The always entertaining, infrequently informative Urban Dictionary hit the nail on the hipster head when attempting to describe an indie film: "A film made on a low, almost bare bones budget (outside the studio system), that is heralded by the underground (read:hipsters), for its usually 'new, fresh and daring' on a number of issues such as; gay life, sex, gay sex, teen angst, gay teen angst, etc. Often seen as pretentious by anyone not cultured enough to understand the 'gravitas of the subject matter'." So, get your Starbucks at the ready and have the phrase "I saw that BEFORE it was even this popular" poised at the tip of your tongue, because in no particular order my top 5 indie films are...
1/ 500 Days of Summer - Laced with quirky characters, an addictive playlist and brimming with the feel-good factor, 500 Days of Summer was probably one of the first films I wholeheartedly fell in love with. On January 8th, Tom Hansen meets Summer Finn and so ensues their 500 day relationship. The film also exhibits a lot of charming creative artwork and animation, making it oh so much harder to hate it! It's your quintessential boy meets girl scenario, and it shouldn't be missed.
2/ The Perks of Being a Wallflower - With the book being one of my all-time favourites, I was slightly dubious about the film's debut. However I was pleasantly surprised when in one of those rarer moments; a film may actually supersede a book - additionally I'd like to point out that it was probably an advantage that the film was directed by the novels author, Stephen Chbosky. The film's style is very raw and amateurish to correspond with our protagonist Charlie - the new kid in school. The film features various young adult themes such as angst, abuse, mental illness, drugs, love, and the crux of the story: friendship.
4/ Silver Linings Playbook - You ever watched a film that you could happily watch for the rest of your life and never tire of? Yeah, well this is mine. After a failed marriage leading to months of intensive treatment for his bipolar disorder, Pat steps back out into the real world and soon gets wrapped up in the deliciously destructive personality of Tiffany. The two lost souls find solace in each other but will their incapabilities make them capable of love?
5/ Beginners - Out of the five films, this is the one you've probably never heard of. Oliver is an artist, who leads a simple life with no complications. He discovers that his father is withering away with stage 4 cancer and with this newfound appreciation for life, his father also declares his love for another man. Having the responsibility of caring for and encouraging his father's new lifestyle choices, Oliver is stuck in a rut. That is until fate pairs him with Anna. Beginners is a very moving, charming and at times, hilariously witty film (there are scenes where Oliver takes his father's dog into care after he can't look after him anymore. The dog and Oliver have actual conversations with subtitles) need I say more?
Have you seen any of the films mentioned?