CATEGORIES Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Foreign Language, Independent, New Releases, Columns, Cinematical Indie, Features, Indie Spotlight, Movie News, Columns, New Releases, CinematicalDo I smell like Toronto? That's because I just got back from the film festival they have up there, and the scent of independent film still lingers. (It smells like Patricia Clarkson.) So I am very much in the mood for this week's edition of the Indie Spotlight, which is all about what's opening beyond the multiplexes this weekend!
Six flicks hit the big screen today: Flow: For Love of Water, Forgiveness, Greetings from the Shore, Moving Midway, Proud American, and Towelhead. Here's the scoop on each of them.
What it is: A dark comedy from Six Feet Under creator (and American Beauty writer) Alan Ball, based on Alicia Erian's novel about an adolescent Arab-American girl living in Texas during the first Gulf War.
What they're saying: Cinematical liked it when it premiered at Toronto last year under the title Nothing Is Private. At Rotten Tomatoes, the critics are split 50/50 as I write this, some applauding its audacity and wit, others calling it reprehensible. (Personally, I'm in the first camp.)
Where it's playing: New York City (Angelika Film Center, AMC Loews Lincoln Square), Los Angeles (ArcLight Hollywood, The Landmark), and Garland, Texas (Walnut Theaters). I assume the random Texas location is because the film was shot there? Maybe?
More info: The official site has a list of when the film opens in other cities. It's rolling out pretty heavily in the next few weeks, so people outside of New York, L.A., and Garland will be able to see it soon.
Flow: For Love of Water
What it is: In case you're tired of all the global warming documentaries, here's one about a crisis not mentioned nearly as often: the planet's dwindling water supply.
What they're saying: Cinematical's Nick Schager gives the film low marks on presentation, saying it "feels like a high school student's tossed-off research paper." (OH SNAP!) But at Rotten Tomatoes, nearly all the reviews are more forgiving of its weaknesses, citing the urgency of the message.
Where it's playing: New York City (Angelika Film Center), Los Angeles (Laemmle's Sunset 5).
More info: There's a list of upcoming playdates on the official site.
What it is: An experimental drama about Middle Eastern conflicts, played out in a hospital.
What they're saying: Three of the four reviews at Rotten Tomatoes are negative, with two of them using the word "pretentious." On the other hand, it did win the audience award -- not the snooty jury, but the ticket-buying audience -- at the Woodstock Film Festival.
Where it's playing: New York City (Cinema Village).
More info: Here's the official site. No additional playdates are listed yet.
What it is: A personal documentary, by film critic Godfrey Cheshire, about his family's North Carolina plantation, and the legacy it represents.
What they're saying: Almost all positive notices so far at Rotten Tomatoes, suggesting the story has resonance beyond Cheshire's personal connection to it.
Where it's playing: New York City (IFC Center, Lincoln Plaza Cinemas, Coliseum Cinemas).
More info: Here's the official site, with a good list of upcoming playdates (including North Carolina next week).
What it is: A patriotic, feel-good retelling of quintessential American-melting-pot stories, with footage of beautiful American scenery as the background.
What they're saying: I can't find a review anywhere online yet.
Where it's playing: Pretty much everywhere -- it's opening on 750 screens nationwide.
More info: Everything I need to know about this movie I learned at its official website.
Greetings from the Shore
What it is: A coming-of-age comedy about a girl spending one last summer at the Jersey Shore before going to college.
What they're saying: Just a couple lukewarm (but positive) reviews at Rotten Tomatoes so far.
Where it's playing: About 30 screens in the New York/New Jersey area.
More info: The official site has a list of theaters, but no indication whether the film will expand beyond the New Jersey area.