, Scenes of a Crime, The Beat Hotel, The Island President, They Come To America, Artificial Paradises, Four Lovers, Intruders, Love in the Buff, Nameless Gangster, Turn Me On Dammit, Womb

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