Sofia Coppola’s thieving celeb-wannabes in “The Bling Ring” invade select theaters today, but Coppola’s film isn’t the only indie entering the marketplace. Below find a list of the indies opening today, with synopses courtesy of the distributors.
Opening In: New York
Synopsis: Raul (Lin Manuel Miranda), a young newyorican man meets a beautiful Puerto Rican girl in a club in New York City. Her name is Maria Sanchez and before he can get to know her a fight breaks and they get separated. He can’t stop thinking about her and decides to go to Puerto Rico with his good friend Juan (Jaime Camil) to look for her. Upon arrival he discovers that there are over 200 ‘Maria Sanchez’ in the phone book! So, he decides to write 200 letters to find his dream girl. His quest for Maria will take Raul and Juan in a comical journey through out the beautiful island of Puerto Rico where they’ll meet Yolanda (Dayanara Torres) a new friend that will help them find his ‘Maria’. Will Raul find what he was looking for?
Opening In: New York
Synopsis: Alex, 27, lives in a working-class Paris neighborhood and sells drugs for a living, continuously paying off the debts of his brother Isaac (played by French auteur Cedric Kahn), who’s becoming a real burden. When his cousin, who has just returned from completing his military service in Israel, tells him he’s opening a restaurant in Tel Aviv, Alex thinks that joining him might be the life-changing opportunity he was waiting for. But in order to leave, Alex must quickly find enough money and accomplish his ‘aliyah’ (the term for Jews emigrating to Israel) which involves, among other things, Hebrew lessons and connecting with his Jewish roots. He also has to leave behind his beloved city of Paris, his former lover Esther, his lifelong friend Mathias, and Jeanne, a woman whom he’s just met but has the potential of becoming someone important in his life. Torn between making his aliyah, his drug selling, his complicated love life and a destructive brother, Alex will have to find his own way and make a final decision.
“Berberian Sound Studio”
Opening In: New York, Los Angeles
Synopsis: A sound engineer’s work for an Italian horror studio becomes a terrifying case of life imitating art.
Opening In: Los Angeles
Synopsis: In this darkly comedic drama, two couples reunite over two incendiary evenings where anything can happen. Grace and Carlo are a newly married New York couple who visit their old friends Sharyl and Joel in their huge Midwestern home. Despite their wealth, the hosts are in a bitterly destructive marriage. A few years later, the couples reunite in New York, only to find tables turned.
“The Bling Ring”
Opening In: New York, Los Angeles (June 21 Nationwide)
Synopsis: From Oscar award winning writer and director Sofia Coppola, “The Bling Ring” tells the story of a group of teenagers obsessed with fashion and celebrity that burglarize celebrities’ homes in Los Angeles. Tracking their targets’ whereabouts online, they break-in and steal their designer clothes and possessions. Reflecting on the naivete of youth and the mistakes we all make when young, amplified by today’s culture of celebrity and luxury brand obsession, we see through the members of the Bling Ring temptations that almost any teenager would feel. What starts out as teenage fun spins out of control and leaves us with a sobering view of our culture today.
“Call Me Kuchu”
Opening In: New York (June 21 in Los Angeles)
Synopsis: In Uganda, a new bill threatens to make homosexuality punishable by death. David Kato – Uganda’s first openly gay man – and his fellow activists work against the clock to defeat the legislation while combating vicious persecution in their daily lives. But no one, not even the filmmakers, is prepared for the brutal murder that shakes the movement to its core and sends shock waves around the world.
“Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story”
Opening In: New York (June 21 Los Angeles and Chicago)
Synopsis: One man’s wild, lifelong adventure of testing society’s boundaries through his subversive art, Far Out Isn’t Far Enough: The Tomi Ungerer Story combines traditional documentary storytelling with original animation culled from seven decades worth of art from the renegade children’s book author and illustrator. Using a palette of 20th century events to paint an artist’s epic yet controversial life story, the film offers a retrospective of Ungerer’s life and art, and ponders the complexities and contradictions of a man who, armed with an acerbic wit, an accusing finger and a razor sharp pencil, gave visual representation to the revolutionary voices during one of the most tantalizing and dramatic periods in American history.
Opening In: New York, Los Angeles
Synopsis: College. Three of the most important years of your life. Three years of studies (at times) and sheer indulgence. Indulgence in all the little pleasures that a carefree life has to offer. But it isn’t always about ragging, fuchcha parties, college fests, raves and churning out ways to whack some extra pocket money from your parents.It’s sometimes hard, ugly and complicated. More so, when you really need to get admission in the coolest college in town and you know you don’t deserve it. And to top that, you get yourself involved in the most bizarre situations that could crack you into pieces before you could crack it.
Opening In: New York City, California, Phoenix, Portland, Seattle, Denver
Synopsis: It is the deadliest weapon made by man. The mere mention of its name fills hearts with terror. Long shrouded in mystery, it launches from a distance and locks onto the target’s head, the internal blades decapitating the victim with the yank of a chain. A weapon of choice for elite fighters, the flying guillotine leaves victims begging for mercy. A secret brotherhood of assassins – known only as The Guillotines – were once favored by the Emperor, but are now a force of terror and oppression under a new regime. Exiled to a remote village and hunted by a squad of fighters with firearms that challenge their cold steel, The Guillotines must now outwit and outfight enemies from both sides. From the director of the smash hit “Infernal Affairs” and “Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen” comes a brutal tale of honor, revenge, and
the ultimate weapon.
