I Used to Be Darker

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Matt Porterfield gained prominence in indie film circles with Putty Hill (2011), a second feature that was shot using a short outline after financing fell through on a more ambitious scripted project. A mixture of documentary and fictional elements, PuttyRead More

Best Independent Films of 2012

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

My best film list always appears in February, but I’m late this year, mainly because, even though I saw a streamed version of Julia Loktev’s The Loneliest Planet, I wanted to see it again in 35 mm. It played atRead More

The Loneliest Planet

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Julia Loktev’s haunting Day Night Day Night (2006) established her reputation as a rigorously formal filmmaker in the tradition of Chantal Akerman. Her portrait of a young female suicide bomber (Luisa Williams) intent on detonating a bomb in crowded MidtownRead More

Dark Horse

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Todd Solondz’s career started with such a bang that it’s pretty shocking that his latest film, Dark Horse (2012), struggled to gain a theatrical release. Solondz no doubt bears some responsibility. The difficulties can be traced back to his decisionRead More

Starlet

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Starlet, Sean Baker’s fourth feature, is his most successful to date. Baker’s last two films, Take Out (2004) and Prince of Broadway (2008), took an ethnographic approach toward their subjects. Take Out (co-directed with Shih-Ching Tsou) delves into the worldRead More

Pavilion

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Tim Sutton’s debut feature Pavilion (2012) begins like a conventional narrative, but then confounds viewer expectations. Those waiting for a story to coalesce will no doubt be puzzled when the film veers off in surprising directions. The focus on characters,Read More

Tiger Tail in Blue

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Although hardly unknown within indie film circles, the films of Frank V. Ross remain under the radar for more mainstream audiences. His new film, Tiger Tail in Blue (2012), represents his seventh feature since 2000, yet Ross, whose films haveRead More

The Unspeakable Act

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

In discussing his new film, Yellow (2012), Nick Cassavetes recently made headlines at the Toronto Film Festival after he told an interviewer: “Love who you want. Isn’t that what we say? . . . If it’s your brother or sisterRead More