Summer is essentially over. Maybe not by the calendar, but certainly when it comes to Hollywood. The "Men In Black 3"s and "The Expendables 2"s have come and gone, and for anyone who likes a mediocre $200 million-budgeted film aimed at teenaged boys, you're out of luck for at least a few months. (Editor's note: Yay.)
Not to say this summer didn't give cinema-goers plenty of nice alternatives, from rare summer studio fare that pleased audiences and (most) critics ("The Dark Knight Rises," "Prometheus," "Magic Mike") to a good dozen arthouse films ("Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "Moonrise Kingdom" perhaps the MVPs in that regard). But fall is a whole other monster. And more often than not, it's a monster that's a good friend to any cinephile.
The final months of 2012's specialty release schedule should easily fulfill the needs of any film lover. There's works from auteurs both international and domestic, a considerable documentary presence, many biopics and the annual plethora of Oscar-bait. And Indiewire has decided to offer the following list of 30 notable titles to watch for.
In addition, IW sorted those 30 and a few dozen extra via the calendar, listing the releases by date and giving each its own page complete with a ton of information (cast, distributor, synopsis, trailer, etc.).
It's more than likely said calendar will find a few notable additions once the Venice and Toronto dust settles. Films like Terrence Malick's "To The Wonder," Brian DePalma's "Passion," Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini "Imogene," and scores of others, remain distributor free. A number of them could find themselves in theaters by year's end, but for now no films without release dates or distributors are included in this list.
Of note: Indiewire's list veers away from studio efforts that very well could be high on one's fall to-see list. Defining what is and is not a "specialty film" is murky at best so we are simply sticking to including any film released from a independent distrubutor or an indie division of a studio. But this rule remains problematic on numerous occasions. Many "studio films" specifically that would have surely been on and perhaps even near the top of this list include Ben Affleck's "Argo," Tom Tykwer, Andy Wachowski and Lana Wachowski's "Cloud Atlas," Rian Johnson's "Looper," Peter Jackson's "The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey," Steven Spielberg's "Lincoln," Ang Lee's "Life of Pi," Robert Zemeckis's "Flight," Kathryn Bigelow's "Zero Dark Thirty," and Tom Hooper's "Les Miserables."
But before treading through those listings, consider the following 30 films first. From Michael Haneke, Quentin Tarantino and Gus Van Sant to
L. Ron Hubbard, Leo Tolstoy and FDR, a fall indie preview begins on the next page.