A bit of math tells me that after this weekend, 2008 will be halfway over. But here at The (Mostly) Indie Film Calendar, we prefer to think that 2008 has only halfway begun. There are still six months left to participate in the many cool film-related events that happen every week outside the nation's multiplexes! If you know of something coming up -- special screenings, retrospectives, mini-festivals, etc. -- send me a link! My e-mail is Eric.Snider (at) Weblogsinc (dot) com.

This week, even if WALL-E is what you've always Wanted, try to make room in your life for these...

INDIE THEATRICAL RELEASES
  • Gunnin' for That #1 Spot is a doc about the nation's top high school basketball players competing in a tournament -- and the film was directed by Beastie Boy Adam Yauch, so you know it's hip. Cinematical's Scott Weinberg gave it a rave review at Tribeca. It opens today in places where basketball is big, just in time for the NBA draft: New York, L.A., Phoenix, Portland, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington D.C.
  • Finding Amanda stars Matthew Broderick as a TV producer who goes to Las Vegas to convince his niece (Brittany Snow) to enter rehab. Our Erik Davis tried to find something nice to say about it at Tribeca but was unsuccessful. Opens today in NYC, L.A., Chicago, Boston, Philly, D.C., San Francisco, and Palm Desert, Calif.

After the jump, more indie theatrical releases, plus the city-by-city list of special events....
  • The Last Mistress is the latest from self-indulgent French provocateur Catherine Breillat (Fat Girl, Anatomy of Hell). It stars Asia Argento, so there's that. Our Jeffrey Anderson said it's the best Breillat film he's seen when he reviewed it at the San Francisco fest. Opens today in New York City.
  • Elsa & Fred is a Spanish comedy about old people falling in love, and it opens today in New York.
  • Red Roses and Petrol shows Irish people doing what they always do in movies: gathering to mourn the death of their father, and drinking a lot. It's a comedy! Opens today in NYC, L.A., and Orange County.
  • Thoda Pyaar Thoda Magic comes to us from India, the latest Bollywood flick to get an under-the-radar release on a few dozen U.S. screens. The IMDB comments compare it to Mary Poppins and Nanny McPhee, so make what you will of that. You'll find it today all over New York, New Jersey, and California, as well as in Austin, Indianapolis, and a handful of other cities.
  • Trumbo is a doc about Dalton Trumbo, the legendary screenwriter who was blacklisted during McCarthy era. Opens in New York and L.A. today.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Austin: Few people can throw a party like Willie Nelson, especially the Willie Nelson of the 1970s. Hence the concert film/party documentary Willie Nelson's 4th of July Celebration, filmed mid-decade and released in 1979. It's showing at the Alamo Drafthouse on Monday and Tuesday, so bring your best buds (tee-hee!) and enjoy.

Boston: Want to see a film that combines elements of American Westerns with Russian folklore? Sure you do. It's the cult favorite White Sun of the Desert (1970), and it's showing Sunday afternoon at the Coolidge Corner Theatre.

Chicago: There are two kinds of people in this world: those who would watch Commando or Dario Argento's Deep Red at midnight, and those who would watch Judy Garland in Meet Me in St. Louis as a matinee. Whichever kind of person you are, the Music Box Theatre has you covered this weekend.

Denver: French youths on a synchronized swim team fall in love with each other in Water Lilies, playing at the Starz FilmCenter as part of the Denver Film Society's ongoing "Cinema Q" series. Gay, straight, bi, it doesn't matter -- everybody's French and everybody's hot!

Los Angeles: It's time for Mods 'n' Rockers, American Cinematheque's annual festival of movies about music, held at the Egyptian Theatre. Tonight you can catch a live concert by frequent Monty Python contributor Neil Innes; Saturday it's the Beatles films A Hard Day's Night and Wonderwall; Sunday is Love Story (a doc about the 1960s rocker Arthur Lee and his band, Love), and This Is Gary McFarland, a new doc about that cool cat. The fest continues into July; check the site for details.

Los Angeles: The French director Jacques Demy was known for his beautifully colorful films, and the Aero Theatre is screening a few of his best this weekend. Tonight is Bay of Angels and Model Shop, and Saturday is The Young Girls of Rochefort and The Umbrellas of Cherbourg -- one of the most visually lovely movies you'll ever see.

New York City: One of Japan's most inventive anime-niacs, Satoshi Kon, will be at the Walter Reade Theater this week to present and discuss his work. Screenings include Tokyo Godfathers, Paranoia Agent, Millennium Actress, and Paprika.

Portland, Ore.: The Northwest Film Center's Global Lens is a series of new foreign films that haven't played much in the U.S. so far, with screenings continuing through next week. Still to come: Opera Jawa (Indonesia), The Custodian (Argentina), Luxury Car (China), Let the Wind Blow (India), and more.

Salt Lake City: Actually, this is happening up in Morgan, Utah, northeast of the SLC. Morgan is where a certain terrible movie called Troll 2 was filmed, and there's a massive celebration this weekend in honor of this dubious claim to fame. The film itself will be screened, along with other Troll-releated movies, and many cast and crew members will be on hand for a discussion. The Alamo Drafthouse in Austin is behind it, as are the people at the movie's official site, Best Worst Movie, where you can go for more details.