Five Minute Film Guide: Every Indie Film Opening This Weekend (6/8/12 Edition)

on June 08, 2012 by Sara Maria Vizcarrondo
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INDIE

1 out of 7 (GRAVITAS VENTURES)
The title references a statistic-one in seven teen runaways will live on the street before reaching 18-making this social issue indie a must for TV stars trying to break into film. Vivica A. Fox plays a helper who rescues a runaway while the girl's mom and her friend go on the hunt.
Director: York Shackleton
Writer: York Shackleton
Stars: Bob Ball, Mika Boorem, Matthew Carey
Genre: Drama

Bel Ami (MAGNOLIA)
While Kristen Stewart gets aggressive with a Huntsman, Robert Pattinson shows he's more than the poster child for True Love Waits. In this bodice ripper, he's an ambitious upstart from the lower classes who penetrates high society...literally. With Uma Thurman as one of his conquests and based on a novel by Guy de Maupassant.
Directors: Declan Donnellan, Nick Ormerod
Writer: Rachel Bennette
Stars: Robert Pattinson, Uma Thurman, Kristin Scott Thomas
Genre: Romance/Drama

Dark Horse (BRAINSTORM MEDIA)
Todd Solondz's newest black comedy is a love story between two thirtysomethings in arrested development. Abe and Miranda live at home, enabled by passive parents. Like all his dark dramedies (especially Happiness), it promises to make us feel emotions we haven't beforeand probably ones we wish we hadn't. With Selma Blair and Christopher Walken.
Director: Todd Solondz
Writer: Todd Solondz
Stars: Jordan Gelber, Selma Blair, Christopher Walken
Genre: Dark Comedy

For the Love of Money (ARCHSTONE DISTRIBUTION)
An Israeli immigrant with a knack for business clumsily becomes a crime boss. He learned a lot from the casino that ran behind his parent's store in Tel Aviv, but it's not long before he's on the run and now the only official papers that still matter have dead presidents on them. The return of Terminator 2's Edward Furlong.
Director: Ellie Kanner
Writer: Jenna Mattison
Stars: Edward Furlong, James Caan, Jonathan Lipnicki
Genre: Drama

Knockdown/The Bad Penny (ARC ENTERTAINMENT)
A St. Louis bookie destroyed Jack's boxing career so he fled to Bangkok. But his new location is no place to escape his troubles. When the heat builds, he falls for a hooker (the inimitable Bai Ling) and starts fighting his way out. Hey, he'll go down swinging.
Director: Todd Bellanca
Writers: Sasha Levinson, Todd Bellanca
Stars: Casey T. Evans, Tom Arnold, Nick Faltas
Genre: Crime Thriller

Lola Versus (FOX SEARCHLIGHT)
It-girl Greta Gerwig is released from her engagement (or should we say, en-cage-ment?) to The Killing's Joel Kinnaman and tossed back into NY's dating jungle. The men are no princesand even the ones who are can't handle her bitter mood swings. Cue meltdown.
Director: Daryl Wein
Writers: Daryl Wein, Zoe Lister Jones
Stars: Greta Gerwig, Joel Kinnaman, Bill Pullman, Debra Winger
Genre: Comedy

Peace, Love & Misunderstanding (IFC Indie)
Maybe Manhattan changes every second, but Woodstock hasn't changed since Jimi Hendrix played there. As uptight Diane (Catherine Keener) prepares for a divorce, she takes her kids to see grandma (Jane Fonda), who's still the sexiest hippie upstate.
Director: Bruce Beresford
Writers: Christina Mengert, Joseph Muszynski
Stars: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Chace Crawford, Elizabeth Olsen, Jane Fonda, Rosanna Arquette, Catherine Keener, Kyle MacLachlan, Nat Wolff
Genre: Drama

Safety Not Guaranteed (FILMDISTRICT)
In the classified ads, a man seeks a time travel companian. A team of snarky journalists hunt down the writer expecting to prove that he's mental, but the relationship he forges with their intern/researcher Audrey Plaza is so sweet it overrides all fact.
Director: Colin Trevorrow
Writer: Derek Connolly
Cast: Kristen Bell, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Mark Duplass, Aubrey Plaza, Jake M. Johnson
Genre: Comedy

