Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.
by Peter Knegt
August 28, 2012 12:48 PM
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Fall Movie Preview: The 30 Indies You Must See

15. V/H/S (October 5)

Directors: Adam Wingard, David Bruckner, Ti West, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, Radio Silence
Cast: Joe Swanberg, Calvin Reeder, Adam Wingard, Sophia Takal, Kate Lyn Sheil
Distributor: Magnolia Films

Why is it a "Must See"? Forget "Paranormal Activity 4." The season's most worthwhile horror film is this POV, found footage flick from the perspective of some of America's top genre filmmakers.

READ MORE: SUNDANCE REVIEW: "V/H/S" Breathes New Life (And Death) Into Found-Footage Horror

Collectively directed by David Bruckner, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, Ti West and the online filmmaking collective known as Radio Silence, the anthology film follows a group of misfits hired by an unknown third party to burglarize a desolate house and acquire a rare VHS tape, until, of course, they discover more found footage than they bargained for.

Check out the red band trailer below:

16. Keep The Lights On (September 7)

Director: Ira Sachs
Cast: Thure Lindhardt, Zachary Booth, Julianne Nicholson, Souléymane Sy Savané, Paprika Steen
Distributor: Music Box Films

Why is it a "Must See"? Director Ira Sachs (“Forty Shades of Blue”) paints a painfully realistic portrait of an epic relationship in “Keep The Lights On.” Set in 1990s New York, the loosely autobiographical film follows a documentarian (Thure Lindhardt) who falls for a closeted lawyer (Zachary Booth). Sachs charts what follows over a volatile ten year time frame, with each man struggling with their own private compulsions and addictions – often at the expense of their relationship.  With strong performances and a thoughtful screenplay that defies convention, “Keep The Lights On” captures a poignant, raw love story sure to resonate strongly with audiences gay and straight.

Check out the trailer below:

17. Bachelorette (September 7)

Director: Leslye Headland
Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan, Rebel Wilson, James Marsden, Adam Scott
Distributor: RADiUS-The Weinstein Company

Why is it a "Must See"? Already out on VOD since early August (where its been doing very well), Leslye Headland's directorial debut "Bachelorette" most definitely deserves a theatrical reception when its released this September.

READ MORE: 'Bachelorette' Funny Lady Rebel Wilson: "I pick up the roles other actresses don't want"

A sort of "Bridesmaids" by way of "Heathers," the dark comedy finds Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher and Lizzy Caplan at the top of their respective games as a trio of questionable personalities who end up being asked to play bridesmaids to their high school frenemy (a fantastic Rebel Wilson). 

Check out the trailer below:

18. The House I Live In (October 5)

Director: Eugene Jarecki
Distributor: Abramorama/SnagFilms

Why is it a "Must See"? A strong possibility for the best feature documentary Oscar, Eugene Jarecki's doc (which won the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance) takes on the remarkable failure that is the American war on drugs. In the past 40 years, the War on Drugs has accounted for 45 million arrests, made America the world's largest jailer, and destroyed impoverished communities. Yet drugs are cheaper, purer, and more available today than ever. Jarecki tries to figure out where it went wrong, and what can still be done.

The film does not yet have a trailer.

19. Not Fade Away (December 21) &  20. Killing Them Softly (October 19)

Directors: David Chase ("Fade") and Andrew Dominik ("Killing")
Casts: John Magaro, Will Brill, Jack Huston, Brad Garrett, James Gandolfini ("Fade"); Brad Pitt, Ben Mendelsohn, James Gandolfini, Scoot McNairy, Richard Jenkins, Ray Liotta, Sam Shepard ("Killing")
Distributors: Paramount Vantage ("Fade") and The Weinstein Company ("Killing")

Why Are They "Must Sees"? Both the creator and the star of "The Sopranos" will have a known presence this fall, with David Chase making his directorial debut with "Not Fade Away" and James Gandolfini having both a small role in "Fade" and a scene-stealing supporting turn in "Killing Them Softly." The former -- which centers on the lead singer of a teenage rock band in 1960s New Jersey -- isn't exactly "Sopranos" territory, though the latter most definitely is. Directed by Andrew Dominik, it follows a hitman (Brad Pitt) who investigates a heist that occurs during a high stakes, mob-protected poker game.

Check out the "Softly" trailer below ("Not Fade Away" has yet to release one):

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  • Me | August 29, 2012 3:09 AMReply

    Dont forget On The Road and Noah Baumbachs black and white film with Gretat Gerwig.

  • Nadir F. | August 29, 2012 12:13 AMReply

    OK - enough about indie-film race relations for a moment. Can anyone explain the ridiculous music on the Wuthering Heights trailer? Definitely a white boy edit.

  • Proj | September 4, 2012 4:17 PM

    I think that music is a result of the pop-up ad, but I couldn't shut it off. The actual trailer has no music and it's quite effective.

  • JUNE | August 28, 2012 2:12 PMReply

    Is this is order? Please say no.

  • frida n. | August 28, 2012 1:07 PMReply

    Your press for movies of color is pathetic. Your editorial leadership is lily white and horrible. Shadow and Act makes you feel like you have a pass. But this site is trash when it comes to it's press for anybody that does not look like you. You have not one Latino or Asian or Native or Middle Eastern or African film here. You have two Black American ones relegated to 28 and 30 that you write about like an afterthought. You make no attempts to be inclusive to anything that is not in your lily white world. And. You have just been called on it. I'm certain this comment will be deleted. But you read it and you know it is true. Get a life.

  • Crisp | August 29, 2012 1:58 PM

    I hope too that this list is not in order. The colored people's films being at the end of the list says a lot about what the author values and feels is "better." Indiewire is kind of like the Republican convention of the independent film universe. Everyday they tell us "others" WE BUILT IT, so the rest of you can stay out. You report on the obscure non-ethnic festivals and conferences but I can count on one hand the number of articles about our Latino festivals or those of other colored people.

  • Daniel | August 28, 2012 9:54 PM

    Two things: "Middle of Nowhere" isnt Ava DuVernay's directorial debut. That was "I Will Follow" released through AFFRM a few years ago. The other more interesting issue is Frida N's comment about there being two Black American films on the list. Does the fact that "The Paperboy" is directed by Lee Daniels, a black man, make it a black film? Interesting...

  • Peter Knegt | August 28, 2012 3:25 PM


    Of course we won't delete it. But I must ask you - Do you have any suggestions for the types of films you note that have distribution this Fall? There sadly and simply are very few quality Latino or Asian or Native or Middle Eastern or African films that have US distribution and are coming out this fall. I agree it's largely a lily white world. But as far as I'm concerned, Indiewire simply just lives in. We try and be as inclusive as possible, but we can't correct the sad state that is minority representation in cinema ourselves.