Saturday, June 1, 2013

Indies on Demand

In the Comfort of Home                  
by Mark Dispenza

More and more indies are now available in concert with limited theatrical release, so you no longer have to live in Los Angeles or New York to find art house favorites.  In fact you can view them from the comfort of your own home or even on your iPad.  

Here are notable titles currently available for home download...

LORE - As Nazi Germany collapses around her, a 14-year-old girl must cross a newly occupied and divided nation to bring her younger siblings to the safety of her grandparents.  In the process they come to depend on a newly liberated Jewish traveling companion and discover the lies and atrocities in which their parents were complicit.  More than a coming-of-age tale, Lore is a metaphor for the German people in the closing days of World War II.  The film features a striking performance by young actress Saskia Rosendahl.  Available on iTunes download or Netflix DVD.  

TO THE WONDER - It's Malick again - beautiful cinematography, great actors, poetic voice-overs, recurring scenes of nature. This may be one of his most accessible films.  Ben Affleck plays a disaffected man who can't decide if he wants to be with Olga Kurylenko or Rachel McAdams, while Javier Bardem laments his perceived irrelevance while searching for his true calling as a priest among a largely disaffected flock.  Available for download on iTunes.  

UPSTREAM COLOR - It's been nine years since former MIT philosopher Shane Carruth wowed the indie film world with Primer.  If thought-provoking, controversial films are your thing, you'll probably love this allegorical tale.  Just who is that enigmatic pig farmer anyway? Currently in limited release, this film is also available as a rental download from iTunes.  

ROOM 237 - Judging from the huge response we received after posting about this doc, there are a lot of Kubrick fans among our readers, or people who are just plain intrigued by hidden meanings and symbolism.  There's a lot of that here, as fans of The Shining share what they see or think they see behind Kubrick's elaborate and enigmatic scene constructions. Available as a download from iTunes.  

SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK - Never before has mental dysfunction been so empathetic, funny and romantic.  Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence shine as two mentally-challenged lovebirds who work through their problems to a more than merely satisfactory result.  An awards season favorite this year, Silver Linings Playbook is available as an iTunes download or Netflix DVD.  

THE IMPOSSIBLE - Like the family at the center of this drama about the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004, this film will cause you to reconsider your life priorities and relationships.  A family separated in the midst of disaster overcome the odds to survive and find one another again. Cringe-inducing, realistic disaster effects and a standout performance by young actor, Tom Holland, makes it worth your while.  Available as an iTunes download or Netflix DVD. 

HOLY MOTORS - In French with English subtitles, this is a chaotic film that is one of the most inspired works of artistic vision vision to hit cinema in a very long time.  Director Leos Carax has painted a mesmerizing canvas around actor Denis Levant that delivers an unsurpassed showcase for a talented actor.  The visual contrast and social commentary that permeates every frame heightened my enjoyment of the film.  Available from Netflix as a download or on DVD.  

BEFORE SUNRISE/ BEFORE SUNSET - Before Midnight, the last of Richard Linklater's acclaimed romantic trilogy, has just hit the USA in limited release.  Before you see it, you can catch up on the early years of Jesse and Celine's story of timeless and tragic love by downloading or ordering the DVD for the two earlier films of the series that began in 1995 with Before Sunrise.  Available on iTunes, Netflix and a number of other platforms.  

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