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Member Lists

GreenCine's Most Valuable Indies: Hon. Mention
List creator: GreenCineStaff
Created on: November 18, 2005 - 3:46 PM PST
Description: These fine indie films just missed the cut and are also deserving of a look. Each one is wholly unique, offering up a director's particular vision, often on a low budget.

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13 Conversations About One Thing (2001)
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  Conversation-starter is nearly brilliant and certainly provocative meditation on happiness and interconnection.
All the Real Girls (2003)
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  Green's follow-up to George Washington is similarly langorous Southern slice of life, but focuses on the pains of adult romance. Beautifully shot by Tim Orr.
The American Astronaut (2001)
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Not Rated
  Deadpan indie sci-fi/Western/musical is occasionally too self-conscious to fully connect but is certainly unique and, for its budget, visionary.
American Splendor (2003)
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  Brings Harvey Pekar's hilariously mundane world to the screen in this most impressive debut. Read our interview with the filmmakers, too.
The Apostle (1997)
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  Robert Duvall's slow but complex labor of love is a stirring drama in the "they don't make 'em like this anymore" category.
Bad Lieutenant (1992)
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  Harvey Keitel's courageous, naked (in both senses of the word) performance is at the center of this nervy, probing film.
Barcelona (1994)
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  Whit Stillman's follow-up to Metropolitan is no less witty or biting. In fact, it's magnifico.
The Big Knife (1955)
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Not Rated
  Very daring in its day, this indictment of Hollywood, based on Clifford Odets' play, remains stringent, intelligent and electric stuff.
Blood for Dracula (1973)
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Not Rated
  "ridiculous, hilarious, bloody, and quite sick. In other words, it has everything you could possibly want from a horror movie." - Absolute Horror
Bound (1996)
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  Ultra-sexy neo noir.
Bug (2002)
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Not Rated
  Quirky little indie concept film shot in LA's hipster Silver Lake area is full of nice touches.
Chuck & Buck (2000)
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  Discomfiting and perverse dark comedy about a stalker will make you think twice about getting back in touch with your childhood friends.
Citizen Ruth (1996)
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  Alexander Payne made a razor sharp debut in this keen satire of all sides of the abortion debate, with Laura Dern memorable as the glue-sniffing titular mom(?)-to-be.
Combination Platter (1993)
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  "With storytelling ambitions roughly proportional to his $250,000 budget, Tony Chan has managed to produce an engaging little slice of life." - Washington Post
Dark Star (1974)
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  A parody of 2001 but filmed on a budget of like $100 bucks. John Carpenter's first flick is still one of our favorites.

Related: Science Fiction primer.

David and Lisa (1962)
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Not Rated
  Haunting story of two teens in a mental institution may seem a little dated now but it still holds some power.
Easy Rider (Criterion) (1969)
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  "We blew it," is the famous line at the end of this seminal 60s classic that shocked the film industry by raking in the box office.
Eight Men Out (1988)
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  One of the better baseball movies is also one of John Sayles' more consistent efforts. Look fast for Sayles as writer Ring Lardner.
Elephant (2003)
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  The proverbial "elephant in the room" in this case is the awful notion of gun violence in American schools. Gus Van Sant's recreation of a Colombine-like massacre provides no easy answers; he simply shows us what is, and lets us draw our own conclusions.
Everyday People (2003)
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Not Rated
  See Craig Phillips' interview with director Jim McKay talking about this film.
Everything Put Together (2000)
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  Shot on DV, Marc Forster's directorial debut is very well put together; unexpectedly becomes a psychological horror film.
Far From Heaven (2002)
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  Todd Haynes' homage to Douglas Sirk melodramas takes on a life of its own, too. Masterfully photographed and acted.
Fargo (Special Edition) (1996)
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  Is this still the Coen's best film? Yah sure, you betcha. Near-perfect, even.
Forbidden Zone (1980)
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  Completely whacked out cult fave.

Read our interview with director Richard Elfman.

