Five Minute Film Guide: Every Indie Film Opening This Weekend (6/15/12 Edition)

on June 15, 2012 by Sara Maria Vizcarrondo

Your Sister's Sister (IFC)
No matter how shampooed or fit Mark Duplass is, he still plays the schlubbiest schlub in Hollywood. Here, a job loss sends him to the summer home of his super-together BFF, on whom he harbors a secret crush. Awkwardly, his friend's sister is crashing at the house as she recovers from a break up. They commiserate, they drink, and lots of booze later do something their kind-hearted landlord can't ever know aboutor else.
Director: Lynn Shelton
Writer: Lynn Shelton
Stars: Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt, Mark Duplass, Mike Birbiglia
Genre: Comedy

The Girl from Naked Eye (NAEDOMI MEDIA)
This neo-noir about a guy seeking payback for the murder of his stripper girlfriend promises intermittent T&A and excessive hand-to-hand combat. If there's a lesson to be learned here, it's that girls with dangerous jobs should fall for guys who took lots of karate.
Director: David Ren
Writers: Jason Yee, Larry Madill
Stars: Jason Yee, Samantha Streets, Gary Stretch
Genre: Thriller

The Tortured (IFC)
A kind of young-man's version of Last House on the Left, this horror stars Erika Christensen (Traffic) and Jesse Metcalfe (TV's Desperate Housewives) as a comfortable couple whose kid is kidnapped and killed. When they find the killer, they take an opportunity to play monster with a murderer.
Director: Robert Lieberman
Writer: Marek Posival
Stars: Erika Christensen, Jesse Metcalfe, Bill Lippincott
Genre: Horror


El Valador/The Night Watchman
A Mexican cemetery is a favored spot for drug cartels to dump their corpses. When bodies are being unceremoniously put to rest, one night watchman has to choose between his safety and his duty.
Director: Natalia Almada

Ikland Quad
In the quest to find the worst people alive, people have pointed fingers at the Manson Family, the cast of an early John Waters flick, and the Ik-Ugandan mountain people who regularly doom their weaker children and elderly parents to starve to death. But are their sins true or the result of a scandal-mongering, misguided anthropologist? This doc attempts to uncover the truth.
Directors: David Hilbert, Cevin D. Soling

Marina Abramovich: The Artist Is Present (MUSIC BOX FILMS)
The godmother of performance art lets director Matthew Akers follow her around in preparation for her career-spanning MOMA retrospective during which she sat and allowed people to stare at her until they cried. Or got bored. Either way, lines stretched across the room as this documentarian attempts to understand why Abramovich's stern but blank face causes such a commotion.
Director: Matthew Akers

Such Great Heights
Welterweight MMA fighter Jon Fitch is about to face his most formidable opponent yet. This doc tracks him as he works up the nerve to to fight and sweats out his fears during his aggressive pre-event training. It's catnip for MMA to fans and a gateway drug to those curious about MMA culture.
Director: Jonah Tulis

Tahir: Liberation Square
Out their strife, Egypt has risen to be an icon of activism's capacity to speak truth to power-and of the political influence of Twitter. This doc chronicles the two week uprising in January 2011 that has come to be the most important 14 days in modern Egyptian history.
Director: Stefano Savona

Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap (INDOMINA)
Ice-T does double duty directing and producing this doc about the ingenious and resourceful history of rap, and his cred clearly convinced many pedigree rappers and historians including Ice Cube, Chuck D., Dr. Dre, and Snoop Dogg to let him stick a mic in their face. For a look at hip-hop's origins, it's harder to find a more inside view than this.
Directors: Ice-T, Andy Baybutt


Americano (MPI Media Group)
The prince of the Left Bank directed this drama featuring Salma Hayek and Geraldine Chaplin, daughter of Charlie. The director is himself the son of French New Wave elites Agnes Varda (Vagabond, Beaches of Agnes) and Jacques Demy (Umbrellas of Cherbourg), so it makes sense that the gilded cage of legacy plays into this film, which stars Demy as a son searching for his mother's heirs after her death.
Director: Mathieu Demy
Writer: Mathieu Demy
Stars: Mathieu Demy, Salma Hayek, Geraldine Chaplin
Genre: Drama; French- and Spanish-languages, subtitled

Extra Terrestrial/Extraterrestre (FOCUS WORLD)
A UFO hovers over Madrid, but the real drama is in the apartment below. Julia and her one-night-stand Julio wake up and realize they have to plan their escape. Except Julia's stalker neighbor and jealous ex-boyfriend want to tag along, for her own safety of course. How many guys does a girl need to play savior-especially when she's already got it under control herself.
Director: Nacho Vigalondo
Writer: Nacho Vigalondo
Stars: Michelle Jenner, Carlos Areces, Julián Villagrán
Genre: Comedy/Drama/Sci-Fi; Spanish-language, subtitled

Ferrari Ki Sawaari EROS World
When India's cricket-playing answer to David Beckham loses his Ferrari, one tween fan gets a joyride from the thievesand a shot at playing cricket at Lords. This Bollywood Ferris Bueller is about to go on the ride of his life.
Director: Rajesh Mapuskar
Writers: Vidhu Vinod Chopra, Rajesh Mapuskar
Stars: Sharman Joshi, Boman Irani, Ritwik Sahore
Genre: Comedy; Hindi-language, subtitled

Patang (Kite) (KHUSHI FILMS)
An Indian family fights, cries, hugs and mends fences as the sky fills with colors for a festival of kites. What's more important: business, family or the individual? Everyone's got to sort it out for themselves in this critically revered drama about the place of tradition in modern India.
Director: Prashant Bhargava
Writers: James Townsend, Prashant Bhargava
Stars: Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Mukkund Shukla, Seema Biswas
Genre: Drama; Hindi-language, subtitled

UFO In Her Eyes (MOMA)
First there was an Empire and then there was Mao and now there's a China searching for the right symbol to capture its present day hopes. This oddball excavation of modern Chinese identity and culture is (kind of) about a woman who sees UFOs that report to her from the future. A satire on the era après-Mao, this one could be a cult classicand not just because it features grindhouse villain Udo Kier.
Director: Xiaolu Guo
Writers: Xiaolu Guo, Pamela Casey
Stars: Ke Shi, Udo Kier, Mandy Zhang
Genre: Satire; Chinese-language, subtitled

Woman in the Fifth/ La femme du Vème (ATO)
Based on the novel by Douglas Kennedy, this film follows a prestigious lecturer (Ethan Hawke) who loses his job after a scandal and flees to Paris. In a rundown neighborhood he meets a hot widow played by Kristin Scott Thomas who he thinks could help him recover-but this mysterious hottie might have actually offed her husband.
Director: Pawel Pawlikowski
Writers: Pawel Pawlikowski
Stars: Ethan Hawke, Kristin Scott Thomas, Joanna Kulig
Genre: Romance/Mystery


Tags: Your Sister's SIster, The Girl from Naked Eye, The Tortured, El Valador, Ikland Quad, Marina Abramovich: The Artist is Present, Such Great Heights, Tahir: Liberation Square, Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap, Americano, Extra Terrestrial, Ferrari Ki Sawaari, Patang (Kite), UFO In Her Eyes, Woman in the Fifth

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