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The 7 Indie Films You Must See This September

The 7 Indie Films You Must See This September

September  is about to offer quite the selection to movie-goers (even for those not heading to Venice, Telluride or Toronto), with over 35 films on Indiewire’s September calendar.

As an extension of our recent fall movie preview, Indiewire is offering the first of four monthly fall “must-see” lists to make cinematic decision-making over the next 30 days as easy as possible. 

From Paul Thomas Anderson and Ira Sachs to some mean bachlorettes and a teenage wallflower, check out Indiewire’s picks for September’s 7 best options, and then check out the full September calendar, as there are many worthy films that didn’t end up making this list.

1. The Master (September 14)

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Laura Dern
Distributor: The Weinstein Company

Why Is It a “Must See”? Clearly one the year’s most anticipated films among many a film lover, Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” recently moved up its release a whole month to September 14th, allowing audiences to catch the film before the Toronto International Film Festival is over. A veiled take on Scientology starring Phillip Seymour Hoffman as a L. Ron Hubbard-esque cult leader and Joaquin Phoenix as a drifter who becomes his right hand man, the footage shown at Cannes wowed pretty much everyone, and the film is already earning raves from advance screenings ahead of its Venice premiere this weekend. Get ready…

Check out the trailer below:

2. How To Survive a Plague (September 21)

Director: David France
Distributor: Sundance Selects

Why is it a “Must See”? A chronicle of AIDS activism in New York, David France’s acclaimed doc — which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival — shows how a group of men and women fought against a homophobic establishment to help bring life-saving drugs to America. It’s powerful piece of American history that too few are aware, “How To Survive a Plague” deserves just as much of an audience as all the Oscar baity fall fare that fills most of this list (not to say this doesn’t deserve a slot in the best doc race).

READ MORE: How To Make a Powerful AIDS Doc: Talking to the Team Behind ‘How To Survive a Plague’

Check out the trailer below:

3. The Perks of Being a Wallflower (September 21)

Director: Stephen Chbosky
Cast: Emma Watson, Ezra Miller, Logan Lerman, Dylan McDermott, Paul Rudd
Distributor: Summit Entertainment

Why is it a “Must See”? Stephen Chobsky’s novel “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” became something of a “Catcher In The Rye” for the Millennial generation when it was published back in 1999.  Over a decade later, Chobsky has written and directed the book’s cinematic adaptation himself, which is premiering in Toronto followed shortly by a September release.  Following teenagers Charlie (Logan Lerman), Sam (Emma Watson) and Patrick (Ezra Miller), “Perks” is sure be on top of many a twentysomething’s fall to-see list. And early word suggests with good reason.

Check out the trailer below.

4. Keep The Lights On (September 7)

Director: Ira Sachs
Cast: Thure Lindhardt, Zachary Booth, Julianne Nicholson, Souléymane Sy Savané, Paprika Steen
Distributor: Music Box Films

Why is it a “Must See”? Director Ira Sachs (“Forty Shades of Blue”) paints a painfully realistic portrait of an epic relationship in “Keep The Lights On.” Set in 1990s New York, the loosely autobiographical film follows a documentarian (Thure Lindhardt) who falls for a closeted lawyer (Zachary Booth). Sachs charts what follows over a volatile ten year time frame, with each man struggling with their own private compulsions and addictions – often at the expense of their relationship.  With strong performances and a thoughtful screenplay that defies convention, “Keep The Lights On” captures a poignant, raw love story sure to resonate strongly with audiences gay and straight.

Check out the trailer below:

5. Bachelorette (September 7)

Director: Leslye Headland
Cast: Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher, Lizzy Caplan, Rebel Wilson, James Marsden, Adam Scott
Distributor: RADiUS-The Weinstein Company

Why is it a “Must See”? Already out on VOD since early August (where its been doing very well), Leslye Headland’s directorial debut “Bachelorette” most definitely deserves a theatrical reception when its released this September. A sort of “Bridesmaids” by way of “Heathers,” the dark comedy finds Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher and Lizzy Caplan at the top of their respective games as a trio of questionable personalities who end up being asked to play bridesmaids to their high school frenemy (a fantastic Rebel Wilson). 

READ MORE: ‘Bachelorette’ Funny Lady Rebel Wilson: “I pick up the roles other actresses don’t want”

Check out the trailer below:

6. Hello I Must Be Going (September 7)

Director: Todd Louiso
Cast: Melanie Lynskey, Christopher Abbott and Blythe Danner
Distributor: Oscilloscope

Why is it a “Must See”? Melanie Lynskey continues to prove she should be a much bigger star than she is in Todd Louiso’s “Hello I Must Be Going.” The film finds Lynskey playing a young divorcée forced to move back in with her parents in suburban Connecticut.  Its here she ends up having an affair with a much younger guy (Christopher Abbott, of recent “Girls” fame), and thus starts getting her groove back.

Check out the trailer below:

7. Detropia (September 7)

Director: Heidi Ewing, Rachel Grady
Distributor: Self-distributed

Why is it a “Must See”? Oscar-nominated “Jesus Camp” directors Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady are going the self-distribution route with their latest, “Detropia.” Natives of Detroit, Ewing and Grady take four-year look at the city’s recessionary struggles. Beautiful and affecting, it’s yet another doc alum of the 2012 Sundance Film Festival (which clearly had quite the slate) hitting theaters this September

READ MORE: ‘Jesus Camp’ Filmmakers Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady Go DIY With ‘Detropia’

Check out the film’s trailer below:

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