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The 7 Indie Films You Must See This April

Photo of Peter Knegt By Peter Knegt | Indiewire April 2, 2013 at 1:31PM

From Terrence Malick and Danny Boyle to Angela Davis and Matthew McConaughey, the specialty market is offering up an awesome mix of films for the first full month of Spring 2013. Check out Indiewire's picks for the month's 7 best options below. Though do head over to the full month's calendar as well, as there are plenty more worthy films (including studio offerings -- is it just us or does "Oblivion" have a lot of potential?) that didn't end up making this list.
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4. Upstream Color (April 5)


Director: Shane Carruth
Cast: Shane Carruth, Amy Seimetz, Andrew Sensenig, Thiago Martins
Current Criticwire average: B+ (see all grades)

Why Is It a "Must See"? Nearly 10 years after his debut "Primer" topped Sundance's awards, Shane Carruth has finally offered us a follow-up with "Upstream Color," which premiered at Sundance earlier this year. "The plot of 'Upstream Color' is tough to define but not exactly intangible," Eric Kohn wrote in Indiewire's Sundance review. "An advanced cinematic collage of ideas involving the slipperiness of human experience. Carruth's polished, highly expressionistic work bears little comparison to his previous feature aside from the constant mental stimulation it provides for its audience." That stimulation potentially comes your way this month, with Carruth releasing the film himself across the US.

Watch the trailer below:


5. Simon Killer (April 5)

Director: Antonio Campos
Cast: Brady Corbet, Mati Diop, Constance Rousseau, Michael Abiteboul
Distributor: IFC Films
Current Criticwire average: B (see all grades)

Why Is It a "Must See"? A highlight from last year's Sundance, Antonio Campos' "Simon Killer" is finally hitting theaters this month. Campos' follow-up to his acclaimed debut "Afterschool" (which also gave us the debut performance of Ezra Miller), "Simon Killer" follows a recent college graduate (Brady Corbet) who flees to Paris after a break-up. That seems like the set-up of a romantic comedy, though "Killer" evolves into something that's close to the farthest thing from it. "With a dense, often impermeable style and a mentally unstable protagonist, 'Simon Killer' is like watching the disturbed anti-hero of 'Afterschool' all grown up," Eric Kohn wrote in Indiewire's review.

Watch the trailer below:

6. Free Angela and All Political Prisoners (April 5)

Director:  Shola Lynch
Distributor: CODEBLACK Films/Lionsgate
Current Criticwire average: B+ (see all grades)

Why Is It a "Must See"? Jay-Z, Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith are teaming up to release Shola Lynch's "Free Angela and All Political Prisoners."  The documentary chronicles the life of Angela Davis, once a young college professor who saw her social activism implicate her in a botched kidnapping attempt that ended with a shootout and her name on the FBI's 10 most wanted list. "Confidently constructed, and aided by an assured focus, 'Free Angela & All Political Prisoners' is a solid tribute a woman who was one of many vital pieces of the civil rights movement, and an insightful study of a time when the American identity -- both politically and socially -- was being drastically reshaped," The Playlist wrote in their review.

Check out the trailer below:

7. In The House (April 19)


Director:  Francois Ozon
Distributor: Cohen Media Group
Cast: Fabrice Luchini, Ernst Umhauer, Kristin Scott Thomas, Emmanuelle Seigner
Current Criticwire average: B (see all grades)

Why Is It a "Must See"? The sole foreign language entry on this list is arguably Francois Ozon's most acclaimed films in years. Starring newcomer Ernst Umhauer as a  sixteen-year-old boy insinuates himself into the house of a fellow student from his literature class and writes about it in essays for his French teacher (a fantastic Fabrice Luchini), the film premiered to strong reviews at Toronto last year (where it won the FIPRESCI prize for best film in the Special Presentations program). 

Watch the trailer below:


This article is related to: Trance, To the Wonder , Free Angela & All Political Prisoners, Upstream Color, Simon Killer, In the House, Mud