With over 200 indie films screening in 12 days, it's tough to predict what's going to be the next The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, and what's going to be the next "a movie you won't walk out of". To help sort the wheat from the cinematic chaff, we asked Coloradan first-time filmmaker Neil Truglio (whose own We Are The Sea is also gracing the screen) to give a little background on his top five can't-misses:
The People Vs. George Lucas "The film made a huge splash at this year's SXSW Film Fest. Besides being a dear friend, [director] Alexandre Philippe is clearly a master behind the camera. This hysterical look at George Lucas' legacy from the people that love (or hate) him most -- the die-hard fans -- has been touted as an enormous hit all year long" -- which is funny, as that's also what half his fans took before seeing the movie.
Blue Valentine "Starring Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams, this gut-wrenching tale of a couple trying to save their distorted and rocky marriage is a film that has to be seen. The director, a CU alum, spent nearly twelve years of painstaking efforts to bring this masterpiece to the screen", ironically, 11 years longer than most actual marriages last.
When The Dragon Swallowed The Sun "Dirk Simon, another amazing Colorado documentarian, is back at the Festival with his epic new project. A gifted filmmaker in his own right, Dragon is the culmination of more than seven years of determination and grit to bring the current state of Tibet and China's occupation to the screen. The film is beyond stunning, and I'd be totally remiss if I didn't mention the soundtrack featuring Phillip Glass, Damien Rice and Thom Yorke." Though he is totally remiss for not mentioning how this dragon is trained.
LiTTLEROCK "Mike Ott's debut feature, Analog Days, tore up the Festival circuit in 2006 with its understated indie-rock aesthetic. His new film, LiTTLEROCK, reminds us how small-town America can, in its very day-to-day sameness, be both culturally and visually captivating", although Mellencamp could've told you that, like, 25 years ago.
Some Days Are Better Than Others This is a "smartly poetic feature that takes four unique narratives and intertwines them to tell the story of breakdowns and personal renewal", starring Brownstein of Sleater-Kinney and James Mercer of The Shins, who knew that taking the next step of actually acting in movies was always his Garden Fate.