Many films that are released at mainstream cinemas are likely to be big-budget blockbusters – these are the prequels, sequels and everything in between that may not necessarily be great movies, but will make loads of money at the box office (of course, there are some amazing big-budget films too, they are just rarer). If you are lucky enough to live near an independent cinema, you may be able to see some more unusual flicks.
Sometimes lower budget films are just as amazing (if not better) than ones with larger budgets. This is usually because the creators of the movie don’t have to answer to as many people (such as major film studios) and can be a little more free and creative with their work. It can also be refreshing to see new and different actors that can bring a unique perspective to a film. Unusual and quirky themes can be explored, and a story can be shown at a different pace. Because of this, there are some amazing independent films out there, and here are some of those films that you may not have seen yet.
The Lobster (2015)
While The Lobster remains relatively unseen, it does star three big-ticket actors in Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz and John C. Reilly. The film is set in a dystopian world where single people must attend a hotel and have 45 days to meet a partner. If this does not occur, they will be turned into an animal.
The film is horrifying to say the least. It is quirky, gory, dark and gives a unique commentary on how we treat single people as a society. Despite how shocking the movie is, it does a good job at making the audience think and this is what makes it so great.
Fun Fact: Blood is a common motif throughout the film. See if you can spot this when watching.
Be My Cat: A Film for Anne (2015)
Another disturbing independent flick that not many have seen is Be My Cat: A Film for Anne. This low budget movie is completely self-made by Adrian Țofei and is very reminiscent of a snuff film. The story follows a Romanian man who goes to extraordinary (and quite insane) lengths to get Anne Hathaway to make a movie with him. The movie is dark, gruesome and gives viewers a lot to think about. You might need a light Disney film to watch after seeing this unnerving film.
Fun Fact: Parts of the movie are filmed guerrilla style and some of the extras didn’t even know they were been filmed.
Jeff, Who Lives at Home (2011)
Jeff, Who Lives at Home was released at the Toronto International Film Festival in 2011 and saw a limited release in 2012. The film starring Jason Segel, Ed Helms and Susan Sarandon follows Jeff (Segel), who is a 30-year-old stoner who still lives at home. One day after watching the movie Signs (2002), he is convinced that he must follow his own signs that appear in his life. The results are serendipitous, sweet, funny and sometimes dark. This is a great independent film that many may not have seen.
Fun Fact: The directors (The Duplass brothers) are well known for letting their actors improvise their scenes. During the filming process, Segel and Helms reportedly sat in a bathtub and freely chatted for about 40 minutes.
Electrick Children (2012)
Electrick Children is one of my personal favourites, and is a beautifully put together work-of-art that was released at the Berlin International Film Festival in 2012. The story follows a Mormon teenager who finds herself pregnant and believes that this has occurred because she listened to a rock song on a cassette tape. She leaves her Mormon community with her brother and they find themselves mingling with skaters and musicians, all while experiencing the outside world for the first time. This is a beautiful independent film that I hope more people will eventually see.
Fun Fact: The writer and director of the film (Rebecca Thomas) drew inspiration for this flick based on her own Mormon upbringing.
Deserted Island Movie Collection: Since I would have a lot of time to kill, I would bring all of John Ford’s movies (there are over 140 after all).
Best Movie Snack: Love a good cheese platter.