You should care about indie films

Contact Zac Younkins at [email protected]

Zac Younkins

Generic big budget films with robots, explosions and scantily clad femme fatales can be wildly entertaining. People like Chad at Planet Fitness likely think “indie movies” are the ones where Harrison Ford explores ancient ruins with small Asian kids, but in fact there are directors besides Michael Bay.

People really should pay more attention to indie films, as they’re often some of the years’ best. Tarantino, John Carpenter and even Martin Scorsese all started out as indie directors, and the current generation of independent auteurs offer just as much as the classics. If you want to see the best of the upcoming independent films, here’s a few to look out for.

Indie favorite Wes Anderson released his latest opus, “The Grand Budapest Hotel” this week to limited theaters. The film centers around a legendary concierge and his lobby boy as they become entangled in theft and intrigue while managing the hotel. Much hype surrounds the film, said to be one of Anderson’s best, but hard to believe considering the perfection of “The Royal Tenenbaums” and “Moonrise Kingdom.” The cast includes Anderson regulars; Adrien Brody, Willem Dafoe, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Murray, Edward Norton and Jason Schwartzman along with Ralph Fiennes, Jude Law and Tilda Swinton.

Jim Jarmusch, another indie visionary releases his vampire romance drama, “Only Lovers Left Alive” on April 11. The film was nominated for the coveted Palme d’Or at Cannes and centers around the story of two vampires and their centuries-long romance. It stars “Thor’s” Tom Hiddleston, Tilda Swinton, and Mia Wasikowska.

Michael Fassbender follows up his recent Academy Award nomination with “Frank”, written by Jon Ronson, of “The Men Who Stare At Goats”, and this film promises to be even more bizarre than his last. “Frank” is about a keyboardist who is drawn into the enigma of front man of an experimental pop band, for which he wears a paper mache cartoon-like giant head. It premiered to rave reviews at Sundance and with a plot like that, it ought to generate some major online buzz.

David Gordon Green also releases his newest film April 11; “Joe” stars Nicolas Cage in a dark indie drama about an ex-con seeking redemption through helping a 14-year-old boy. While this may sound like an average low-budget Nic Cage thriller plot, Green, famous for “Pineapple Express,” has incredible vision and has proven himself with comedy and drama. This is also said to be one of Cage’s best roles in years, being his first big non-b-list drama in some time.

Critical favorite Lars Von Trier’s controversial new film, “Nymphomaniac”, a two-part film about a self-diagnosed nymphomaniac’s past sexual encounters. Controversy began when Von Trier originally told the press he’d like to tackle a mainstream film that merges pornography and art.

Then Shia LaBeouf said in an interview that he got the part by sending Von Trier a real sex tape he made with a girlfriend. The film also features Charlotte Gainsbourg, Stellan Skarsgard, Christian Slater, and Uma Thurman and allegedly features graphic, unsimulated sex scenes, a ground which few major films have tread before. Nymphomaniac Vol. I opened March 6, while Vol. II opens April 4.

While you may be likely to deal with your fair share of annoying hipster kids, it’s worth a trip to the movies to check out any of these buzz-worthy titles.

Contact Zac Younkins at [email protected].