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Summer Movie Preview: The 50 Indies You Must See (Part 1)

By Indiewire | Indiewire April 22, 2013 at 12:14PM

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 and remakes ("The Hangover Part III," "Fast & Furious 6,""The Smurfs 2," "Kick Ass 2," "Grown Ups 2," "300: Rise of an Empire," etc, etc, etc.), one has to wonder: How much space is left for the little guys?
2

Byzantium (June 28)

Director: Neil Jordan
Cast: Gemma Arterton, Sam Riley, Saoirse Ronan
Distributor: IFC Films

Criticwire Average: 17 critics gave it a B- average

Why is it a "Must See"? "Interview With a Vampire" director Neil Jordan returns to the bloodsucker genre with "Byzantium," his most commercial vehicle in years that premiered to solid notices last year in Toronto. The story centers on two female vampires (Saoirse Ronan and Gemma Arterton) who wreak havoc on an unsuspecting seaside community. Given Jordan's track record since helming the Tom Cruise-starring "Interview" -- he has since directed "Michael Collins," "The End of the Affair" and "Breakfast on Pluto," among many others -- don't expect a "Twilight" knockoff, but something for the adult set with more on its mind than lust and blood. [Nigel M. Smith]

Check out the film's trailer:


Computer Chess (July 17)

Director: Andrew Bujalski
Cast:  Patrick Riester, Myles Paige, James Curry, Robin Schwartz, Gerald Peary, Wiley Wiggins
Distributor: Kino Lorber

Criticwire Average: 14 critics gave it a B- average

Why is it a "Must See"? "Computer Chess" is the first film in five years from writer-director Andrew Bujalski -- best known for pioneering the mumblecore genre with his 2002 comedy "Funny Ha Ha." The film follows a group of chess software programmers in 1980 as they converge for a weekend chess programming tournament. The film -- self-described as an "artificially intelligent comedy" -- was awarded the Alfred P. Sloan Award at Sundance, honoring films whose theme is science or technology. Sounds a bit nerdy, but according to Indiewire's Sundance review, the film falls in line with Bujalski's previous work "while achieving much funnier, offbeat results." [Peter Knegt]

Check out the film's trailer:


Crystal Fairy (July 12)

Director: Sebastian Silva
Cast: Michael Cera, Gaby Hoffmann, Juan Andrés Silva, José Miguel Silva, Agustín Silva
Distributor: IFC Films

Criticwire Average: 13 critics have it a B average.

Why is it a "Must See"? One of two Sebastian Silva films to both star Michael Cera and premiere at this year's Sundance Film Festival (the other being "Magic Magic"), "Crystal Fairy" is based on a real road trip taken by Silva and his brothers, with dialogue 100% improvised from an 11-page outline. Essentially a drug-fueled road movie (isn't that the best kind?), "Crystal Fairy" earned high praise from The Playlist in their Sundance review: "Generally, unless you’re a master like Christopher Guest, films without scripts tend to feel like it. While 'Crystal Fairy' is loose, there’s never a moment where you’re taken out of the picture by realizing the actors might not know where they’re heading next." [Peter Knegt]

Check out the film's trailer:

This article is related to: Summer Movie Preview, Before Midnight, Austenland, Byzantium, Blue Jasmine, Ain't Them Bodies Saints, Crystal Fairy






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