Stand Clear of the Closing Doors

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Sam Fleischner’s Stand Clear of the Closing Doors (2014) tells the story of a thirteen-year-old autistic boy who gets lost in the New York subways in the period leading up to Hurricane Sandy. Although the film employs a dramatic frameworkRead More

See You Next Tuesday

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

In Richard Linklater’s recent runaway indie hit, Boyhood (2014), it is the parents who make a mess of their lives while the two children suffer quietly but somehow grow wiser from the experience. In his debut feature, See You NextRead More

Night Moves

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

After a slow start to her career, Kelly Reichardt has gradually emerged as one of the very best American filmmakers. Her trajectory has been a consistent upward slope since Old Joy (2006) brought her back into the limelight twelve yearsRead More

Memphis

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Tim Sutton’s sophomore feature, Memphis (2014), is neither a character study nor a city portrait. Although there’s a sliver of narrative, Memphis is more akin to a haunting visual poem – a kind of ghost story, in which the ghostsRead More

Something, Anything

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Paul Harrill’s debut feature, Something, Anything (2014), seems like an unlikely independent film. For one thing, it is shot in a fairly conventional style. In addition, it doesn’t deal with either hip or edgy subject matter. Instead, the film isRead More

It Felt Like Love

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Like Daniel Patrick Carbone’s Hide Your Smiling Faces (2014), Eliza Hittman’s It Felt Like Love (2014) feels like a memory piece. Fourteen-year-old Lila (Gina Piersanti) lives with her dad (Kevin Anthony Ryan) in the Gravesend section of Brooklyn, but hangsRead More

Hide Your Smiling Faces

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

The specter of death casts a mysterious spell over Daniel Patrick Carbone’s mesmerizing debut feature, Hide Your Smiling Faces (2014). Set in rural northwestern New Jersey, the film deals with young kids trying to come to terms with the kindsRead More

Best Independent Films of 2013

Posted on : by : jjmurphy

Maintaining a blog keeps getting more and more difficult. With teaching and more academic writing – books, articles, chapters, conference papers, and lectures – it’s been an even harder struggle this past year. I’m one of the four editors ofRead More