Gas Food Lodging (1992)
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  Real gem starring the underutilized Brooke Adams is one of the more honest looks at difficult mother-daughter relationships.
Ghost World (2001)
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  Perfectly cast and shot version of Daniel Clowes' cynical comic.
Henry Fool (1997)
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  Hal Hartley's most ambitious film is a sharp satire on art and fame, full of idiosyncratic performances and wit.
High Art (1998)
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  Intelligently observed drama is also very well acted by Patricia Clarkson, Ally Sheedy, and Radha Mitchell.
In the Company of Men (1997)
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  Neil LaBute has yet to match the success of his first, this cruelly funny and surprisingly on target story of misogyny and poisonous corporate cultures.
In the Soup (1992)
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  Whatever happened to Alexandre Rockwell? At least we have this enjoyable little comedy to tide us over.
The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love (1995)
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  One of the first girl-meets-girl movies with mainstream appeal. "Your normal, typical, regular lesbo household," relates one of the likable protagonists.
Jackie Brown (1997)
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  Might still be QT's most assured work.
Jump Tomorrow (2001)
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  "A real sleeper," says GreenCine's Craig Phillips. "The story unfolds at a leisurely trot but just go along on the ride and you'll have a smile on your face at the end."
Kids (1995)
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Not Rated
  Larry Clark's disturbing depiction of juvenile delinquents is one you'll never forget. Also boasts an awesome indie rock soundtrack featuring Lou Barlow and all his incarnations.
Kiss Me Deadly (Criterion) (1955)
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Not Rated
  "A key film of the 50's," wrote TimeOut Film Guide, "a savage critique of Cold War paranoia... a masterpiece of sorts."
L.I.E. (2001)
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  Brian Cox does stellar work in this disturbing, powerful work.
Living in Oblivion (1995)
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  There are probably too many films about making films, but this is surely one of the most enjoyable. Steve Buscemi at his best. ("Hey Bob, you think you can make any more noise with the dolly you creaky motherf****r!")
Lost in Translation (2003)
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  "makes up for what it lacks in plot with atmosphere, intelligence, and performance," says Craig Phillips.
Marty (1955)
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Not Rated
  Still touching and timeless, with Paddy Chayefsky's fine script behind it. Surprise winner of four major Oscars.
Me and You and Everyone We Know (2004)
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  "A 'small' movie, in a good way, for while it may not offer up a ton of drama, it has a huge heart,"wrote Craig Phillips. See also his interview with filmmaker/star Miranda July.]
Mi Vida Loca (My Crazy Life) (1993)
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  Alison Anders' affecting portrayal of an underrepresented group: Latina teens. Would have benefited from less amateur casting, but it remains ambitious and real.
My Own Private Idaho (Criterion Collection) (1991)
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  Shakespeare's Henry IV like you've never seen it before, in Gus Van Sant's affectionate road movie. RIP, River Phoenix.
Mysterious Skin (2004)
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Not Rated
  Greg Araki's most mature film is harrowing and heartbreaking, and touching, look at child abuse. Appropriately complex and very well-acted.
Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
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  Gosh! People seem to either love or hate this one, a sort of deadpan Mormon/Idahoan comedy, but we're somewhere in the "enjoyed the heck out of it/occasionally scratched our heads" camp. No denying its runaway success outta nowhere, either.
Nothing But a Man (1964)
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  Craig Phillips: "One to treasure, one of the few films about the black experience to so powerfully capture the struggle to survive as a black man in Civil Rights-era America."
On the Edge (1985)
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Not Rated
  Rob Nilsson's fine running movie also features one of Bruce Dern's best performances.
Parting Glances (1986)
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  "If you want a perfectly realized depiction of urban gay men, you won't find any better. The film is so comfortable with its subject matter that it avoids all the traps that gay-themed movies can fall into" - Rod Armstrong, Reel.com
Polyester (1981)
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  John Waters' last real low-budget indie remains great fun; full of sharp one-liners ("I never wanted to use macramé to kill!")
Powwow Highway (1989)
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  Native American actor Gary Farmer's Philbert is "a truly wonderful creation," says Craig Phillips, in "one of the few films in recent memory to properly tackle the issue of modern day Native Americans struggling to maintain a connection to their past, without pandering."
Primer (2003)
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  Juan Manuel Freire called this provocative head-scratcher "an original take on time travel which transforms its economic limitations into virtues and demonstrates the sky's the only limit when you've got extraordinary talent,"
Requiem for a Dream (2000)
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Not Rated
  Darren Aronofsky's disturbing and (very) darkly funny, stylized look at drug addiction. From a Hubert Selby novel.
Return of the Secaucus Seven (1980)
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  Former college radicals reunite and reflect on where they've been and where they're going in John Sayles' first film, a much less pretentious Big Chill.
Ride in the Whirlwind (1967)
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Not Rated
  Long-neglected Monte Hellman alterna-Western deserves a new audience.
Shock Corridor (Criterion Collection) (1963)
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Not Rated
  Sam Fuller's nutty film set, appropriately, in an insane asylum makes up for the bizarre acting with the unforgettable atmosphere and histrionics.
Short Cuts (Criterion Collection) (1993)
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  Translating Raymond Carver properly to the screen seemed a near impossible task but Altman does it in this profound "collection" of stories.
Sisters (Criterion Collection) (1973)
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  Chilling cult classic is DePalma at the top of his game.
Smoke (1995)
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  Truly lovely, with a real sense of storytelling, and telling stories, that could only come from matching Paul Auster with Wayne Wang.
The Station Agent (2003)
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  "Tom McCarthy's little film that could was one of the real surprises of 2003, an indie film with an assured sense of comic timing, humanity, and storytelling," says Craig Phillips.
Swoon (1991)
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  "If you want to see a movie that really nails the pathology of bigotry, try writer-director Tom Kalin's revisionist look at the 1924 Chicago trial of Leopold and Loeb" ? Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
Tarnation (2003)
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Not Rated
  "Your greatest creation is the life you lead" was the tagline of this extremely indie, as in "individual," chronicle of Jonathan Caouette's relationship with his mother, culled from 19 years of home movie footage, phone messages, short films and more.
Timecode (2000)
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  Mike Figgis' quad-screen experiment probably wouldn't work as well without the multi-screen effect but it's quite brilliantly assembled and provocative.
Virgil Bliss (2001)
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Not Rated
  "While this may be a simple tale, simply told, it's also proof that sometimes the best films are those which keep their ambitions modest." - BBCi Films
Who's That Knocking at My Door? (1968)
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  Early Keitel-Scorsese collaboration often plays like the NYU thesis project it was, but is essential viewing for the director's fans.
Ulee's Gold (1997)
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  The return of Peter Fonda was surprise enough; far more astonishing was his subtle performance, the best of his career, for which he was nominated for an Oscar.

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