Synopsis: Concluding the saga begun in Adam Green’s hit 2006 thriller, “Hatchet III” follows the vengeful Marybeth (Danielle Harris) as she continues seeking out a way to destroy Victor Crowley (Kane Hodder), a hulking, seemingly-invincible sociopath rampaging through a sleepy Louisiana swamp. While a heavily-ar’ed team of mercenaries takes to the bayou surrounding Crowley’s home, Marybeth finds herself begrudgingly teaming up with a local policeman (Zach Galligan) and his ex-wife (Caroline Williams) – an expert on the maniac who may have uncovered the secret to ending his murderous rampage once and for all.
“In the Fog”
Opening In: New York
Synopsis: It is 1942 and the western edge of the USSR is under German occupation. In the region, local partisans are waging a brutal battle against their foreign enemies. Sushenya, an innocent rail worker, is arrested with a band of saboteurs when a train is derailed not far from his village. The German officer decides to set him free rather than hang him with the others, but rumors of Sushenya’s treason spread quickly and partisans Burov and Voitik seek revenge. Captured by the partisans, Sushenya is
led through the forest where they are ambushed. Soon he finds himself one-on-one with his wounded enemy, forced to make a moral choice under immoral circumstances.
“My Best Day”
Opening In: New York
Synopsis: Karen can’t believe that she has to work her receptionist gig on a gorgeous Fourth of July. Then a call comes from her long-lost father. Enlisting her janitor friend Meagan to help, Karen investigates her father’s trailer park home. She stumbles across a half-sister addicted to betting, a half- brother tortured by grade school bullies, a sketchy but charming buddy “just sleeping on the couch” and a potential lover in jail. Meanwhile, Meagan must decide between the stability of her longtime girlfriend and the thrill of a new love. With a small town like this, Karen’s own journey sets in motion a crazy chain of events that will change not just her but this one small town forever.
“Storm Surfers 3D”
Opening In: New York
Synopsis: “Storm Surfers 3D” is an epic, character-driven adventure documentary following two best friends on their quest to hunt down and ride the biggest and most dangerous waves in Australia. Aussie tow-surfing legend Ross Clarke-Jones and two-time world champion Tom Carroll enlist the help of surf forecaster Ben Matson and together they track and chase giant storms across the Great Southern Ocean. Braving enormous waves, freezing conditions and near-death experiences, the film follows all of Ross, Tom and Ben’s adventures over the 2011 winter big-wave season, all in stunning 3D. Along the way they join forces with big wave chargers Paul Morgan, Mark Mathews and Paul ‘Antman’ Paterson to conquer waves in Western Australia, on the east coast and in Tasmania, with a special appearance by the greatest surfer of all time, Kelly Slater. The holy grail for this team of big wave hunters is to discover and ride new waves that have never been surfed. This year, Ross, Tom and Ben get the chance of a lifetime when they embark on the biggest and most dangerous mission of their lives to a wave that has never been ridden, 75km from land.
“The Stroller Strategy”
Opening In: New York (June 28 in Los Angeles)
Synopsis: This charming, modern tale stars French heartthrob Raphael Personnaz as Parisian Thomas Platz, who is suddenly made the guardian of a baby – then pretends to be its real father in order to win back Marie (Charlotte Le Bon), the girlfriend who dumped him a year before. Stuck between staying a manchild forever, and proving he is ready to take the next steps of marriage and family with the love of his life, Thomas goes on an unexpectedly hilarious adventure getting the girl of his dreams to believe he has changed.
“Twenty Feet From Stardom”
Opening In: New York and Los Angeles
Synopsis: Millions know their voices, but no one knows their names. In his compelling new film “Twenty Feet from Stardom”, award-winning director Morgan Neville shines a spotlight
on the untold true story of the backup singers behind some of the greatest musical legends of the 21st century. Triumphant and heartbreaking in equal measure, the film is both a tribute to the unsung voices who brought shape and style to popular music and a reflection on the conflicts, sacrifices and rewards of a career spent harmonizing with others. These gifted artists span a range of styles, genres and eras of popular music, but each has a uniquely fascinating and personal story to share of life spent in the shadows of superstardom. Along with rare archival footage and a peerless soundtrack, “Twenty Feet from Stardom” boasts intimate interviews
with Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger and Sting to name just a few. However, these world-famous figures take a backseat to the diverse array of backup
singers whose lives and stories take center stage in the film.
Opening In: Nationwide
Synopsis: A recently paroled man unwittingly picks up the wrong rental vehicle after a long flight. He soon realizes that he is the target of an entire police force that will use any means necessary to stop him, and the tied-up female ‘passenger’ he discovers in the trunk, from getting to the courthouse to testify against their city’s top-to-bottom corruption.