Indie Movies For Starters
We all have to start somewhere
When it started out, indie films simply meant independent of a major company—anyone could get in on it as long as the likes of 20th Century Fox and Columbia Pictures stayed far away. But as the decades passed, the understanding of Indie began to transform as well. Now we associate the genre not just for its lack of big budgets, but for its forward thinking nature and unique storytelling.
Indie isn’t for everyone (it wouldn’t exist otherwise) and it often takes a lot out of a person to sit through a film. They tackle topics that are untold and narrate them in ways that are usually raw and just downright painful. But the truth is that there’s an indie film out there for everyone and once you take that first step, there’s no going back.
Night Of The Living Dead (1968)
Directed by George Romero; Starring Duane ones, Judith O’Dea and Karl Hardman
They’re coming to get you, Barbra.
When Barbra and Johnny Blair visit their father’s grave in Pennsylvania, Barbra is attacked by a strange man. In an attempt to save her, Johnny hits his head and is killed. After escaping, Barbra finds her way to a farmhouse cellar where other individuals, who for one reason or another, made their way to the same space for safety. Personalities clash, drama ensues and the debate about what people will do for survival begins.
As one of the first zombie-apocalypse films out there, this is a classic no horror-watching individual should miss.
Directed by David Lynch; Starring Jack Nance, Charlotte Stewart, Allen Joseph and Jeanne Bates
In Heaven, everything is fine. In Heaven, everything is fine.
You’ve got your good things. And I’ve got mine.
All Henry Spencer is trying to do is survive living with his angry girlfriend and won’t-stop-screaming mutant baby. But then his girlfriend leaves him and he has relations with the Beautiful Girl Across The Hall, who eventually finds love with another man.
Unlike most indie films, Eraserhead is not as much about its story, as it is about the experience of watching it. The music, the cinematography and the overall aesthetic of the film helped put mind fuck on the map.
Reservoir Dogs (1992)
Directed by Quentin Tarantino; Starring Harvey Keitel, Tim Roth, Steve Buscemi, Michael Madsen, Lawrence Tierney, Chris Penn and Quentin Tarantino
Are you gonna bark all day little doggie, or are you gonna bite?
Knowing full well that the most interesting parts of a heist is the before and after, then-newcomer Quentin Tarantino weaved together an indie-genre-defining story surrounding Joe Cabot, Mr. White, Mr. Pink, Mr. Blonde, Mr. Orange and Mr. Brown. There are gun shots and there is intrigue; there is backstabbing and there are (plenty of) random stories.
Everything we know and associate with Quentin Tarantino started with Reservoir Dogs.
Before Sunrise (1995)
Directed by Richard Linklater; Starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy
Isn’t everything we do in life a way to be loved a little more?
Jesse and Céline meet on a train in Europe. With some time to kill and no one to kill it with, Jesse invites Céline to spend a few hours with him in Vienna and she agrees. The two see the sights, walk the streets and drink the coffee, talking about everything from religion to life and love (apparently, both of them are newly-single).
They kiss and (seemingly) make love, knowing very well that they’re likely never to see each other again. But hey, Before Sunrise is only the first film in a trilogy from director Richard Linklater.
Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)
Directed by Michel Gondry; Starring Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet
Come back and make up a goodbye, at least. Let’s pretend we had one.
When her relationship with Joel starts to go downhill, Clementine decides to erase him (and their relationship) from her memory completely. After the initial shock of finding out, Joel decides to undergo the same procedure.
We see their relationship happen in reverse, starting from its disintegration and ending with their meet-cute. As his memories are erased during his sleep, Joel starts to appear happier and then decides he wants to keep some of their moments intact. The thing is, the company completes the procedure eventually and she’s gone forever—until they meet again on a train station in Montauk.
Directed by Seige Ledesma; Starring Yeng Constantino and Felix Roco
“Sa tinging mo, nagkagusto din siya sa ‘yo?”
Estela’s a lesbian call center agent who starts to have a connection with her gay co-worker, Trevor. But when Trevor meets “the most amazing man,” Estela starts to hold back. Jealous and heartbroken, she’s crying herself to sleep and keeping herself at a distance until Trevor comes gently back into her life.
Society has a never-ending debate on sexuality, but Shift shifts the conversation to ask: Does gender orientation dictate—or hinder—love?
Directed by Richard Linklater; Starring Ellar Coltrane, Lorelei Linklater, Patricia Arquette and Ethan Hawke
It’s like we’re being chemically rewarded for allowing ourselves to be brainwashed.
How evil is that? We’re fucked.
Shot in the span of 12 years with the same cast, Boyhood follows the life of Mason, his sister and their parents. As they literally age on screen, we’re taken through their stories of finding love, losing relationships, growing up and growing old.
Called a once-in-a-lifetime movie, Boyhood isn’t a fucked up movie—though there are plenty of fucked up moments that we can all relate to.
I Love You. Thank You. (2015)
Directed by Charliebebs Gohetia; Starring Ae Pattawan, Joross Gamboa, Prince Stefan and CJ Reyes
May dalawang klaseng tao sa mundo:
Ang minamasid at ang minamasdan; ang umaalis at ang iniiwan.
Paul is in love with Red. Red is the boyfriend of Ivan. Ivan is Paul’s childhood friend.
Unable to confess his feelings and needing to get away from it all, Paul decides to go on a self-discovery trip to Siem Reap, where he meets Tang. The two boys find the possibility of love in each other while Red and Ivan’s relationship starts to show some strain. #Hugot #PinoysDoItBest
1st Sem (2016)
Directed by Dexter Hemedez and Allan Ibanez; Starring Lotlot de Leon and Darwin Yu
Makakaraos rin tayo
Sixteen-year-old Maru is about to leave his province behind for a Manila education. But after spending one night at his dorm, he’s too home sick to continue on and decides to go back to his family. His mother, Precy, is equal parts surprised and equal parts angry to see him back home. To her, Maru was throwing away the shot his family needed to level-up their living situation. To him, it was an option he just couldn’t take.
While it’s satirical in nature, we’ve all been Maru at one time or another. But if you haven’t been in his shoes, well then… congratulations.
Directed by Brilliante Mendoza; Starring Jaclyn Jose, Baron Geisler, Julio Diaz and Andi Eigenmann
Simple lang yan; singkwenta mil.
Stuck in the middle of poverty and a harder place, Rosa and her husband Nestor do everything they can to make ends meet. While they own the sari-sari store of the neighborhood, they also sell illegal drugs on the side. As things go, they are one day arrested and the police demand thousands upon thousands of pesos for their release.
What will the children do? Like their parents, they likewise do everything they can to buy their freedom.
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Interesting, huh? We know it’s coming, so good luck on your indie movies journey—there’s so much more out there waiting for you.
Art Alexandra Lara