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

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

Best Independent Films of 2010

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

I’ve posted my “best film” list for the past three years now in February rather than December like other critics and bloggers. The reason is simple. Because I’m based in the Midwest, I always want to be sure I’ve seenRead More

Life During Wartime

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Since Todd Solondz’s breakout second feature Welcome to the Dollhouse (1995) grossed nearly $4.8 million, the trajectory of his career has been decidedly downward, with each new film grossing half of the previous box office, culminating in Palindromes (2004), whichRead More

Happiness

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

  The strand of American independent cinema known as “underground film” often used explicit or provocative sexual material to push censorship boundaries in the 1960s. Jack Smith’s Flaming Creatures and Kenneth Anger’s Scorpio Rising, for instance, became highly publicized censorship cases.Read More

Welcome to the Dollhouse

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Todd Solondz, a NYU film school grad like Jim Jarmusch and Spike Lee, signed a three-picture deal with Fox and an additional three-picture deal with Columbia following his highly successful thesis short, Schatt’s Last Shot (1985). A few years later, heRead More