• From left: Madeline's Madeline, Krisha, Little Men (SBS Movies)
A selection of recent American independent films – from character-driven dramas and comedies to imaginative genre-bending originals – now streaming on SBS On Demand.
By
SBS Movies

6 Sep 2019 - 5:38 PM  UPDATED 12 Sep 2019 - 10:38 AM

Columbus

M
USA, 2017
Genre: Drama
Language: English, Korean
Director: Kogonada
Starring: John Cho, Haley Lu Richardson, Michelle Forbes, Rory Culkin, Parker Posey
What's it about?
When a renowned architecture scholar falls suddenly ill during a speaking tour, his son Jin finds himself stranded in Columbus, Indiana - a small Midwestern city celebrated for its many significant modernist buildings. Jin strikes up a friendship with Casey, a young architecture enthusiast who works at the local library. 

Krisha

M
USA, 2016
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Trey Edward Shults
Starring: Krisha Fairchild, Alex Dobrenko, Robyn Fairchild, Chris Doubek, Victoria Fairchild
What's it about?
Krisha returns for Thanksgiving dinner after ten years away from her family, but past demons threaten to ruin the festivities. Winner of both the South by Southwest Film Festival's Grand Jury Award and the Audience Award.

First-time director Shults wins Taormina Film prize for 'Krisha'

Little Men

PG
USA, 2016
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Ira Sachs
Starring: Greg Kinnear, Theo Taplitz, Michael Barbieri, Paulina García, Jennifer Ehle, Alfred Molina
What's it about?
Jake (Taplitz) is a quiet, sensitive middle schooler with dreams of being an artist. He meets the affably brash Tony (Barbieri) at his grandfather's funeral, and the unlikely pair soon hit it off. The budding friendship is put at risk, however, when a rent dispute between Jake's father, Brian (Kinnear), and Tony's mother, Leonor (García), threatens to become contentious. From Ira Sachs, writer and director of Love Is Strange and Keep The Lights On.

'Little Men' Review: Insightful New York Indie Tackles Gentrification
Ira Sachs on his characters' humanity, working with kids in 'Little Men', and marriage equality

The Endless

M
USA, 2018
Genre: Science Fiction
Language: English
Director: Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson
Starring: Aaron Moorhead, Justin Benson, Callie Hernandez, Tate Ellington
What's it about?
Living in poverty in a shared studio apartment in Los Angeles, two brothers (Justin and Aaron) receive a mysterious videotape in a box that seems to have been shipped through a hundred countries before arriving on their doorstep. On it, a Heaven’s Gate-like cult member talks about an impending 'Ascension'. We learn that the brothers were raised in this cult, and fled from it a decade ago because Justin pulled Aaron out when he became aware of an impending mass suicide.

Kaboom

MA15+
France, USA, 2010
Genre: Drama, Science Fiction, Comedy, Mystery
Language: English
Director: Gregg Araki
Starring: Thomas Dekker, Haley Bennett, Chris Zylka, Roxane Mesquida, Juno Temple, James Duval
What's it about?
Smith, a typical young college student who likes partying and engaging in acts of random sex and debauchery, has been having some interesting dreams revolving around two gorgeous women -- and is shocked when he meets the dream girls in real life. Lorelei looks just like his fantasy brunette, while a mysterious red-haired girl being chased by assassins draws him into an international conspiracy. Or is it all just a drug-induced hallucination? From Gregg Araki, director of Mysterious Skin and The Doom Generation.

Madeline's Madeline

M
USA, 2018
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Josephine Decker
Starring: Helena Howard, Molly Parker, Miranda July, Okwui Okpokwasili
What's it about?
Madeline (Howard) has become an integral part of a prestigious physical theater troupe. When the workshop's ambitious director pushes the teenager to weave her rich interior world and troubled history with her mother into their collective art, the lines between performance and reality begin to blur. The resulting battle between imagination and appropriation rips out of the rehearsal space and through all three women's lives.

Results

M
USA, 2015
Genre: Comedy
Language: English
Director: Andrew Bujalski
Starring: Cobie Smulders, Guy Pearce, Kevin Corrigan, Giovanni Ribisi, Brooklyn Decker
What's it about?
Recently divorced, newly rich, and utterly miserable, Danny (Corrigan) is proof that money can't buy happiness. Danny's well-funded misery is interrupted by a momentous trip to the local gym, where he meets self-styled guru/owner Trevor (Pearce) and irresistibly acerbic trainer Kat (Smulders). Soon, their three lives are inextricably knotted, both professionally and personally.

It Felt Like Love

M
USA, 2013
Genre: Drama
Language: English
Director: Eliza Hittman
Starring: Gina Piersanti, Jesse Cordasco, Giovanna Salimeni
What's it about?
During an uneventful summer on the outskirts of Brooklyn, Lila (Piersanti), a lonely fourteen-year-old from Gravesend, turns her attentions to Sammy (Rubinstein), an older thug she sees at Rockaway beach. Wanting something to brag about, she weaves a story about him and becomes fixated on seeing it realised. When her attempts fail, she propels the lie even further, claiming they’ve had sex. During her sexual quest, Lila turns from predator to prey. 

Beach Rats

M
USA, 2017
Genre: Drama, Romance
Language: English
Director: Eliza Hittman
Starring: Harris Dickinson, Madeline Weinstein, Kate Hodge, Neal Huff
What's it about?
An aimless teenager (Dickinson) on the outer edges of Brooklyn struggles to escape his bleak home life and navigate questions of self-identity, as he balances his time between his delinquent friends, a potential new girlfriend, and older men he meets online. Winner of the Directing Award (Dramatic Competition) at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival.

Mekko

M
USA, 2015
Genre: Drama, Thriller
Language: English
Director: Sterlin Harjo
Starring: Rod Rondeaux, Jamie Loy, Scott Mason, Zahn McClarnon
What's it about?
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'. It's a story of redemption, and hope. Mekko is in search of his home and the strength to forgive himself of his past.