AMERICAN INDIE GO! (8)

Η.Π.Α./U.S.A., 2010, εγχ./col.

Σκην./Dir.: David Robert Mitchell. Σεν./Scr.: David Robert Mitchell. Φωτ./Cin.: James Laxton. Μοντ./Ed.: Julio Perez VI. Μουσ./Mus.: Kyle Newmaster. Ηθ./Cast: Claire Sloma, Marlon Morton, Amanda Bauer, Brett Jacobsen. Παρ./Prod.: Adele Romanski. Διάρκεια/Dur.: 96΄.

A group of youngsters embark on a quest for adventure on the very last night before the start of the new school year. Some of them look for love, and others just look for their first kiss. Some are in search of the best party ever, while others simply crave a simple sense of pleasure among close friends. Some try to fit in, and others plan to go all out. The Myth of the American Sleepover was shot with a small budget of 50.000$, and it’s David Robert Mitchell’s feature film debut.

The Myth of the American Sleepover2

Η.Π.Α./U.S.A., 2012, εγχ./col.

Σκην./Dir.: Katie Aselton. Σεν./Scr.: Mark Duplass, Katie Aselton. Φωτ./Cin.: Hillary Spera. Μοντ./Ed.: Jacob Vaughan. Μουσ./Mus.: Ben Lovett. Ηθ./Cast: Katie Aselton, Kate Bosworth, Lake Bell, Will Bouvier. Παρ./Prod.: Adele Romanski. Διάρκεια/Dur.: 83΄.

Three childhood friends set aside their personal issues and reunite for a  weekend on a remote island off the coast of Maine. On the island, they run into a guy they used to know and two of his military buddies. Everyone has a few drinks. Things go too far. Before long, the girls are fighting for their lives on an island where there is nowhere to hide.

black rock4

Η.Π.Α./U.S.A., 2011, εγχ./col.

Σκην./Dir.: Jacob Krupnick. Φωτ./Cin.: Jacob Krupnick. Μουσ./Mus.: Gregg Gillis. Ηθ./Cast: Anne Marsen, Dai Omiya, John Doyle. Παρ./Prod.: Justin Chung, Tapani Mokko, Josh Polon, Lisa Stiles. Διάρκεια/Dur.: 75΄.

An ordinary day, a girl breaks out of line and follows her heart to New York City. She's chased by a creep. She courts a gentleman. And slowly, but surely, she inspires the city to dance. A situationist musical, with no words, just dance, full of optimism and joy.

Girl walk All Day1

 

Η.Π.Α./U.S.A., 2011, εγχ./col.

Σκην./Dir.: Patrick Wang. Σεν./Scr.: Patrick Wang. Φωτ./Cin.: Frank Barrera. Μοντ./Ed.: Elwaldo Baptiste. Μουσ./Mus.: Chip Taylor, Andy Wagner. Ηθ./Cast: Adam Mediano, Drake Brunnete, Jeremy St. James, Mary Farley. Παρ./Prod.: Patrick Wang, Robert Tonino, Andrew van de Houten. Διάρκεια/Dur.: 169΄.

Joey and his partner Cody are in a committed relationship, living in a small town in Tennessee. They both adore the latter's biological son Chip. When Cody is killed in a tragic car accident, Joey soon learns that his will has left guardianship and care of his "child," along with the rest of his estate, to his sister, Eileen and her husband. At first, all is as well as can be expected. Slowly, however, it appears that long simmering prejudices begin to arise.

in the family1

Η.Π.Α./U.S.A., 2012, εγχ./col.

Σκην./Dir.: Larry Clark. Σεν./Scr.: Larry Clark. Φωτ./Cin.: David Newbert. Μοντ./Ed.: Affonso Goncaves. Μουσ./Mus.: Bobby Johnston. Ηθ./Cast: Adam Mediano, Drake Brunnete, Jeremy St. James, Mary Farley. Παρ./Prod.: Adam Sherman. Διάρκεια/Dur.: 105΄.

The film follows Adam, a confused 16-year-old boy, in the days surrounding his sixteenth birthday. It details his relationships and interactions with the other inhabitants of the small Texas town, including his 16-year-old girlfriend Inez, his 23-year-old neighbor Donna who attempts to seduce him as a sixteenth birthday present and a newly arrived local artist who also seeks to be involved with him.

