‘Indies’ to relieve blockbuster fatigue



I usually end and start the year with a list of movies to look forward to. Lately, what’s been popping on the radar, because they’re such juggernauts, are the films put out by the big studios: superhero films and franchises.

As such, I find myself needing that breath of fresh air more often.

Now, here’s a list of four films released late 2017 that I hope makes it to cinemas in the Philippines come 2018.

1. “The Shape of Water.” This fairy tale love story was written by Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor (who has written for “Game of Thrones” and is working on the live action “Aladdin”). It is also directed by del Toro, a man in his 50’s who continues to find a way to put in an element of magic and genuine childlike wonder in many of his films.

This one stars Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon and Octavia Spencer with Doug Jones as the Amphibian Man. You may not recognize Doug but he has also been Abe Sapien in the “Hellboy” movies, The Faun in “Pan’s Labyrinth” and Lt. Saru in “Star Trek: Discovery.”

2. “The Disaster Artist.” In 2003, an indie called “The Room” written, directed, produced by Tommy Wiseau, starring Tommy Wiseau was released and slowly made its way to become a cult classic because it was just so bad, it was good.

One of “The Room’s” actors, Greg Sestero co-wrote a book called “The Disaster Artist: My Life Inside The Room, the Greatest Bad Film Ever Made.” We’ll get to see just what went on behind the scenes in the making of this film with James Franco starring as Wiseau and Dave Franco as Sestero. The film was also directed by James Franco.

3. “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing Missouri.” Of the four films here, I was lucky enough to catch this one. This is a crime comedy-drama written and directed by brilliant playwright and screenwriter Martin McDonagh (he gave us “The Pillowman,” and “In Bruges” among others).

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It stars Frances McDormand as a mother seeking justice, Woody Harrelson as a town sheriff trying to deal with personal issues, and Sam Rockwell as a mixed up officer. These three all proved, again, that they can be such acting powerhouses.

4. “Lady Bird.” Saoirse Ronan is only 23 but she has impressed the world with her talent in critically acclaimed and Oscar nominated films like “The Lovely Bones,” “Atonement,” “Brooklyn” and now this coming of age comedy drama.

Ronan isn’t the only female contender on board—there is also writer director Greta Gerwig. I saw her a few years ago in a delightful little romantic comedy called “Maggie’s Plan” with Ethan Hawke, Julianne Moore and Travis Fimmel. Little did I know of her talents behind the camera.

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Not only do these smaller films provide a respite from the onslaught of the bombastic, they’ve got some likely Oscar nominees and winners in there.


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