A good way to start 2014 would be to catch up with the indie films of last year that you have yet to see ! Here are some suggestions !
First on the list would be the most talked about indie film of the year. The film comes from France and its name is Blue is the Warmest Color by Abdellatif Kechiche. There has been gossip, feuds and awards surrounding the film however its content surpasses its notoriety ! This is a love story between two girls who live their life and their passion to the fullest. The film took the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and from then on the world would discover it on both sides of the Atlantic. Now it is the award darling for any award ceremony that wants to add a little spice to their awards. Through this film the world would also discover its star Adele Exarchopoulos who with her lustful performance seems to have captured audiences and the industry alike.
Continuing with the list we bump into another girl, a very different girl from the two above, and her name is Frances-Ha by Noam Baumbach. A film is a throwback to the French New Wave films of the 60s. The title character roams around New York trying to figure out her life in black and white. The actress Gerta Gerwig who plays her is deemed the new independent film princess and also co wrote the script for the film. The film may be in black and white however the principal character is full of color and light , even when she is left with no money, no friends and no home-hard to pull that one of! It manages to describe the anxieties and troubles of a generation seen through the optimistic eyes of Frances.
What could be considered as the german answer to Frances-Ha is Jan Ole Gerster’s Oh Boy. This time the streets that are roamed are those ofBerlin and the person that roams them is a boy named Niko Fischer. Soul searching seems to be done better in black white since this director chose to also film Berlin in those colors. There is a melancholic undertone to the film however the title character despite his predicament is full of optimism and an appetite to explore his city as well as his life through the chance encounters that come his way. The director’s seems to do with Berlin what Woody Allen did for New York , make us fall in love with it without resorting to cheesy touristy portrayals of the city. Besides Berlin and the boy in question, the third protagonist would be the music of the movie.
And now it’s time to leave the black and white and go for a little bit of sun. The Mediterranean is the setting for the third instalment of Richard Linklater’s romantic movies. This is a rarity in the independent film world, a sequel, and not just one but two. And the film in question would be Before Midnight. The stars of the film Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy co wrote the script with the director which takes place 10 years after the last one Before Sunset and follows Celine and Jesse in their forties now, with two kids on their vacation in Greece. For the uninitiated the first film, Before Sunrise, dates almost 20 years and tells the tale of the couple’s meeting,their falling in love and separating at sunrise. These wordy movies offer a realistic view of a love affair through the ages and the problems, the joys and the questions people encounter in different stages of their lives. At times it’s painful and difficult but through its realistic portrayal it always remains romantic and engaging to watch.
Maybe the buzz was a little less compared to his previous film, A Separation, however The Past of Asghar Faradi holds up just as fine. Berenice Bejo was awarded with the Best Actress award at the Cannes Film Festival, for her portrayal of a woman trapped between two worlds, between two men, between her past and her present. The director films his characters with sympathy and without judgment. Even though the plot of the film would be enough to compel you to watch it what even exceeds that is the actor’s performances and the realism of the piece. There are many four walls drams but this one stands out for its sensitivity towards the human condition and the complex way of looking at human relationships.
So maybe your resolution for 2014 should be to pick up your cameras shoot your stories and then send them to ÉCU Film Festival and who knows next year one of your movies could be on the list !