Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.
by Peter Knegt
April 30, 2012 1:05 PM
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Summer 2012 Movie Preview: The 20 Indies You Must See

17. God Bless America (May 11)

Director: Bobcat Goldthwait
Cast: Joel Murray, Tara Lynne Barr and Mackenzie Brooke Smith
Distributor: Magnet Releasing

Why is it a "Must See"? Comedian-turned-director Bobcat Goldthwait follows up his "World's Greatest Dad" with another very dark comedy. In "God Bless America," he gives us Frank, a jobless, loveless man who decides to give up on life, grab a gun and kill the folks who he considers the most repellent members of American society. And he's not doing it alone. He finds an unexpected accomplice in a 16 year old girl who is similarly fed up with her world.

Check out the film's trailer:

18. Searching For Sugar Man (July 27)

Director: Malik Bendjelloul
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Why is it a "Must See"? Yet another must-see doc from Sundance 2012's impressive crop, Malik Bendjelloul's "Searching For Sugar Man" follows two South Africans who set out to discover what happened to their unlikely musical hero: The mysterious 1970s rocker Rodriguez. An incredible story that had all of Sundance talking, audiences should definitely go on their own search for "Sugar Man" this July.

Check out the film's trailer:

19. & 20. The Loneliest Planet (August 24) and Planet of Snail (July 25)

Directors: Julia Loktev ("Loneliest"); Yi Seung-jun ("Snail")
Casts: Hani Furstenberg, Gael García Bernal and Bidzina Gujabidze ("Loneliest"); Young-Chan and Soon-Ho ("Snail")
Distributors: Sundance Selects ("Loneliest"); The Cinema Guild ("Snail")

Why Are They "Must Sees"? Julia Loktev's narrative "The Loneliest Planet" and Yi Seung-jun's doc "Planet of Snail" have little to do with each other, or planets from anything other than a metaphorical standpoint.  But they do both follow couples, and both are quietly powerful films from up-and-coming filmmakers that are worth the price of admission.

"Loneliest" follows a spirited young couple (Gael Garcia Bernal  and Hani Furstenberg) as they backpack across the Caucasus Mountains in Georgia a few months ahead of their American wedding. "Snail," meanwhile, is a portrait of Young-Chan, a Korean man who is both deaf and blind (he calls himself a "snail" as he can only communicate through touch).  At the centre of the story is Young-Chan's relationship with his wife Soon-Ho, who lovingly works as his eyes and ears.

Check out a clip from "Snail," and the Indiewire panel from "Loneliest" at last year's Toronto Film Festival:

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  • Robert Remy | May 1, 2012 7:05 AMReply

    A great list.

    But how can you forget film number twenty-one of the "must-sees? " www.touchstonethemovie.com

  • bob hawk | May 1, 2012 1:28 AMReply

    I've only seen seven out of your 20, but I want to see all of those seven again -- although I do hope the makers of QUEEN OF VERSAILLES have tightened it a bit (less can be more, and all that jazz). As for the other juicy sounding 13 -- I'm salivating.

  • jingmei | April 30, 2012 11:53 PMReply

    Thanks for the introduction though already known about most of them since winter. 8) Strongly look forward to Les Intouchables.

  • danny | April 30, 2012 1:36 PMReply

    think something was left out of this sentence..
    Their move prompts a considerable search party in their honor, which includes the rest of the film's amazing cast (though notably, Owen Wilson for the first time in Anderson history).