The Oregonian (CINEMAD PRESENTS/BAXTER BROS.)
As if Portlandia hadn't already made America nervous about Oregon, in this indie psychodrama, a girl with a stalker and a jealous boyfriend wakes up to find she's killed a picnicking father and son in a car crash. Struck with amnesia, all she's got to piece together her identity is a weapon and her own bloody clothes.
Director: Calvin Reeder
Writer: Calvin Reeder
Stars: Lindsay Pulsipher, Robert Longstreet, Matt Olsen
Genre: Horror

The Skinny Quad
Five friends from college regroup to rent an apartment for Gay Pride. Under the influence of celebration and debauchery, old bonds start to look like buried desires. From the makers of Noah's Ark: Jumping the Broom comes this comedy about how confusing emotions can beeven if it's totally clear that Gay Pride NY is awesome.
Director: Patrik-Ian Polk
Writer: Patrik-Ian Polk
Stars: Jussie Smollett, Anthony Burrell, Blake Young-Fountain
Genre: RomCom

Blocked
A couple, a criminal and a white BMW tussle in random order in this indie noir. Identity theft is the fear of the moment in this drama about a city-and a social network-that threaten to swallow us up.
Director: James Arnett
Writer: James Arnett
Stars: Tiffany Shepis, Robert Cruz, Mario Guzman
Genre: Crime

DOCUMENTARIES

Patagonia Rising (FIRST RUN)
The rivers of South America have been under threat for decades, and this doc explores the business plans to build hydroelectric dams on the two freest flowing rivers in Chile. Naturally, commercial interests are powerful-at least this doc aims to raise awareness about a plan that could shape the future of Latin America.
Director: Brian Lilla

Paul Williams Still Alive (ABRORAMA)
Stephen Kessler directs this personal doc about his childhood hero: the once beloved 70s songwriter, Paul Williams. It's not super often songwriters become celebutantesbut Williams wrote "The Rainbow Connection" for Kermit and could make Carson laugh. He was a small guy with a huge personality but his biggest fans thought him dead...and then this doc comes around.
Director: Stephen Kessler


The Pidgeoneers (CINEMA VILLAGE)
After the release of Valiant, that kids movie about the bird heroes of WWII, everyone said "Wow! Homing pigeons saved people during the war?! That really should be a documentary and not a low-rent CG animation featuring Tim Curry." Well, now it is. This doc follows 103-year-old Col. Clifford Poutre as he explains the Allied Forces homing pigeon program.
Director: Alessandro Croseri

 

WORLD

Cartas A Elena (FREESTYLE RELEASING)
Like a cross between Il Postino and that scene in Amelie where she edits together old letters, this film offers an ode to a distant village whose only connection to the world is the daily post. They're lonelyuntil a local tween begins an uplifting postal movement.
Director: Llorent Barajas
Writer: Martin Barajas Llorent
Stars: Carmen Salinas, Irma Dorantes, Javier López
Genre: Drama


Corpo Celeste (FILM MOVEMENT)
Rites of passage and religious rites make friction when 13-year-old Marta leaves liberal Switzerland to move to super-Catholic Southern Italy with her family. She's in a sea of crucifixes and the pressures of chastityand the only thing those her new home has in common with her old is the Euro.
Director: Alice Rohrwacher
Writer: Alice Rohrwacher
Stars: Salvatore Cantalupo, Anita Caprioli, Renato Carpentieri
Genre: Coming of Age Drama; Italian-language, subtitled

Double Trouble (CHINA LION)
Jackie Chan's 29-year-old son Jaycee stars in this high-wire actioner about a security guard who has to team with Taipei's celebrity security guard to protect a treasure-in-transit. In this incredibly quick popcorn picture, kung-fu kicks stand in for plot pointsbut the younger Chan, a pop star at home, adds sex appeal.
Director: David Chang
Writer: David Chang
Stars: Jaycee Chan, Yu Xia, Xia Yu, Deng Jia Jia
Genre: Action; Chinese-language, subtitled

 

Tags: 1 out of 7, Bel Ami, Dark Horse, For the Love of Money, Knockdown, Lola Versus, Peace, Love & Misunderstanding, Safety Not Guaranteed, The Oregonian, The Skinny Quad, Blocked, Patagonia Rising, Paul Williams Still Alive, The Pidgeoneers, Cartas A Elena, Corpo Celeste, Double Trouble
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