Top 5 alternative film happenings this summer
June 16, 2016
Ah, summer… It can be a beautiful time, but it can also be too hot to handle during the day. For cinephiles, it can also mean a drought at movie theaters. But fear not! This year, there are some great offerings that will not only keep you engaged but also in the comfort of amazing film venues with air-conditioning. A glance at the upcoming screenings at indie theaters in Miami this summer reveals an eclectic mix, featuring a documentary, a new film by a legendary director, a classic anime feature and even a music-themed movie screening for one night only.
Directed by Noah Baumbach and Jake Paltrow, De Palma is the perfect documentary for film junkies. Although Baumbach and Paltrow cast the director in a personal light, what stands about the film is how it investigates the process of making movies. As a documentary filmed by directors, you will see De Palma discussing editing, lighting and framing at length, but he also reveals how and why his movies have become legend. His description of the film process, from conception to realization will keep you riveted. A fine way to escape the summer heat and acquire some filmmaking, or film appreciation, knowledge along the way.
The documentary makes its Miami debut at the Miami Beach Cinematheque, it will run from June 24 to June 30. To get your tickets, click here. During the month of July, the Miami Beach art house will host a retrospective of De Palma’s films. IndieEthos’ very own Hans Morgenstern will introduce the director’s underrated 1976 gem Obsession. For nationwide listings of De Palma, click here.
The newest installment by Woody Allen, Café Society promises to bring out all the best in an art house summer movie has to offer. It should be funny, romantic and there are period costumes involved! With a star-studded cast, starring Jesse Eisenberg, Steve Carell, Sheryl Lee, Todd Weeks, Paul Schackman and Kristen Stewart, the comedy should be one of Allen’s lighter affairs and features Eisenberg as the film’s lead. The film is set in 1930s Hollywood. Amidst the glamour of a booming Los Angeles, Bobby (Eisenberg), a young, nervous Manhattan nightclub manager leaves New York after facing heartache. Soon after arriving in L.A., struggling to find a job, Bobby starts as an assistant to Uncle Phil (Carell) and easily falls in love with Vonnie (Stewart), his uncle’s beautiful secretary. From what can be seen in the short clip below, the comedy should involve smart, funny dialogue and fantastic cinematography featuring beautiful shots of New York and Los Angeles, captured through an almost melancholic eye.
Straight from Studio Ghibli comes this anime classic released in 2006. It tells the love story between Suzuku Tsukushima, a young girl about to enter high school and Seiji Amasawa. She becomes interested in him after she realizes that all the books she checks out of the library have been previously checked out by Seiji. A personal favorite, Whisper of the Heart also explores a critical time in a girl’s life when small choices have big impacts, as Suzuku tries to find her way through life and map out the difficulty of pursuing her own dreams. One of the lesser fantastical films from Ghibili, Whisper of the Heart is a profound drama with some of the most gorgeous, immersive wide shots you will see in an animated film.
Best Local Affair
For a showcase of local filmmaking talent, including in-person encounters with filmmakers themselves, head over to O Cinema Wynwood on July 6, at 6:30 p.m. The night is organized and hosted by FilmGate Miami. After the screening, audience members get to voice their choice on favorite short films by participating in one of the most whimsical voting events at the theater. Filmmakers receive audience and juried awards after the screenings. It all culminates with a fun party at the O Cinema patio including free beer and live music! For tickets click here.
Best once-in-a-lifetime screening
This much-awaited documentary will be screening for one night only on Sept. 8. The film marks the launch of Nick Cave’s new album Skeleton Tree, which will drop on Sept. 9. It represents the first opportunity to listen to the songs that make up the new album in full, with an audience and in surround sound. What’s not to like?
The film features Cave’s narration throughout and should illuminate the songs themselves as well as his songwriting process, which came from a profound place after the tragic death of his son. The band worked closely with Director Andrew Dominik, who delves deeply into the recording of the album that was fraught with complications, revealing the raw emotions that come out when music is your main means of expression.
(Copyright 2016 by Ana Morgenstern. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.)