Back to IndieWire

The 11 Indies to Watch on VOD This June: ‘Hungry Hearts,’ ‘Big Game’ and More

The 11 Indies to Watch on VOD This June: 'Hungry Hearts,' 'Big Game' and More

READ MORE: The 12 Indies to Watch on VOD This May: ‘Maggie,’ Good Kill’ and More

Hungry Hearts” (June 5)

The psychological drama from writer-director Saverio Costanzo stars “Girls” Emmy-nominee Adam Driver and Alba Rohrwacher as a young married couple in New York City who engage in a fateful struggle over the life of their newborn child. As the mother’s increasingly nightmarish child rearing practices take center stage, the husband is forced into an emotional ringer as the film evokes the classic slow-burn thrillers of Roman Polanski and Alfred Hitchcock. The leads won the Coppa Volpi Awards (Best Actor/Actress Awards) at the Venice Film Festival last year. Driver has also delivered impressive performances in indies such as “Inside Llewyn Davis” and “While We’re Young,” and the opportunity to go full blown dramatic should make for his best acting showcase yet. 

The Nightmare” (June 5)

Following up “The Shining” conspiracy documentary “Room 237” and a segment for the horror anthology sequel “The ABCs of Death 2,” filmmaker Rodney Ascher takes on his scariest project yet with “The Nightmare.” Interviewing eight adults who suffer from sleep paralysis and resulting night terrors, the director explores his subjects’ semi-conscious states by recreating their horrific dreamscapes for the viewer to witness. Reviews out of the Sundance Film Festival called the film one of the most terrifying documentaries ever made, so best avoid seeing it alone.

Wild Horses” (June 5)

Fans of rural-set murder mysteries will want to check out Robert Duvall’s latest directorial effort, “Wild Horses.” The film follows a Texas Ranger who reopens a cold case and suspects a wealthy ranch owner and his family of the crime after their estranged son returns home. Duvall, who wrote the screenplay from a story by Michael Shell, stars as the determined Texas patriarch who will stop at nothing to protect his family. James Franco and Josh Hartnett play his onscreen sons and Duvall’s real-life wife, Luciana Duvall, takes on the role of the strong-willed Texas Ranger at the head of the case.

The Yes Men Are Revolting” (June 9)

The third entry in the “The Yes Men” documentary franchise, “The Yes Men Are Revolting” once again follows culture jammers Mika Bonanno and Andy Bichlbaum, who have developed a reputation for activist pranks that trick corporations into showing their uglier sides. Co-directed by the eponymous duo and Laura Nix, and produced by Adam McKay, the film documents a variety of Yes Men stunts as a means of exposing global problems, primarily those focusing on climate change. While the extended pranks offer the same informative blend of goofy behavior and reportage as the first two films in the trilogy, the third chapter in the series manages to personalize its subjects’ quest and the effect it has on their targets, easily making it the best of the series to date.

Madame Bovary” (June 12)

Based on the famous novel by Gustave Flaubert, the latest screen adaptation of “Madame Bovary” stars indie stalwart Mia Wasikowska as Emma, the farmer’s daughter who marries a young doctor only to find herself longing for a better romance and a more fulfilling life. In order to escape her disposition, Emma begins love affairs with several men and shops so vigorously that her husband falls into debt and she spirals into depression. Considering Wasikowska already has experience bringing iconic literary characters to life on the big screen (see “Jane Eyre”), Flaubert’s complex 19th century character should be in very safe hands. Paul Giamatti, Rhys Ifans, Ezra Miller, Henry Lloyd-Hughes, Logan Marshall-Green and Laura Carmichael also star. Felipe Marino adapted the screenplay. 

The Face of an Angel” (June 19)

Based on the book “Angel Face” by Newsweek writer Barbie Latza Nadeau and inspired by the true story of Amanda Knox and the 2007 murder of Meredith Kercher, Michael Winterbottom’s psychological thriller tells the meta-narrative of a film director (Daniel Brühl) whose next project is a screen adaptation of a book that recounts the trial of an American student who murdered her flatmate while studying abroad. While visiting Italy to conduct research, the director befriends the journalist who covered the story and falls into bed with a young bartender. Kate Beckinsale and Cara Delevinge co-star.

Manglehorn” (June 19)

David Gordon Green’s latest offbeat character drama boasts a star-studded cast that includes Al Pacino, Holly Hunter, Chris Messina and film director Harmony Korine (“Gummo,” “Spring Breakers”). Pacino plays Angelo Manglehorn, a lonely locksmith who mostly keeps to himself because he has never quite managed to overcome the death of the love of his life. The film centers on the rather unexpected and tentative friendship that develops between Manglehorn and a female bank employee. With actors who can swiftly navigate comedy and drama, it’s safe to expect another empathetic mix of humor and melancholy from Gordon Green (“Prince Avalanche”).

Big Game” (June 26)

Samuel L. Jackson is bringing back the ’90s action movie in high flying style in Jamari Helander’s retro-indie-blockbuster “Big Game.” The movie follows a 13-year-old boy (newcomer Onni Tommila) who, after taking part in a tradition where he must spend one day alone in the wilderness to prove himself a man, discovers the President of the United States (Jackson) in an Air Force One escape pod. As terrorists make their way towards the crash site in order to kidnap the President, the unlikely duo team up for a deadly game of cat-and-mouse. The action picture earned positive reviews at TIFF last year for its guilty pleasure callbacks to ’80s/’90s-era action-adventure blockbusters and its impressive production value.

“What Happened, Miss Simone?” (June 26)

Liz Garbus’ portrait of recording artist and civil rights activist Nina Simone opened the Sundance Film Festival in January and should be another documentary winner for Netflix following Oscar-nominated hits “The Square” and “Virunga.” The director builds the narrative of Simone’s life straight from the singer’s own songs, diary entries and letters. With additional rare concert footage and interviews with Simone’s daughter, friends and collaborators, the film dives into the soul of the troubled blues singer, uncovering her devotion to empower black America and exposing her abusive personal life, her controlling managers and her own experiences battling bipolar disorder.

The Little Death” (June 26)

Whether it’s loving feet or role playing, humans have developed some odd sexual fetishes and fantasies, and the debut comedy from actor-director Josh Lawson aims to explore these different fetishes and their effects on individuals and relationships. Starring Lawson opposite Bojana Novakovic (“Burning Man”), Damon Herriman (“J. Edgar”) and Kate Mulvany (“The Great Gatsby”), “The Little Death” goes behind the curtain windows of five suburban couples to reveal their humorous, edgy sex lives. From a man having an extramarital affair to a wife who can only find pleasure in her husband’s pain, the comedy explores a wide range of sexual fetishes and the emotional repercussions that come from sharing them.

A Little Chaos” (June 26)

Alan Rickman steps behind the camera for the first time since 1997’s “The Winter Guest” to helm this British period drama starring Oscar winner Kate Winslet opposite Matthias Schoenaerts, Stanley Tucci, Helen McCrory and Danny Webb. Winslet stars as the widowed Sabine De Barra, whose special talent in landscape design earns her a job working on the gardens of Versailles with King Louis XIV’s landscape architect, André Le Nótre. The two become romantically entangled as De Barra navigates the world of the French aristocracy and learns to move on from her first marriage.

This Article is related to: Features and tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,