“Cinema is escaping being controlled by the financier, and that’s a wonderful thing. You don’t have to go hat-in-hand to some film distributor and say, ‘Please will you let me make a movie?’“
American Splendor (2003)
Slate’s columnist Jaime World lauded the film and drew parallels with Woody Allen’s Annie Hall. Written and directed by documentarians Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini, American Splendor is an American biographical comedy-drama based on the life of Harvey Pekar, the author of the American Splendor comic book series. The film stars Paul Giamatti as Pekar and Hope Davis as Brabner portraying Pekar’s life. What makes this movie feature on our list is that every aspect of the movie is phenomenal, especially Paul Giamati’s 5-minute monologue based on an original comic by Pekarthat simply leaves a soothing mark in your heart and mind. With some great performances and a gripping storyline, American Splendor won the Grand Jury Prize for Dramatic Film at the 2003Sundance Film Festival. It deserves to be seen by anyone, and kudos if you read his work too. It’s fantastic.
Winter’s Bone (2010)
After watching the movie, New Yorker critic David Denby called the film, “one of the great feminist works in film”. Written and directed by Debra Granik, Winter’s Bone stars Jennifer Lawrence in the main role. The story is an adaptation of Daniel Woodrell’s novel of the same name, where Ree Dolly (Jennifer Lawrence) in order to protect her family from eviction, must locate her missing father. The film explores the interrelated themes of close and distant family ties, the power and speed of gossip, self-sufficiency, and poverty as they are changed by the pervasive underworld of illegal methamphetamine labs. Considered as Debra Granik’sbest work, the film witnesses Debra managing to bring out the best in Jennifer Lawrence whose bleak, haunting, incredible and star making performance is something that you will capture a place in your mind and heart. With Winter’s Bone, Granik also manages to avoid passing moral judgment on the characters or descending into stereotypes. As a result, the film won the Grand Jury Prize at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Apart from Sundance, the film was lauded at the Berlin and Stockholm International Film Festival.
Termed as a ‘neo-noir’ thriller film, Brick was written and directed by Rian Johnson, and stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt. It was Johnson’s directorial debut and won the Special Jury Prize for Originality of Vision at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival. The film draws heavily in plot, characterization, and dialogue from hardboiled classics, especially from Dashiell Hammett. The film’s narrative centers around a hardboiled detective story that takes place in a Californian suburb. Regarded as a cult-classic, the film was shot in 20 days. With a never clear story, the film provides its audience with a rich source of dialogue, behaviour and incidents. One must see the movie to explore the other side of Gordon-Levitt’s acting skills, as he artfully manages to evoke the outlines of his character as Brendan Frye. Brick gives you a sense of a classic Hollywood noir at its best.
Written By : ROUNAK GUHAROY