Give someone tickets to an independent “think” movie… loafers beware… they’re labors of love and have little monetary rewards for their directors. You won’t find the likes of “Spiderman”, “Twilight” or “Street Fighter” among them. ID films on DVD release are a convenient gift option, or invite a friend over for a meal and watch. I think you may not know of these. Our favorites are:

Limbo There is little doubt that the most discussed aspect of writer/director/editor John Sayles’ Limbo will be the ending. Unconventional and unexpected, the conclusion will inspire outrage in some movie-goers.

Other films in our opinion…


American Primitive Teenager Madeline Goodhart hoped for an idyllic coastal life when she and her younger sister, Daisy, moved to a beach town to live with her father, a recent widower looking for a fresh start with a home-based furniture business. But as the two girls begin to make new friends in an unfamiliar high school, they discover a secret that threatens to tear their family apart: an intimate relationship between their father and his male business partner. The characters are vivid. The film is looking for a distributor.


The Bubble Eytan Fox is an independent Israeli film director. “The Bubble,” is a little bit like Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet,” is like the musical “Westside Story,” is like, well, “The Bubble,” in which there are two star-crossed lovers who are not able to live completely and wholly as a couple because of nationalities and divergent family loyalties. In “The Bubble,” the couple in love is a Palestinian young man who lives in the West Bank, while his lover lives in Tel Aviv, Israel. The conclusion is wrenching. Fox’s “Yossi and Jagger” and “Walk on Water” are great follow-ups. If you’re looking for cinemagraphic humanitarian bridges these are good ones to look for.

The Beat That My Heart Skipped Twenty-eight-year-old Tom leads a life that might be termed as criminal. In doing so, he follows in the footsteps of his father, who made his money from dirty, and sometimes brutal, real estate deals. Somehow he appears to have arrived at a critical juncture in his life when a chance encounter prompts him to take up the piano and become a concert pianist, like his mother. Along the way there will be violence, some ugly enough to make your heart skip, and sex that might do the same. “The Beat That My Heart Skipped” is more than just a well-timed gift – it’s essential viewing.

Men at Work An Iranian film, directed and written by Mani Haghighi. This movie is a naturalistic comedy-drama based on a story by Iran’s most acclaimed filmmaker, Abbas Kiarostami, much like one of his “driving” tales, this time about four male 50ish friends on their way back from a ski trip in their SUV, who get sidetracked when one of them, Mammad, becomes obsessed with a large rock jutting up from a cliff edge. The men’s frivolous attempt to dislodge the rock gradually disintegrates into a tale of betrayal, defeat and renewed hope. This task becomes as obsessive as little boys building dams and rivers in a mud puddle. Is this political allegory?

He Got Game The ironic role reversal of a man suddenly finding himself free and unprotected and his son acting as father figure to his sister drives this intense drama with Spike Lee’s directing style. The unusual choice of Aaron Copland’s music for the soundtrack provides an illuminating look at the music’s inherent American-ness alongside the spectacle of American basketball.

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