In a Summer of Blockbusters, Don't Forget the Indies

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If you've been to the movies this summer, you've probably had a lot of fun watching dinosaurs behave badly, deadly robots travel through time or the earthquake-induced, computer-generated destruction of California.  These films and other blockbusters have a place in our culture, but don't miss checking out what is in many ways a banner season for risk-taking and refreshing independent movies.

Some of my favorite new independent films are in theaters now or opening soon.  To name just a few out now: Sundance Grand Jury Prize winners Me and Earl and the Dying Girl and The Wolfpack; the super-fresh Dope; the wonderful documentaries What Happened, Miss Simone?AmyCartel Land, The Look of Silence and, one of my favorites, the fascinating Best of Enemies; and on the narrative side, the adventurous and bold TangerineLila & EveThe Stanford Prison Experiment and The End of the Tour.  In the weeks to come, look out for the white-knuckle Cop Car, the wise-beyond-its-years The Diary of a Teenage Girland Sundance Audience Award winner Meru.  

Collectively, these films represent some of the most exciting and impressive independent films of the year, and perhaps even more importantly -- they're different from anything else in theaters right now.

You may have to look a little harder for these and other independent films this summer (they probably won't have massive billboards lining your morning commute), you may have to drive a little further than your neighborhood multiplex to your nearest arthouse theater, and you may have to do a bit more convincing to get your best friend or significant other to join you - but it's worth it.  At a time when blockbuster movies are generating billions of dollars and spawning rides, toys and sequels, the survival of important, original and sometimes provocative independent films in the cinema depends on you.

Make your next trip to the movies a blockbuster/independent double-feature and we'll have as just as many good choices on screens next summer, too.


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