Five Indie Films you need to see in the summer 2015 and why.
2015 promises to bring us some of the highest grossing blockbusters we’ve ever seen. Strong starts from Furious 7 and Avengers: Age of Ultron, have already kicked of the summer movie season with a bang. The question here, is through the muddled madness of massive blockbusters, what about the little guy? Indie film has been thriving for years, and with the implementation of new ventures like kickstarter, were seeing crowd funded projects that otherwise might not have seen the light of day. There are thousands of films that come out every year. Some come have red carpet events and others you’ll never see or hear about. Yet when awards season rolls around the masses are met with a slew of Independent films and are left wondering what they are and why they’ve never heard of them.
Outside of the glitz and glam of the Marvel and DC super heroes, beyond the flash of the big budget machine lies an underground community filled with truly great stories. The reason Avengers. Furious 7 or Jurassic World won’t be nominated for an oscar isn’t because the critics and the academy are snobs. It’s not because they are arthouse hipsters thumbing their noses up at the idea of Batman or Captain America having any real merit. No the reason these large scale films don’t get accolades is because they simply lack the substance and depth of a film not bound by studios looking to make a buck. Simply put Independent films have no obligation other than to materialize the story the creators envisioned.
In a year where we are likely to see so many box office records toppled as the giants reign supreme, it’s the little guy that will be recognized and immortalized. When the dust settles it’s the independents that will become infamous. Films like American History X or Reservoir Dogs or even newer films like Birdman or 12 Years a Slave, are the cinematic adventures that will likely be spoken of with grace in 80 years, fondly referred to as “classics.” So in a year filled with goliath’s, it’s high time we highlight david. So check out Bro Knows list for the top five can’t miss indie picks you should see in the summer of 2015, and why.
5) Paper Towns July 24th
Based in the novel written John Green, comes the story of Quentin Jacobsen. Quentin is a high school senior that has drifted through his tenure feeling near invisible all while carrying his infatuation with the beautiful girl across the street Margo Roth Spiegelman. Everything changes when one night Margo climbs into Quentins window and whisks him away on an adventure. The next day Margo disappears which sets in motion a treasure hunt of sorts for Quentin to follow clues to locate the girl he loves.
By the plot alone this may seem like just another paint by numbers young adult film, but with a stellar cast and some powerful source material, Paper Towns has all the makings to be this years Fault in Our Stars. Starring Nat Wolff from the aforementioned Fault in Our Stars and Cara Delevingne from Anna Karenina, these are two immensely talented up and comers. Wolff has proven he can turn in a solid performance based on his previous work and Delevingne seems to be garnering a lot of attention for her casting the upcoming Suicide Squad. The trailers make this film feel like an odyssey like journey laiden with heart and depth. While we haven’t seen the film yet, it has a lot of promise.
4) Love and Mercy June 5th
The true story of the Beach Boys frontman and main songwriter Brian Wilson. The story is set in the late 1960s, Wilson stops touring, produces “Pet Sounds” and begins to lose his sanity. By the 1980s, Wilson, under the sway of a controlling therapist, finds a savior in Melinda Ledbetter. The film focusses on the portion if Wilson’s life where he begins his slow descent into madness and flashes to a more modern look at Wilson under the strict control of his therapist and “friend.”
Everything about this movie is gripping. The enigmatic story of the infamous Brian Wilson from his days with the Beach Boys to his current state. This has Oscar written all over it, but the release date is a bit peculiar. Paul Dano is an incredible talent that would appear to be the best fit for such a strange yet challenging role. John cusack finally looks like he’s really acting again after years of phoning it in. The fact is, this is an incredibly compelling story that has been waiting to be told.
3) Slow West May 15th
Set in the 1800’s, a young Scottish teenager leaves home a heads for the United States in hopes to locate his girlfriend whose family had moved westward. The young teen then meets a bounty hunter who keeps his true motive a secret when he offered to serve as bodyguard and guide while the youth searches for his beloved.
There is nothing not to like about Slow West. Starring the immensely talented Michael Fassbender and an impressive young actor in Kodi Smit-McPhee, this Sundance darling has been making some big waves. With hopes to bringing back the true western, this film seems reminiscent of features like True Grit or even 3:10 to Yuma. Then of course you toss in supreme character actor Ben Mendelsohn and it becomes clear you have yourself a nice recipe for success. Slow West has an opportunity to be a shining gem for 2015.
2) Dope June 19th
A coming of age comedy/drama for the post hip hop generation. Malcolm is a geek, carefully surviving life in The Bottoms, a tough neighborhood in Inglewood, CA filled gangsters and drugs dealers, while juggling his senior year of college applications, interviews and the SAT. His dream is to attend Harvard. A chance invitation to a big underground party leads Malcolm and his friends into a, only in Los Angeles, gritty adventure filled with offbeat characters and bad choices. If Malcolm can persevere, he’ll go from being a geek, to being dope, to ultimately being himself.
Dope, simply looks dope. The sights and sounds and all of the news coming out of Sundance has this pegged as the years breakout film. What this movie seems to have that so many others do not is style. Relying heavily on the music to almost be another character, this film will bring an extreme nostalgia factor to 90’s kids everywhere. With a movie that seems to play like a hip hop album, the music is king and it’s awesome to hear that. Dope will be a win strictly on the music alone.
1) Me, Earl and The Dying Girl June 12th
Greg Gaines, an awkward Pittsburgh high school student befriends a classmate, Rachel, who has leukemia. Greg and his best friend Earl make low-budget films in their spare time, and together, decide to make a film for Rachel. From there it becomes evident that the bond becomes much stronger than Greg ever anticipated and together the all face the reality and gravity of the situation.
Appearing to be similar to the other young adult film on this list, Me Earl and the Dying Girl brings a depth that none can match. Thomas Mann as Greg has been lauded heavily for an unbelievably complex performance. Winning both the grand jury prize and the audience award at the Sundance film festival, it opened to a standing ovation. This is one of those generational type films that will incorporate something for people in all walks of life, providing a heartfelt and tragically beautiful story bolstered by great writing and amazing performances.
This summer will mean more than just big blockbuster events. There will be substance and heart mixed in with those giants, and this time the little guy get’s the shine. So Bro Knows is hoping you heed our advice and diversify your movie watching experiences by throwing in at least one or two of these independent films, and show some love to some films that don’t get the exposure that the big studio films get.
Make sure you check back with Bro Knows after the release dates for these films to check out the reviews. So Bro Nation, do any of these movies look like something you’re interested in? Drop a comment and let’s start a discussion.