My 13 Favorite Independent Films

Whilst searching for blog fodder to try to keep me going through NaBloPoMo (really, could the name be any dumber?), I was looking at my old posts, and saw one about favorite films in 13 different categories.  One of the categories was Independent Films.  So today, I thought I’d share my favorite 13 independent films.  Maybe you have some time to spare, and either can find them on Netflix, your local video store (we still have a great one), or Amazon.

  1. The first ‘independent film’ I remember seeing was Sex, Lies, and Videotape, and it was so different from anything else I had seen before, I really loved it.  It’s still a favorite of mine.  Perhaps Andie McDowell cannot act, but she had me in that one.
  2. Before Sunset.  After seeing all three of the ‘Before’ films, I think this is my favorite.  I don’t know, they’re not so young and stupid as in the first one (no phone numbers?  Hello!), and not so worn out as the third one.  It’s just sexy.
  3. Junebug.  I reviewed that one when we saw it, here.  Really such a great movie, about identity and coming home.
  4. Lone Star, a detective story with an interesting twist.  I think about this one from time to time, and it’s been 17 years since I saw it.
  5. Lost in Translation.  Hard to believe this one was even considered ‘independent’, since it got so much buzz.   But I remember being blown away and not too creeped out by the romance between Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson.  Blech.
  6. Run, Lola, Run.  This one may not have been that fabulous, but honestly, I really enjoyed it.  Implausible plot, lots of action, foreign language.  What’s not to like?
  7. Fargo.  “Oh honey, you got Arby’s on me”, mixed with wood chippers and Jerry Lundegaard, and what’s not to like about that.  Really, I loved this movie, even if I have to look away at the gory parts.  Frances McDormond rocks.
  8. Do the Right Thing.  Again, is this an independent film?  I don’t know, but I do remember being blown away.
  9. Also, Mississipi Masala  Did anyone else see that one?  I loved it.  Denzel was great, as was his costar, Sarita Choudhury.  The story of an Indian girl and a black boy falling in love in Mississippi, much to the disapproval of pretty much everyone around them.
  10. Wild at Heart.  Perhaps this one is dated, I don’t know, but I adored the campiness of the performances.  They’re all SO David Lynch, you know?  I still can’t watch the fight scene at the beginning, when Nicholas Cage beats the crap out of the creepy guy, but the rest of it is great.
  11. Smoke, an interesting film that centers on a smoke shop, and some characters that frequent it.  Sounds boring.  It’s not.
  12. Metropolitan..I’m not sure I love love loved this one, but it was original and interesting, and I think about it many many years after first seeing it, which should be some sort of sign, right?
  13. The Sessions.  This was probably the best movie I’ve seen Helen Hunt in, and I reviewed it, here.  I was rooting for her to win an Oscar, because she was that good.  She didn’t, because Anne Hathaway won for Les Miz.  Whatever.  I’m not a Hathaway hater, she’s a talented actress.  But crying on cue is one thing, and showing the grace and depth of emotion that Hunt did is in another class entirely its own.

3 thoughts on “My 13 Favorite Independent Films

  1. I’m sort of at a loss as to what exactly qualifies as “indie” also, but here are a few of mine: Fargo, Lost in Translation, Girl with a Pearl Earring, Glengarry Glen Ross, The Cooler, Being John Malkovich, Magnolia, Wilde.

    Not too sure if GGR or Magnolia qualify. And if Four Weddings and a Funeral does, add that too. Even though the supremely wooden and marginally talented Andie Macdowell is in that, too.

    • I liked Magnolia a lot, too. Haven’t seen ‘Cooler’, or ‘Being John Malkovich’, and I don’t remember liking ‘Glen Gary’, though I think Ted liked it a lot.

      While trying to remember names of films I might have seen, I trolled a few lists of ‘best indie films’, and kept seeing ‘Bad Lieutenant’, with Harvey Keitel, which was HORRID. Just bad.

  2. Are Wes Anderson films considered indie? Probably not, but I love them all. I would have to say “Memento” was a favorite, as well as “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and for some reason “Croupier” stands out. Probably because Clive Owen was so dreamy. Oh, and “Donnie Darko” and “Election” and probably too many to mention here.

    That was when I used to actually go to see movies. 🙂

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