MARFA GIRl2

Η.Π.Α./U.S.A., 2011, μ/α./b&w.

Σκην./Dir.: Alex Ross Perry. Σεν./Scr.: Carlen Altman, Alex Ross Perry. Φωτ./Cin.: Sean Price Williams. Μοντ./Ed.: Alex Ross Perry. Μουσ./Mus.: John Bosch. Ηθ./Cast: Carlen Altman, Alex Ross Perry, Kate Lyn Sheil, Bob Byington. Παρ./Prod.: Alex Ross Perry, Bob Byington. Διάρκεια/Dur.: 83΄.

JR breaks up with her professor-mentor. She then convinces her neurotic brother on a road trip to her ex's home, in order to take back her things. Through tragicomic situations, the relationship of the two siblings will be tested.

 

THE COLOR WHEEL2

Η.Π.Α./U.S.A., 2010, εγχ./col.

 Σκην./Dir.: Lena Dunham. Σεν./Scr.: Lena Dunham. Φωτ./Cin.: Jody Lee Lipes. Μοντ./Ed.: Lance Edmands. Μουσ./Mus.: Teddy Blanks. Ηθ./Cast: Lena Dunham, Laurie Simmons, Grace Dunham, Rachel Howe. Παρ./Prod.: Kyle Martin, Alicia Van Couvering. Διάρκεια/Dur.: 98΄.

After graduating from college, Aura moves back in New York City to live with her mother and her sister. Things back home have changed though and getting her life straight seems to be a difficult task. “Tiny Furniture” comes from the star/creator of the successful HBO  series “Girls”

 

tiny furniture2

Films such as “The Black Swan” or the more recent one “Drive” can certainly be considered samples of independent American cinema. Their creators had to take great risks in order to make them and had to endure a great deal of pressure in order to win, in the end, the trust of both audience and critics.  

However, there is also another independent cinema. The one that owes its existence to digital technology (even if some filmmakers fanatically insist on film – even the cheap one of 16mm) and the creative freedom that it offers. Movies that cost no more than a blockbuster’s single shot are released in very few cinemas while some of them get discovered years later.

Call it DIY or call it Indie, reject it or embrace it as hip, this cinema has got voice and substance. From the crowdfunded Girl Walk: All Day, that managed to raise more than 20.000 dollars while it also contributed to the hipster generation (and beyond) a new musical genre, up to Lena Dunham’s Tiny Furniture, which positioned on the map a director who stunned viewers and critics with the series Girls (HBO), this filmmaking can be but valuable

 

tiny furniture2  

The real father of independent cinema in America is John Cassavetes who, in 1959, with his film “Shadows” contributed a bebop diamond and proved that cinema can relate to real and recognizable people, and that it exists in order to pose questions and demonstrate problems, but not necessarily to provide solutions (something that some people, quite erroneously, expect from a piece of art).Beyond Cassavete’s gruff filmmaking, young American directors also owe a lot to the French Nouvelle Vague as well as to directors like Jean Luc Godard, Francois Truffaut and Jacques Demy who, winking at their audience, proved that when it comes to filmmaking, anything goes. Even more directly, the thing that urged many of the young ones to buy the first camera they found and roam the streets had been the outburst of independent cinema during the 80s and the 90s, directors such as Jim Jarmusch, Quentin Tarantino, Hal Hartley and Richard Linklater, as well as producers like Harvey Weinstein, who believed that a different kind of cinema is not only possible but also necessary.

I am not sure whether friends make history but they definitely make cinema. It is in this way that American directors work nowadays as they either don’t want or can’t count on big studios. No matter where you look in the American cinematic landscape you will see groups and collectives.From directors of the mumblecore genre which appeared in the beginning of the millennium and recorded the everyday words of ordinary heroes, up to the Court 13 Collective which gave us the Beasts of the Southern Wild and made it to the Oscars, cinema is certainly a collective thing and in America they seem to have realized this years now.Digital technology has certainly helped but a main factor has been the creators’ need for expression, the eagerness and the “here-and-now” of many – cinema-crazed – young people who demand that the films speak their language and embraces their joys and impasses.They have transferred filmmaking from the studios to their homes and their favourite streets. They are creators that stay away from vain declarations, who do not necessarily want to change the world nor cinema. They just claim a cinema that relates to them. A cinema that’s their very own and it happens now. 

                                                                                                                                                                  Yannis Korres