The 10 Best Indie Movies of 2016
With October over, there are only have two months left until 2016 itself ends, and with it its plethora of cinematic releases. While big blockbusters like “Captain America: Civil War”, “Zootopia”, and “The Jungle Book” dominated the cultural sphere, 2016 also proved to be a lucrative year for the indie film market, with such movies as “The Birth of a Nation”, “The Lobster”, and “Loving” getting considerable Oscar buzz.
However, indie filmography went beyond this, stretching across the entire globe to give us a variety of genre films that ranged from comedy to tragedy. Unfortunately, most of these went under the radar of the mainstream public, but we at “Taste of Cinema” have found them and compiled them into a list. Consider adding these awesome flicks to your backlog!
10. Cemetery of Splendour
The years following World War II gave rise to a prominent film industry in Thailand. While lacking a catchy “Hollywood-esque” nickname like “Bollywood” or “Nollywood”, Thai cinema has been a source of some of the most compelling dramas, with “Cemetery of Splendour” being the latest example.
Directed by acclaimed director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, “Cemetery of Splendour” is a magical realist story revolving around a hospital in the Isan region. Intersecting the lives of patients, doctors, and visitants, Weerasethakul relies on dimly lit imagery to leave a lasting impression on audiences.
9. Creative Control
Science fiction has always been the greatest way of making indirect remarks about current problems in society. Auteurs can entertain general audiences with snappy visuals whilst providing intellectual fodder for critics around.
“Creative Control”, one of the first major distribution projects from the recently-formed Amazon Studios, does not quite live up to the expectations set forth by the esteemed “sci-fi” genre, but provides enough flair in its own right to stand apart from the crowd. Balancing a cyberpunk aesthetic against a monochrome backdrop, “Creative Control” is a significant entry in the techno-thriller genre.
8. Men Go to Battle
“Men Go to Battle” took two all too familiar premises, the American Civil War and a conflict between brothers, and combined them into a unique set-up that made for some compelling drama riddled with dry humor.
Showing how domestic tensions within a family lead to a harsh divide, “Men Go to Battle” did not push any boundaries with regards to the war drama, but countered this minor issue with strong performances and a fervid premise well-executed by Zachary Treitz.
7. Sing Street
Ireland remains one of the newer countries to become a prominent producer of films, with its most successful works emerging only back to the 90s with titles like: “My Left Foot”, “The Crying Game”, and “Michael Collins”.
2016, though, saw a more contemporary attempt by Irish filmmakers to produce a musical. Directed and written by John Carney, who had previously helmed the critically-acclaimed “Once” in 2007, “Sing Street” opened to widespread applause at the Sundance Festival, with most critics praising the blend of urban teen drama with rock music. An introspective look into Irish heritage and their arts.
Phillip Roth is an American novelist whose books, like Dennis Lehane’s, have been attracting the attention of Hollywood since the mid-2000s. While adaptations like “The Humbling”, “Elegy”, and “American Pastoral” have earned a mixed response, 2016’s “Indignation” received positive reviews.
Masterfully directed by James Schamus, “Indignation”, like most of Roth’s other novels, tells of a clash between antiquated religious beliefs and more modern societal issues, in this case human sexuality, and the resulting effects it has on the protagonists and their environment. Honest and well-crafted, “Indignation” provided a mature look into a mature topic.
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