Celebrate the best of independent filmmaking this July 4.
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SBS Movies

29 Jun 2018 - 2:55 PM  UPDATED 29 Jun 2018 - 2:55 PM

Paris, Texas

M, 1984
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Wim Wenders
Starring: Harry Dean Stanton, Nastassja Kinski, Dean Stockwell, Hunter Carson
Wim Wenders won the Palme d'Or for his stunningly sparse and touching drama about a man (Harry Dean Stanton) trying to reclaim his life after wandering the desert for four years. A cult classic for good reason, Paris, Texas captures the complex emotions of love and life in America. 

Watch Margaret & David's The Movie Show review of this masterpiece

 

Transamerica

MA15+, 2005
Genre: Drama, Comedy, Adventure, LGBTIQ+
Language: English
Director: Duncan Tucker
Starring: Felicity Huffman, Danny Burstein
What's it about?
One week before her transition operation, Bree (Felicity Huffman) receives a call from a 17-year-old (Kevin Zegers) identifying himself as the son Bree fathered from a college liaison. Bree's psychiatrist won't approve her surgery until she deals with this relationship, so she flies to New York City, bails the youth out of juvenile detention, and offers him a ride back to LA without disclosing that she is his father.

Transamerica Review
Why You Should Watch: Transamerica

Night On Earth

M, 1991
Genre: Drama, Cult
Language: English
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Starring: Roberto Benigni, Winona Ryder, Rosie Perez, Gena Rowlands
What's it about?
Five cities. Five taxicabs. A multitude of strangers in the night. Jim Jarmusch assembled an extraordinary international cast of actors (including Gena Rowlands, Winona Ryder, Armin Mueller-Stahl, Beatrice Dalle, and Roberto Benigni) for this hilarious quintet of tales of urban displacement and existential angst, spanning time zones, continents, and languages. Jarmusch’s lovingly askew view of humanity from the passenger seat makes for one of his most charming and beloved films.

Mekko

USA, 2015
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Language: English
Director: Sterlin Harjo
Starring: Jamie Loy, Scott Mason, Zahn McClarnon
What's it about?
A stirring story of hope and redemption emerges from the displacement of an ex-inmate. Mekko gets out of prison after 19 years. He has no home or family so he makes his way to Tulsa. He tries to connect with a cousin but she turns him away. With nowhere to go Mekko ends up sleeping on the streets. He is taken in by the homeless native community. At times jovial, there is a dark undercurrent to the community. He begins having issues with a man named Bill. Bill is pure evil. Convinced that this man is a witch, Mekko turns to the old teachings of his grandmother in order to rid the community of this 'witch'. 

The Kids Are All Right

MA, 2010
Genre: Comedy, Drama
Language: English
Director: Lisa Cholodenko
Starring: Annette Bening, Julianne Moore, Mark Ruffalo, Mia Wasikowska 
What's it about?
A witty post-modern comedy examines the dynamics at play within a family headed by two lesbian mums, whose perfect family unit is turned upside down when they are introduced to the man whose sperm donation many years earlier sired their children. 

The Kids Are All Right Review

Top Five

MA15+
USA, 2014
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Language: English
Director: Chris Rock
Starring: Rosario Dawson, Adam Sandler, Chris Rock, Sherri Shepherd, Kevin Hart, Hassan Johnson
What's it about?
Chris Rock stars and directs this indie comedy about a comedian (not unlike Chris Rock), who is trying to make it as a serious actor when his reality-TV star fiancé talks him into broadcasting their wedding on her TV show.

Top Five review: The joke's on Chris Rock in his showbiz rom-com

Adventureland

M, 2009
Genre: Comedy
Language: English
Director: Greg Mottola
Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Kristen Stewart
What's it about?
It’s the summer of '87 and for recent college graduate James (Jesse Eisenberg), life after college isn't exactly what he expected. Realising he can't afford the dream European tour he's been planning he's forced to take a dead-end job at a local amusement park. Forget about German beer, world-famous museums and cute European girls, Adventureland promises to be the stage for the most painful summer of his life. However, as he meets new friends, falls in love and learns to loosen up, he realises that the worst job ever may just turn out to be the best time of his life.

Adventureland Review: A smart, sweet coming-of-age tale

The Messenger

MA15+, 2009
Genre: Drama, War
Language: English
Director: Oren Moverman
Starring: Ben Foster, Woody Harrelson, Samantha Morton, Jena Malone, Steve Buscemi
What's it about?
Ben Foster stars as Will Montgomery, a U.S. Army Staff Sergeant who has just returned home from a tour in Iraq and is assigned to the Army’s Casualty Notification service. Partnered with fellow officer Tony Stone (Woody Harrelson) to bear the bad news to the loved ones of fallen soldiers, Will faces the challenge of completing his mission while seeking to find comfort and healing back on the home front. When he finds himself drawn to Olivia (Samantha Morton), to whom he has just delivered the news of her husband’s death, Will’s emotional detachment begins to dissolve.

The Messenger Review

Cold Souls

M, 2009
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Language: English
Director: Sophie Barthes
Starring: Paul Giamatti, Lauren Ambrose, David Strathairn, Emily Watson 
What's it about?
Balancing on a tightrope between deadpan humour and pathos, and between reality and fantasy, the film presents Paul Giamatti as himself, agonising over his interpretation of Uncle Vanya. Paralysed with anxiety, he stumbles upon a solution via a New Yorker article about a high-tech company promising to alleviate suffering by deep-freezing souls. Giamatti enlists their services, intending to reinstate his soul once he survives the performance. But complications ensue when a mysterious, soul-trafficking 'mule," transporting product to and from Russia, 'borrows" Giamatti's stored soul for an ambitious, but unfortunately talentless, soap-opera actress. Rendered soulless, he is left with no choice but to follow the trail back to bleak St. Petersburg.

Cold Souls Review

Camp X-Ray

2014
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Peter Sattler
Starring: Kristen Stewart, John Carroll Lynch, Tara Holt
What's it about?
A young soldier (Kristen Stewart) assigned to Guantanamo Bay forges an odd friendship with Ali (Peyman Moaadi), a man who has been imprisoned there for eight years.

Unlikely friendship explores humanity in Gitmo film 'Camp X-Ray'

 

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