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Entries in indie (6)

Tuesday
Feb022016

A Good Wife

A Good Wife [Dobra zena]
Directed by: Mirjana Karanovic
Released at: Sundance Film Festival 2016
Grade: 3 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: John Esther

Commencing and concluding with a disrupting male gaze that focuses on two circles of sorts, Serbian actor Mirjana Karanovic makes an impressive debut as director and co-writer in A Good 
Wife, a film about personal and political cancer in current Serbia. 

Milena (Karanovic) is 50-year-old mother of three taking care of hubby (Boris Isakovic) and household in a small suburb outside of Belgrade. A woman with little identity of her own, Milena fills her days shopping, gossiping with other equally vacuous (yet not so wealthy) housewives and watching home videos. 

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Tuesday
Feb022016

Pleasure. Love.

Pleasure. Love.
Directed by: Huang Yao
Released on: Sundance Film Festival 2016
Grade: 2 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: John Esther

In Huang Yao's Pleasure. Love. people in their 30s essentially have love (and career) worked out and it is up to them to impart that wisdom on their younger counterparts so they may in turn bestow such wisdom and assurance on future lovers. 

Two stories with overlapping narratives, the first one, "Pleasure" is the more interesting and developed one. Nan (Daizhen Ying) has moved to Beijing, China, to go to school, but he is soon expelled due to lack of payment. This leads to a job selling books on the street (how novel), which pays so little he is threatened with eviction (a distracting, underdeveloped subplot). One night he meets Yajie (Nan Yu). Gorgeous, middle class, older and more mature, only in cinema land would a painfully awkward guy like Nan get a woman Yajie's caliber.

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Monday
Aug242015

Digging for Fire

Digging for Fire
Director: Joe Swanberg
Released on: August 21st, 2015
Grade: 2 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: John Esther

Lee (Rosemarie Dewitt), her husband, Tim (co-writer Jake Johnson), and their 3-year-old son, Jude (Jude Swanberg), have just arrived at a swank Hollywood Hills home, courtesy of one of Lee's clients.

While walking the grounds, Tim discovers a bone and a gun halfway buried in the dirt. He calls the cops, but the operator "with an attitude" says there is nothing they can do without more "evidence" (a suspicious response, but okay). Tim wants to excavate the grounds further to find proof of misdeeds. Lee thinks it is a bad idea. Tim concedes to Lee.

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Monday
Aug102015

The Diary of a Teenage Girl

The Diary of a Teenage Girl
Director: Marielle Heller
Released on: August 7th, 2015
Grade: 3 out of 5 meatballs
Reviewed by: John Esther

San Francisco, California, 1976. The kidnapping of heiress Patty Hearst is the news story du jour. It is a time of permissibility. The radical politics of the 1960s are gone. Noxious disco, swapping couples, and cocaine are in full swing.

In one particular home in The City by the Bay, 15-year-old Minnie Goetze (Bel Powley) is looking for love and loins in the wrong places. A budding artist, she draws a gigantic woman who rules the streets of San Francisco (brought to “life” by animator Sara Gunnarsdottir.) Minnie has dreams, desires, woes and whimsy, which she records in her diary. She also has the desire to sleep with “The handsomest man in the world,” Monroe (Alexander Skarsgård). Monroe, however, is a lot older than Minnie.

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Monday
Feb212011

ACID HOUSE KINGS || Music Sounds Better With You

Acid House Kings
Music Sounds Better With You
Label: Labrador Sweden
Grade: 4 out of 5 meatballs
Release date: March 22nd, 2011
Reviewed by: Tiffany Melanis

They’re baaaack! After a six-year hiatus, Acid House Kings is picking up where they left off, without missing a beat. Music Sounds Better With You is simply indie pop perfection.

The Swedish trio stays true to the sound they left us wanting more of in their first album, but this time the feel-good tunes come with castanets…in all 10 songs! Come on, who doesn’t enjoy castanets? The album is undeniably lovable.

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Monday
Jul272009

THE RURAL ALBERTA ADVANTAGE || Hometowns

The Rural Alberta Advantage
Hometowns 
Label: Saddle Creek Records
Released in: July 2009
Reviewed by: Kevin Farr

The first time I listened to this album I almost had a panic attack that quickly shifted to an urge to start a personal mosh-pit for one in my living room. And The RAA is not even punk in the conventional sense. Though they have the raw intensity you expect to find in punk it was the fast paced almost frenetic drum beat on the first three tracks they set my body in motion and the dopamine in my brain on fire. 

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