EDITORIALS

Sunday Discussion: The Indies We Love

by
March 23, 2008

Sunshine

I just finished watching The Squid and the Whale this afternoon and Sunshine last night, two of my favorite indie movies of the last few years. Unfortunately there's not too much to say this afternoon, except maybe have a good spring break, if yours begins this weekend. But as I sit back and reflect on the week that passed and try and think of what would make a good discussion article for today, not much is coming to my mind besides those last two indie movies I saw. So while we wait for another week to begin, I'm curious to know what everyone else's favorite indie movies are.

While there was plenty happening in LA on Thursday and Friday, I'm not really able to talk about anything. I did see Pathology, but my review on that is due out mid-April. And I did meet with some more people, but you'll find out more on that when we get closer to the summer. Instead, this week was sort of the culmination of all of January through March's indie movie madness - Sundance and SXSW.

Five years back I probably would have told you that I never enjoy indie movies or even probably didn't know what they really were. But now I can't get enough of them. They get better and better, at least if you find the right ones. For every great indie, there are at least five bad ones. That's what I love about this - it's the pursuit of finding those cinematic gems that are so hard to come by. And when you do, the pay off is incredible. As with The Squid and the Whale and Sunshine, they're two movies I love that I'm glad I found because without them I wouldn't have the appreciation for cinema that I do.

There are so many more great indies that I could mention and that even have a place on my top 10 list - City of God, Donnie Darko, Death at a Funeral, and Fido to name a few. However, I want to open up this discussion to everyone else. What are your favorite indies? What are those little cinematic gems that you've found along the way? We've got another month or two to wait until the summer season picks up and fans will run wildly through theaters in anticipation of the next big blockbuster, so until then, I invite you to share those favorites that only you might know.

