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The 7 Indie Films You Must See This June

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire May 31, 2012 at 11:12AM

June is about to offer quite the selection to movie-goers, with over 30 films listed on Indiewire's June calendar.
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Beasts Of The Southern Wild
Beasts Of The Southern Wild

June is about to offer quite the selection to movie-goers, with over 30 films listed on Indiewire's June calendar.

As an extension of our last month's summer movie preview, Indiewire is offering the second of four monthly summer "must-see" lists to make cinematic decision-making as easy as possible this summer.

From Marina Abramovic and Woody Allen to time travel and the apocalypse, check out Indiewire's picks for your 7 best options, and then check out June's full calendar, as there are many worthy films that didn't end up making this list.

1. Beasts of the Southern Wild (June 27)

Director: Benh Zeitlin
Cast: Quvenzhané Wallis and Dwight Henry
Distributor: Fox Searchlight

Why is it a "Must See"? Winner of the Sundance Film Festival's Grand Jury Prize for US Narrative Filmmaking (not to mention the Camera d'Or at Cannes last week), "Beasts of the Southern Wild" follows an impressive line of recent winners including "Frozen River," "Precious" and "Winter's Bone." And with good reason. This gorgeous, lyrical fable of a film won over pretty much everyone that saw it at Sundance, and is likely to be one of the year's most acclaimed indies. It follows six-year-old Hushpuppy (Wallis, in a remarkable performance), who leaves faces great obstacles in her father's fading health, impending environmental doom and a search for her mother. It all culminates in a sequence sure to leave you breathless, and in awe of newcomer Zeitlin's directorial capabilities. Sure to be one of the year's most acclaimed films, this is perhaps the must see of the entire summer.

Check out Indiewire's review, and the film's trailer:

2. Take This Waltz (June 29)

Director: Sarah Polley
Cast: Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Luke Kirby and Sarah Silverman
Distributor: Magnolia Pictures

Why is it a "Must See"? Sarah Polley's highly anticipated directorial follow-up to "Away From Her," "Take This Waltz" stars Michelle Williams as Margot, a 28 year-old aspiring writer married for 5 years to Lou (Seth Rogen), a chicken cookbook author who clearly adores her.  But their relationship is somewhat stagnant despite its sweetness, and Margot is definitely not entirely satisfied with Lou, or with anything. Enter sexy artist dude Daniel (Luke Kirby), who she meets and flirts with on a work trip only to find out he lives across the street. And of course, here comes trouble. But it's not the sort of trouble you might expect. Polley handles the narrative distinctly, never relying on convention. A sort of anti-romantic comedy, you won't regret taking this "Waltz."

Check out the film's trailer:


3. To Rome, With Love (June 22)

Director: Woody Allen
Cast: Alec Baldwin, Penelope Cruz, Roberto Benigni, Judy Davis, Jesse Eisenberg, Ellen Page, Greta Gerwig and Allen himself
Distributor: Sony Pictures Classics

Why Is It a "Must See"? "Rome" marks Woody Allen's first acting role in one of his films since 2006's "Scoop," and he's joined by a typically expansive cast that includes previous collaborators Cruz and Davis.  Few have seen it, but the film is said to be told in four vignettes, each set in Rome. It's unclear what the quality level will be, as Allen clearly hits ("Midnight in Paris") as much as he misses ("You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger") these days, and two in a row seems like asking a bit much. But a Woody Allen film is still a Woody Allen film either way, and it seems pretty impossible to not enjoy watching this cast.

Check out the film's trailer :

4. Your Sister's Sister (June 15) & 5. Safety Not Guaranteed (June 8)

Directors: Lynn Shelton ("Sister"); Colin Trevorrow ("Safety")
Cast: Emily Blunt, Rosemarie Dewitt and Mark Duplass ("Sister"); Aubrey Plaza, Jake M. Johnson and Mark Duplass again ("Safety)
Distributors: Sundance Selects ("Sister"); Film District ("Safety")

Why Are They "Must Sees"? Mark Duplass double feature! Though the similarities pretty much end there, save the fact that both have had well-recieved runs on the festival circuit.

The "Jeff Who Lives at Home" writer and director stars in two indie films this summer (in addition to studio offering "People Like Us" and the release of Mark and brother Jay Duplass's first film "The Do-Deca-Pentathlon"), Lynn Shelton's "Your Sister's Sister" and Colin Trevorrow's "Safety Not Guaranteed." The former sees him starring alongside Emily Blunt and Rosemarie Dewitt in a heavily improvised comedic drama about a revealing weekend at the cottage between two sisters and their friend. The latter is based on an internet meme that originated from a newspaper classified ad by a person (played by Duplass in the film) asking for someone to accompany him in time travel.  Both are unlike anything else playing in theaters this summer, and that's a good thing.

Check out Indiewire's review of "Sister" and "Safety," and the films' trailers:

6. 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:

7. Marina Abramovic: The Artist Is Present  (June 13 )

Director: Matthew Akers
Distributor: Music Box Films

Why Is It a "Must See"? One of the most talked about documentaries to premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, "The Artist is Present" offers a take on New York-based Serbian performance artist Marina Abramović.  From March 14 to May 31, 2010, the Museum of Modern Art held a major retrospective and performance recreation of Abramović's work.  During this time, she performed "The Artist is Present," a 736-hour and 30-minute static, silent piece, in which she sat immobile in the museum's atrium as spectators were invited to take turns sitting opposite her. If you missed out on partaking, here's your cinematic second chance.

Check out the film's trailer:

This article is related to: Lists, Beasts Of The Southern Wild, Take This Waltz, To Rome With Love, Safety Not Guaranteed, Your Sister's Sister, Marina Abramović The Artist is Present, Seeking A Friend For The End of The World