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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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14. Ruby Sparks (July 25)

Directors: Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris
Cast: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Antonio Banderas, Annette Bening, Steve Coogan
Distributor: Fox Searchlight

Why is it a "Must See"? Six years after "Little Miss Sunshine," directorial team Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris finally give us their follow-up with "Ruby Sparks."  The film follows a novelist ("Sunshine" breakout Paul Dano) struggling with writer's block who manages to somehow creating a female character he thinks will love him, and then forcing her into actual existence. Chaos and romance ensure.

Check out the film's trailer:

15. Oslo, August 31st (May 25)

Director: Joachim Trier
Cast: Anders Danielsen Lie, Hans Olav Brenner
Distributor: Strand Releasing

Why is it a "Must See"? While the 2012 Cannes Film Festival takes place over the pond, American audiences can check out one of the best films from last year's festival as Joachim Trier's "Oslo, August 31st" hits US screens. The film depicts one day in the life of Anders -- a recovering drug addict -- who takes a brief leave from his treatment center to interview for a job and catch up with old friends in Oslo. A critical darling on the festival circuit ever since Cannes (it also played Toronto and Sundance), this Norwegian import is one of the best foreign language films coming this way over the summer.

Check out the film's trailer:

16. Hysteria (May 18)

Director: Tanya Wexler
Cast: Maggie Gyllenhaal, Hugh Dancy, Felicity Jones, Rupert Everett, Jonathan Pryce
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Why is it a "Must See"? A romantic comedy set around the invention of the vibrator, this Victorian-era film from director Tanya Wexler ("Finding North") definitely offers a premise unique to its studio rom-com comrades.  With a cast led by Maggie Gyllenhaal and Hugh Dancy, this historical sex romp is a lot of good old fashioned saucy fun.

Check out the film's trailer:






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