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

Prince of Broadway

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Sean Baker has to be one of the most underrated young American indie filmmakers working today. After Four Letter Words (2000), he reinvented himself with two stellar features, namely Take Out (2004), which took years to screen theatrically, and PrinceRead More

Goodbye Solo

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

The location of Ramin Bahrani’s third feature Goodbye Solo (2009) has shifted from New York City – the setting for his first two films Man Push Cart (2005) and Chop Shop (2008) – to his home town of Winston-Salem, NorthRead More

Treeless Mountain

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Set in Korea, So Yong Kim’s American indie Treeless Mountain (2009) tells the story of two young girls – seven-year-old Jin (Hee Yeon Kim) and her younger sister Bin (Song Hee Kim) – who are abandoned by their single motherRead More

Momma’s Man

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Azazel Jacobs’s low-budget second feature Momma’s Man (2008) serves as yet another example of an independent film that deliberately blurs the line between non-fiction and fiction as an alternative narrative strategy (see previous post). The thirty-something protagonist is roughly theRead More

Silent Light

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Seeing Carlos Reygadas’s Silent Light (Stellet Licht) for a second time at the Wisconsin Film Festival yesterday morning only confirmed that it’s a truly great film. What surprised me, however, was how much more emotional this formal and austere filmRead More

Tokyo Sonata

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

  The Wisconsin Film Festival always has had a stellar lineup of outstanding films from around the world. This year is no exception. Two of the films from the 2008 festival – José Luis Guerín’s In the City of SylviaRead More

The New Year Parade

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

This year’s Wisconsin Film Festival features its strongest-ever lineup of independent narrative features. The most notable ones include Ronnie Bronstein’s late-addition Frownland (the director will be here in person), Antonio Campos’s Afterschool – both of which I’ve written about previously andRead More