Take a look at the best among indie films of 2018 that definitely deserve your attention.
Movie summaries and soon-to-hit awards season nominees are flooding the Internet now. Some people are calling “Bohemian Rhapsody” the best film of the year and “Black Panther” gets nominated for a Golden Globe. Impeccable works are left aside, whilst political correctness wins.
While these things might piss you off, here’s something to calm your nerves. Little, independent darlings that your cinematic radar might have missed. It’s my collection of movies that didn’t make the cut to my best of 2018 list, but for various reasons, they might be of your interest.
Enjoy and don’t forget to share your favorite indie movies from 2018.
Note: there isn’t any particular order for these movies.
10. Ederlezi Rising
If you like: Ex Machina mostly, but also many other indie sci-fi
Serbian sci-fi sounds to me like Malaysian black metal – exotic and inexplicably funny as a concept. “Ederlezi Rising” had my interest the moment it became the most hated, most walked-out-of movie of the Warsaw Film Festival.
To be frank, it’s nothing particularly shocking about it. On the contrary, “Ederlezi Rising” reaches out to solutions we all know.
It’s a strongly theatrical film about an astronaut and his female android that becomes his sex slave. It’s a film that poses an interesting question as its axis, with a story that’s packed in beautiful visuals (heavy influence of “2001: A Space Odyssey”) and an engaging plot development. If you’re not too delicate and can sustain a naked android for a good portion of the film, you’ll enjoy it.
If you like: well-paced, socially-driven dramas
A Cannes-winning, Moroccan drama “Sofia” takes only 80 minutes of your lifetime to tell a story so compelling that it’s going to stick with you for days.
The titular Sofia finds herself pregnant, but according to the local law, without a husband she will be put to jail for the act of impurity. The film tells her story in a breathtaking pace, at the same time revealing a broader picture of the Moroccan society and the absurds of the law that forbids humans from being human.
If you like: nihilistic films and ones that rely on your imagination
Joel Potrykus is the definition of weird films that look head-scratching on the surface, but happen to be powerhouses of the nihilistic side of ourselves.
This time, the premise is observing a guy for ninety minutes, whose challenge is to sit on a couch and be unable to leave it at all costs.
It might sound incredibly dumb, but “Relaxer” is gorgeous in the way it confines the viewer in the four walls of a cramped apartment. Joshua Burge, playing the main character, masterfully wears the skin of a seemingly non-harmful being, only to become a devilish deviant by the end of the film. “Relaxer” is gross, hermetic and hell of a weird, weird fun.
If you like: brutal, raw thrillers with a deeper meaning
“Dogman” depraves Italy of the sunny seaside shots from a travel agency guide and shows the “Gomorra” side of it. The film follows a pet hairdresser, who befriends a local thug. This relationship becomes more dangerous. and soon pushes the hairdresser to his own boundaries.
It’s a deep study of the oppressor-victim situation, with the former being blind to the latter’s rise to the power of his own will. There is a lot to praise “Dogman” for and it’s definitely a hugely underestimated movie this year.
6. Birds of Passage
If you like: visually stunning films
“Birds of Passage” focuses on the very beginnings of the narco-business in Colombia. Directed by the the visionary director Ciro Guerra (in collaboration with Cristina Gallego), “Birds of Passage” looks into the Colombian folklore with an intent to slowly digest the beginnings of the narcotics. Although I wasn’t entirely bought by the story itself, there is a more-than-decent reason to watch “Birds of Passage” – its breathtaking cinematography. You will get a strong “Samsara” vibe from it.
If you like: stoic, very slow cinema that contemplates life and nature
What is “Zama” about? In one word, it’s about waiting.
One man faces a lifetime of expecting things to change. It’s a film, which builds its foundations on the sad truth of getting older and losing the willingness to fight for things that matter.
There is a lot of existentialism weaved in the story and a lot of candy for your eyes too. You can take a look at my review if you’re unsure about whether it’s a movie for you.
If you like: Any kind of weird stuff
A24 has been quite silent about the release of its ugly duckling “Slice”. On one hand, Austin Vesely’s flick is a razzmatazz – the plot focuses on a series of killings of pizza delivery boys, but as the story unravels, there are werewolves, ghost and street gangsters involved. At the end of the story, you might feel it all doesn’t add up.
On the other hand, “Slice” is a kind of guilty pleasure. It’s chaotic, yet charming in a peculiar way. There are eyebrow-rising moments, there is a ton of creativity and ambition to build a strange cult classic.
3. Leave No Trace
If you like: slow-paced and acting-driven drama movies
A drama starring Ben Foster and a young revelation Thomasin Mackenzie, “Leave No Trace” is an intimate story about a father and his daughter, who live in the woods and try to limit their contact with the outside world.
Although the film didn’t deliver as much as it promises in the first half an hour, “Leave No Trace” has its undeniably charming moments. The forest setting and the solid acting leading performances make this effort more than worthwhile.
2. The Clovehitch Killer
If you like: My Friend Dahmer and any other disturbing psychoanalysis of a serial killer
“The Clovehitch Killer” isn’t a fast-paced, frantic pursue after some maniac on a killing spree. On the contrary, it’s a slowburn thriller, which takes time to paint the picture one truly cannot imagine – being a son of a serial killer.
While it may not be the best film portraying a sociopath this year (Lars Von Trier wins with “The House That Jack Built” by miles), Dylan McDermott is captivating in a disturbing mix of light-hearted father who hides bodies under his bed. He’s often over-the-top, but makes the most out of the screen time he’s given.
If you like: Nic Pizzolatto and all stuff similar to “True Detective”
Ben Foster and Elle Fanning carry this sometimes muddled thriller about a dying hitman, who needs to lay low before exacting revenge on his foes. It’s a typical story for the creator of “True Detective” – the complex characters fuel the story more than the events. It’s an exercise of a crime thriller with a dark, brooding atmosphere and the setting that captures the vibe of the shadier part of America.