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  • jason_md2020
    Sunshine is one of my faves too...I think I first heard about it here actually! I thought Pi was brilliant. And as far as documentaries go, Scratch is my fave. It's a study of the culture & history of the scratch DJ/turntablist.
  • That's a hard one. I love Requiem for a Dream, Chasing Amy, Rushmore, Juno, Primer
  • Ben
    Wristcutters: A Love Story (my favorite film of 2007), Brick, Amelie, Juno, Memento, City of God, Clerks, Run Lola Run, The Boondock Saints, American Beauty, and more...
  • I could be "that guy" and say Juno... But I will go further than that. I loved stuff like Rocket Science, Donnie Darko, Clerks, Boondock Saints (that one counts, right?), Little Miss Sunshine, etc. As well, I also have a real sweetspot for great independent docs -- The King of Kong, American Teen, Gonzo: The Life and Times of Hunter S. Thompson, Air Guitar Nation and Second Skin, just to name a few. And not to be forgotten -- the secret independent doc about the life of Alex Billington -- which I believe is on Pete's computer somewhere. That is the most riveting, hysterical and tragic footage that has ever been recorded.
  • Brad
    Garden State.
  • Matt P
    Gotta go with Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Garden State, and Leon the Professional...
  • Spider
    "Sunshine" was a great indie flick and sci-fi done just right--definitely one of my new favorites. I also like "Chasing Amy", "Sling Blade", "Bend It Like Beckham, "Glengarry Glenross" and "Garden State"!
  • Squid and the Whale is one of my top ten favourite films of all time. And to add to this list... I have so many indies that I love. American Gun Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind In Bruges The Believer Blair Witch Project The Dead Girl Eulogy The Fountain Imaginary Heroes Interview (2007) The Lookout - does this count? Muholland Drive The Nines Right at Your Door The Devil's Backbone The Devil's Rejects Sunshine The Sweet Herafter Thirteen
  • Grant Bell
    Donnie Darko, Paranoid Park, He Was a Quiet Man, just a few.
  • Damn good list Jeff! Glad you saw Interview and In Bruges! Garden State seems to be the most popular... and admittedly I haven't ever seen it! I think it's too trendy for me but who knows...
  • Shawn
    a guide to recognizing your saints is by far my favorite movie let alone favorite indie movie
  • Grant Bell
    Awww, Garden State, how could I forget that one !!!!!!!!
  • C.New
    I just saw In Bruges and it was amazing!...Hard to break it down to 10, but these would probably be my top 10 Indies (in no certain order)... Wet Hot American Summer City of God The Devil in Daniel Johnston American Movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind The Station Agent Junebug Rushmore Cashback Rocket Science
  • Curtis
    I actually haven't watched that many Indy movies well that I am aware of but here is a couple that i know are Indy films and that i really enjoyed. Fido Sunshine A Guide to Recognizing your Saints The Nines The Devil's Rejects
  • C.New
    I forgot to mention I'm Not There...truly amazing movie!
  • Joppe
    Gardenstate? Are you kidding me? That movie was horrible. It didn't make no sense what-so-ever!! Indie movies arrent about being weird and different. I don't understand why so many poeple like these fliks only because they are weird. The beautifull thing about an indy is that you get something you don't suspect. They are a little gift and therefore more fun.
  • Joel
    Is "The Proposition" considered indy? I know it's a few years old, but I just recently crossed it off my want to see list" and absolutely loved it. I think with a few more viewings it will be going into my top 3-4 of all time.
  • scar
    here are some I can think of that either seen and own.....so let me know folks ....(my last post didn't make the cut.....) been a fan of indies for about 10 years now....love it...love to dig out some cool films....("joppe" you don't need to be here) shaun of the dead empire records heights chumbscrubber thumbscucker dandelion american girl ballad of jack and rose mind the gap coffee and cigarettes slackers dazed and confused scanner darkly waking life living in oblivion igby goes down paris, I love you millions Requiem for a Dream Rushmore election Wristcutters: A Love Story Brick Juno Memento City of God Run Lola Run The Boondock Saints, American Beauty Donnie Darko Clerks Boondock Saints Little Miss Sunshine science of sleep lars von trier films pi Chasing Amy Bend It Like Beckham Squid and the Whale the savages love liza American Gun Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind The Believer The Dead Girl Eulogy The Fountain Imaginary Heroes Interview The Lookout Muholland Drive inland empire Right at Your Door The Devil's Backbone The Sweet Herafter Thirteen basketball diaries elephant sex y lucia gerry good will hunting Wet Hot American Summer The Devil in Daniel Johnston American Movie Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind The Station Agent Junebug Rushmore Cashback 11:14 Amelie love me if you dare we don't live here anymore xx/yy Fido 28 days later trainspotting beach Sunshine A Guide to Recognizing your Saints The Nines Gardenstate
  • Maxxx
    I would have to my favorite INDIES are Clerks Art School Confidential EVIL DEAD bully kids Ken Park Funny Games both the remake and original The Dreamers little Miss Shunshine Night of the Living Dead(original) Pulp Fiction Just to name a few
  • Maxxx
    i forgot to add the John Carpenter's Holloween
  • Great lists so far guys! I totally agree with most of them. Here are a few of my favorites with some that no one has mentioned yet: Sunshine Fido Rushmore Rocket Science Gardenstate Muholland Drive Thirteen In Bruges Sling Blade Leon the Professional American Teen The King of Kong Donnie Darko Boondock Saints Juno Pi Reservoir Dogs Blood Simple The Evil Dead Swingers The Descent Buffalo '66 Little Miss Sunshine The Salton Sea American Splendor Cube Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind
  • Drake
    im not afan of indies but my favourites are little miss sunshine and garden state. P.S. fuck u joppe garden state was good
  • Derek
    Some of my favorites are Me and You and Everyone We Know The Motorcycle Diaries - if that counts Once Winter Passing Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and The Science of Sleep The Hawk is Dying (Paul Giamatti in very fine form, I might add) The Fountain (and Aronofsky's other two films, Pi and Requiem for a Dream) Clerks The Dead Girl Eulogy (I love Zooey Deschanel!) American History X United States of Leland Igby Goes Down Brick Coffee and Cigarettes Some of those might not count exactly, but those are some that I like. Good topic by the way, Alex.
  • sorry if this is a repeat comment, my computer is being wacky. So I did a little investigation and found some that I didn't think were considered indies and it turns out they are. There are also a few other ones I forgot to put on my first list. Magnolia The Terminator Once Crash Amores Perros Fargo Memento One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest You Can Count on Me Killer of Sheep Rocky Horror Picture Show The Tracey Fragments The Air I Breathe There are so many... I love indie film... I think more then big blockbuster ones!
  • pd
    2 of my top 5 favorite movies haven't been mentioned- Kafka The Celebration If you haven't seen these, I recommend you skip IMDBing them and just rent and watch them. I walked into both of these movies knowing absolutely nothing about them and had 2 of my greater movie theatre experiences. Though it renders a site like this somewhat useless, there is something incredibly special about seeing a great movie without having seen one ad, review, plot synopsis or screenshot. Its like getting on a rollercoaster that you haven't been able to stand there and look at beforehand/ You have no idea where it will go, or how or when it will end, or whether the people who just got off it are laughing or crying.
  • Vega Bro
    Ok, I cant believe anyone liked Sunshine at all. It had to be the worst piece of shit I have seen in a long long time. There is really no reason to like it. It is completely and blatentely inaccurate for a film that boasts factuality. Its interest is mostly in killing and poor attempts at major CG sequences (which I hate). Seroiusly the whole last act of the film depended on some guy coming on board and killing for really no reason. They never explain anything about why or how the sun is burning out so fast or how they plan to reignite it with a bomb that size. And the thing that really pisses me off is the fucking pussy way that they have gravity without (again) an explanation. That is one thing that needs to stop happening in science fiction. Despite the scientific inaccuracies, and the stupid, stupid story and pathetic twists, there really is no point to it. Its just for entertainment (again, not a hallmark of good science fiction). There is no philisophical thesis or scientific poignancy to the film. It makes itself look smart, but it is really just for idiots. No self respecting science fiction fan would touch that piece of fucking Sunshine shit with a ten foot pole. I really liked Once, btw.
  • Billy
    I'd name my favorite indies, but unfortunately most if not have already been named here lol. I have to agree with Vega Bro though, sunshine was terrible. Well, let me specifiy, Sunshine was great until the last act when it turned into slashermovie09456794586 set in space.
  • Derek
    Has anyone else seen "The Hawk Is Dying," with Paul Giamatti?
  • Sheldon
    just a few of my favs clerks (obviously) the life aquatic the royal tenenbaums eternal sunshine of the spotless mind sunshine cleaning little miss sunshine sunshine pi memento vulgar house of a thousand corpses waiting(is it indie?) evil dead juno donnie darko 28 days later shaun of the dead saved american beauty the nines

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