CATEGORIES Comedy, Documentary, Drama, Gay & Lesbian, Independent, Columns, Features, Indie Spotlight, Columns, CinematicalHere at the Indie Spotlight, we treat your multiplex woes with a healthy dose of limited-release independent flicks. Being an indie film doesn't automatically make it better than a mainstream movie -- but if it's bad, at least you know it didn't cost $100 million to make. Frugality is important in these trying economic times.
It's a rather light week for indies, with just four for our perusal: The Elephant King, Filth and Wisdom, Tru Loved, and What Just Happened. There's also Morning Light, a documentary about competitive open-sea sailing, which, while not an indie (it's from Disney), is opening on a limited number of screens. Cinematical's Jeffrey M. Anderson has a review here.
And now, the rundown!
What Just Happened
What it is: Barry Levinson directs an all-star cast (Robert De Niro, Bruce Willis, Stanley Tucci, John Turturro) in this Hollywood satire about a fading producer.
What they're saying: Cinematical's Scott Weinberg gave it a lukewarm review at Sundance, basically saying that if you're a big movie buff who already knows how Hollywood works, there won't be much new to laugh at. At Rotten Tomatoes, the reviews are 2-to-1 in favor of the flick.
Where it's playing: A few dozen screens in several major markets: New York, L.A., San Diego, San Francisco, Seattle, Chicago, Dallas, and Phoenix.
More info: The official site has a complete list of theaters, as well as where it's opening next.
The Elephant King
What it is: A drama about two American brothers sexing their way through Thailand one summer.
What they're saying: All four reviews at Rotten Tomatoes are scathing, calling it naive and desperate. But Variety's review, for some reason not yet posted at RT, has high praise for the acting and says the movie "deserves to find an audience."
Where it's playing: New York City (Angelika Film Center).
More info: The official site.
What it is: Coming-of-age comedy/drama about a teenage daughter of lesbian parents who tries to fit in at a new school.
What they're saying: Only a few reviews have been registered at Rotten Tomatoes so far, two good and two bad. It sounds like a positive, upbeat film, if nothing else.
Where it's playing: New York City (Quad Cinema), Chicago (Landmark Century Centre).
More info: The official site has a list of additional upcoming locations.
Filth and Wisdom
What it is: Madonna's directorial debut!!! (For you kids out there, Madonna was once a popular recording artist.) It's a comedy about scruffy young friends and flatmates in London.
What they're saying: Cinematical's Nick Schager says that "for all its narrative and aesthetic shortcomings, it's not half-bad." The reviews at Rotten Tomatoes are about evenly split, though even the positive ones use words like "ragged," "uneven," and "aimless."
Where it's playing: New York City (IFC Center).
More info: For some reason, the only official site I can find is in French.