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.
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.
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: