• Greta Gerwig in Frances Ha. (Movie still)Source: Movie still
This September, meet some very cool and talented kids in this season dedicated to indie gems. See below for screening details and links to SBS On Demand.
By
SBS Movies

1 Sep 2015 - 9:56 AM  UPDATED 29 Sep 2015 - 9:24 AM

Monday September 7, 8:30pm

Short Term 12

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M
USA, 2013

Director: Destin Daniel Cretton
Starring: Brie Larson, Frantz Turner, John Gallagher Jr.
What's it about?
I Am Not a Hipster director Destin Daniel Cretton's short-turned-feature length film Short Term 12 won critical acclaim when it premiered in 2013 at the hipster mecca by excellence – South by Southwest festival. Based on Cretton's own experience of working with at-risk teenagers, it depicts the struggles of a compassionate young woman dealing with some unexpected personal issues while working as a supervisor at a home for troubled teens. Despite touching on difficult subjects like self-harm and abuse, this heartwarming movie makes for an emotionally rewarding experience.

Watch trailer
Read review 

 

Tiny Furniture

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MA15+
USA, 2010

Director: Lena Dunham
Starring: Lena Dunham, Jemima Kirke, Grace Dunham
What's it about?
Before the huge success of her HBO series Girls and becoming the "voice of her generation", hipster queen Lena Dunham directed and starred in her 2010 semi-autobiographical movie Tiny Furniture, where she plays a college graduate, 22-year-old Aura, who returns home to her artist mother’s NYC loft with a useless film theory degree, a boyfriend who’s left her to find himself and her tail between her legs. Luckily, her childhood best friend never left home, the restaurant down the block is hiring, and ill-advised romantic possibilities abound. In addition to seeing Dunham's real-life family members – her mother Laurie Simmons and sister Grace – you will recognise familiar faces from Girls, such as Alex Karpovsky and Jemima Kirke.

Read review

 

Monday September 14, 8:30pm

Take This Waltz

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MA15+
USA, 2011

Director: Sarah Polley
Starring: Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen, Sarah Silverman
What's it about?
Prepare yourself for a whirlwind of emotions with Take This Waltz, an indy rom-com by director Sarah Polley (Away From Her). Michelle Williams (Brokeback Mountain) stars as Margot, a young freelance writer, who despite being happily married to cookbook writer Lou (Seth Rogen, The Interview), finds herself irresistibly attracted to Daniel, a rickshaw driver/artist she meets while on holiday. When she finds out he's actually living across the street from her in Toronto's Little Portugal neighbourhood, the certainty about her domestic life shatters. As she and Daniel steal passionate moments throughout summer, she discovers some unsettling truths about herself.  

Read review

 

Mood Indigo

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MA15+
France, 2013

Director: Michel Gondry
Starring: Romain Duris, Audrey Tautou, Omar Sy
What's it about?
Based on the 1947 cult novel L'écume des jours (Froth on the Daydream) by ultimate "slashie" Boris Vian – a writer, poet, jazz musician, singer, translator, inventor and engineer – Mood Indigo follows the love story between two young people struck by tragedy. Chloe (Audrey Tautou) suffers from an unusual illness caused by a flower growing in her lungs. But a kindhearted dreamer named Colin (Romain Duris) crosses paths with the pretty, quick-witted gal, and after much wooing, manages to win her over. Boris Vian's surrealist world fits perfectly with the limitless imagination of Gondry, who takes great pleasure in bringing Vian's inventions to life. Get ready for a visual feast!

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Read review

 

Monday September 21, 8:30pm

Frances Ha

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MA15+
USA, 2013

Director: Noah Baumbach
Starring: Greta Gerwig, Mickey Sumner, Adam Driver
What's it about?
In this endearing number by Brooklynite Noah Baumbach (While We're Young), Frances (played by Baumbach's real-life partner and co-writer Greta Gerwig) is a gangly 20-something who is perennially broke, unfocussed and self-absorbed, and hasn't got much luck in the love and friendship departments either. An apprentice for a dance company, Frances is also a klutz, but that does not stop her from chasing her dreams. Shot in black and white in Brooklyn, via Sacramento and Paris, and also starring Girls' Adam Driver, this indie comedy is above all a great vehicle for Greta Gerwig's natural talent and luminous presence.

Watch trailer
Read 4-star review
Read our interview with director Noah Baumbach

 

Beginners

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M
USA, 2011

Director: Mike Mills
Starring: Mélanie Laurent, Ewan McGregor, Christopher Plummer
What's it about?
Thirty-eight year-old graphic designer Oliver, played by Ewan McGregor (Son of a Gun), meets the irreverent and unpredictable Anna (Mélanie Laurent, Inglourious Basterds) only months after his father Hal (Christopher Plummer, who won an Oscar for this role) has passed away. This new love floods Oliver with memories of his father who – following 44 years of marriage – came out of the closet at age 75 to live a full, energised, and wonderfully tumultuous gay life. The upheavals of Hal’s new honesty, by turns funny and moving, brought father and son closer than they’d ever been able to be. You'll also fall in love with Arthur, Hal's loyal Jack Russell, who has the ability to communicate (via subtitles) his melancholic insights to Oliver.

Watch trailer & Read review
Watch Mike Mills interview
Blog: Beginners: It's never too late

 

Monday September 28, 8:30pm

Garden State

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M
USA, 2004

Director: Zach Braff
Starring: Zach Braff, Peter Sarsgaard, Natalie Portman
What's it about?
Quirky indie Garden State, starring and directed by Scrubs' Zach Braff of Scrubs fame, has been a bit derided lately, but it remains nonetheless a movie that's both funny and full of heart, with a killer soundtrack that includes indie band The Shins. After being estranged from his family for ten years, Andrew Largeman, a mid-range TV actor, returns to his New 'Garden State' Jersey home for the funeral of his mother. His psychiatrist father always blamed him for the accident that put his mother in a wheelchair, and since then, Andrew has been heavily medicated. At a party at one of his old highschool friends, he meets Sam (Natalie Portman), whose offbeat personality and natural warmth give Andrew a new look at the joyous pains of life.

Read 4-star review
Watch original The Movie Show review
Why 'manic pixie dream girl' won't go away

 

Upstream Color

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M
USA, 2013

Director: Shane Carruth
Starring: Amy Seimetz, Frank Mosley, Shane Carruth
What's it about?
In this über-stylish film, a young woman, Kris, is drugged by a thief and relieved of her possessions, but is also unknowingly drawn into the life cycle of an organism that appears to have overpowered her identity. She meets and becomes involved with Jeff, who appears to have gone through a similar experience. Together they try to assemble the loose fragments of their lives, and find a place of safety. It's fair to say that this trippy movie written, directed, produced, edited, composed and starring Shane Carruth, is not the kind that will give you all the answers. Mixing sci-fi, mystery, and romance, it is better enjoyed as a visual and sensorial experience, not unlike an art piece or music. Go with the flow and enjoy the ride. 

Watch trailer
Read review
Read Shane Carruth interview