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Summer 2012 Movie Preview: The 20 Indies You Must See

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire April 30, 2012 at 1:05PM

The summer movie season isn't exactly best known for independent film. With billions of dollars set to be spent on a vast amount of sequels, remakes and board game adaptations ("Ice Age 4," "The Dark Knight Rises," "The Amazing Spider-Man," "Battleship," "The Expendables 2," etc, etc.), one has to wonder: How much space is left for the little guys?
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10. The Intouchables (May 25)

Directors: Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano
Cast: Nicolas Duval-Adassovsky, Laurent Zeitoun, Yann Zenou
Distributor: The Weinstein Company

Why is it a "Must See"? Already the second highest grossing non-English language film ever (behind "The Passion of the Christ"), Olivier Nakache and Éric Toledano's "The Intouchables" has been a remarkable sensation all of the world, grossing over $325 million.  So what will that translate into when the film comes to America? Je ne sais pas. But it's easy to see why people have already taken to the film's feel-good inspirational story. It tells the development of the improbable friendship between Philippe, a rich quadriplegic, and Driss, a young offender of Senegalese descent, who is hired as his live-in caregiver. Sounds a little "Driving Monsieur Daisy," sure... But that hasn't stopped the rest of the world from embracing it.

Check out the film's trailer:

11. Seeking a Friend For the End of the World (June 22)

Director: Lorene Scafaria
Cast: Steve Carell, Keira Knightley, Adam Brody, Derek Luke, Connie Britton, Melanie Lynskey, Patton Oswalt, William Peterson
Distributor: Focus Features

Why is it a "Must See"? The first film from Lorene Scarfaria (who wrote "Nick and Norah's Infinite Playlist"), "Seeking a Friend" is an apocalyptic  comedy set amidst the impending doom of an asteroid crash. After his wife leaves him, Dodge (Steve Carell) teams up with his longtime British neighbor Penny (Keira Knightley) to search for his old childhood sweetheart before the asteroid arrives. Along the way, a promising cast of character actors pop up (from Patton Oswalt to Melanie Lynsky), sure to collectively offer one of the more fun cinematic takes on the end of days.

Check out the film's trailer:

12. & 13. Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present  (June 13 ) and Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (July 27)

Directors: Matthew Akers ("Marina"); Alison Klayman ("Ai Weiwei")
Distributors: Music Box Films ("Marina"); Sundance Selects ("Ai Weiwei")

Why Are They "Must Sees"? Two of the most talked about documentaries to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, "The Artist is Present" and "Never Sorry" offer takes on two very different artists: New York-based Serbian performance artist Marina Abramovic and Chinese artist and activist Al Weiwei. Each doc sheds light on the respective artist's process, and external conflcits (certainly and drastically more severe for Weiwei, who has increasingly clashed with the Chinese government, getting arrested in 2011). 

Check out the film's trailers:





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