Venture off the beaten track…

Indie cinema is a different world. Fresh stories, fresh faces and most importantly, a fresh focus on tales from far-flung spaces that don’t get the same light of day as the Ryan Gosling, Will Smith and Margot Robbie starrers. Mainstream cinema is good, sometimes even great, but preserving indie cinema is important, because the little guy has much to say and we must listen.

All We Imagine As Light

 

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Releasing: October

Payal Kapadia’s All We Imagine As Light has generated quite the buzz recently, mostly for the splash it made at the 2024 Cannes Film Festival. It’s the first film from India to compete in the main competition since 1994, when Shaji N Karun’s Swaham made similar headlines, but in the year 2024, the Indians took home the Grand Prix trophy. Set in the pulsating noise of Mumbai, one of India’s most densely populated, fast-paced and metropolitan cities, it follows two Malayali nurses navigating troubled personal lives. Prabha and Anu are stood at different stages in their relationships, but they move parallel to each other in their womanhood. A holiday to a quaint beach town will bring change and perhaps newfound freedom.

Watch the trailer here.

The Outrun 


Releasing: September

Saoirse Ronan is the undisputed, unofficial queen of indie cinema, and this latest film only adds to her stellar portfolio of releases. The Outrun is a raw, gripping tale of one woman forced to meet eyes with her demons, based on journalist Amy Liptrot’s award-winning memoir of the same name. Rona is a young woman with a tick for addiction. Struggling with alcoholism, she returns to her childhood home of Orkney Islands, a land of rolling, beautiful landscapes, and takes up a job recording the calls of an endangered native bird. With the new work comes solitude and with solitude, an uncomfortable corner of reflection Rona cannot escape. That, fused with a gentle telling of this island’s way of life, could very well be Ronan’s most compelling performance till date.

Watch the trailer here.

The Adamant Girl


Releasing: Out now

From the farthest corner of regional Indian cinema comes The Adamant Girl, a Tamil-language drama that shines light on the inequalities of the Indian caste system. Meena, a young Tamil woman, is in love, which seems simple enough, except the man belongs to a lower caste. As a result of this, her family comes to believe that she has been possessed by spirits and attempts to cast the spell out of her. While to the less enlightened this might sound like a satirical take on the injustices of the caste hierarchy and perhaps comedic commentary on how ludicrous the whole thing is, this is, unfortunately, still prevalent in the rural, backward areas of the country. Meena is simply in love, but love is not enough, and that is the tragedy.

Watch the trailer here.

Between The Temples 


Releasing: August

Of all the unlikely romances, this is one to watch. Ben is many things – a widower, the cantor of his Upstate New York synagogue and a disconnected man in a crisis of his faith. When he crosses paths with Carla, his former teacher and Bat Mitzvah enthusiast looking to redeem her lost teenage experience, he never expects to fall in love with her. Their connection, unexpected, tender, moving along by the very much alive and beating heart of their collective pain, is portrayed in all it’s subtle beauty by Jason Schwartzman and Carol Kane. A quiet strength and a simmering desire that uplifts their shared moments of sharp humour and deep sorrow, this is a real love story, marred, marked and beaten down by the realities of life and the finality of tragedy, but beautiful and blossoming still.

Daddio

Releasing: Out now

Dakota Johnson and Sean Penn aren’t exactly known for their glowing work in the world of intellectual, independent cinema, but this film may be a turning point for them. The plot is simple – woman lands at the JFK International Airport and outside, hails a taxi to get to her apartment in Manhattan. During their journey together into the night, the woman, who we know as Girlie, strikes up a most unexpected conversation with the cab driver, Clark, eventually revealing to him the bad decisions she’s made in her life, including her affair with a married man. Clark reciprocates her candour and opens up about his own life. At the end of the epic ride, a belief is reinforced – there isn’t quite anything like the freeing honesty of a stranger’s company, with no strings attached and no accountability.

Watch the trailer here.

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A Different Man


Releasing: September

Sebastian Stan stars in this psychological drama about a man suffering from an illness who undergoes a dramatic transformation but his internal turmoil only increases despite how desperate he was for the change. Edward has neurofibromatosis, which has left his face covered in tumours. He wants to change for his neighbour, Ingrid, who he has fallen in love with, and hopes that he will get the love back. The experimental medical procedure is successful, but what are the consequences? Edward is a different man, but is it only on the surface? Questions are asked about perception and perspective, our own and outside, and how much we align with the mask we all wear in our everyday lives. It may make you uncomfortable, but this introspection is essential.

Images: Socials