Top Independent Films Spring 2009

    THE EDUCATION OF CHARLIE BANKS  
At 16, socially responsible upper west-sider CHARLIE BANKS (Jesse Eisenberg) witnesses charismatic blue collar sociopath MICK LEARY (Jason Ritter), 18, brutally beat two unwitting suburban jocks at a high school party. Mick's a west village neighborhood buddy of Charlie's best friend but Charlie's conscience gets the better of him. Telling only his parents, he reports Mick to the police. more

    ADVENTURE LAND  
It's the summer of 1987, and James Brennan (Jesse Eisenberg), an uptight recent college grad, can't wait to embark on his dream tour of Europe. But when his parents (Wendie Malick and Jack Gilpin) announce they can no longer subsidize his trip, James has little choice but to take a lowly job at a local amusement park. more

    SUGAR
Sugar follows the story of Miguel Santos, a.k.a. Sugar, a Dominican pitcher from San Pedro De Macorís, struggling to make it to the big leagues and pull himself and his family out of poverty. Playing professionally at a baseball academy in the Dominican Republic, . more

    PARIS 36
The setting is Spring 1936 ; a working-class district in the north of Paris. This neighborhood probably had a name once but now everyone simply calls it The Faubourg. At the top of the hill is a view over Paris to one side and, to the other, the burgeoning suburbs of the city. In the center of town there is a small square, a few shops, lopsided buildings, cobbled streets and the peeling façade of the neighborhood music hall, the Chansonia.  more

    GIGANTIC
Brian Weathersby (PAUL DANO) is a 28 year-old salesman at a high-end Swedish mattress company. The afterthought child to elderly parents (ED ASNER, JANE ALEXANDER), and the youngest son in a trio of successful brothers, a shady oil man (IAN ROBERTS), a surgeon (ROBERT STANTON), Brian is searching for his place in the world. more

    AMERICAN VIOLET
From Henry Selick, visionary director of THE NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, and based on Neil Gaiman’s international best-selling book, comes a spectacular stop-motion animated adventure – the first to be originally filmed in 3D!  american_violet Jones (Dakota Fanning) is bored in her new home until she finds a secret door and discovers an alternate version of her life on the other side.  more

    LEMON TREE
Salma Zidane (Hiam Abbass), a 45 years old widow from a small Palestinian village in the West bank, finds herself at war with the Israeli Minister of Defense (Doron Tavory) who built his house on the green line border between Israel and the occupied Territories on the edge of Salma’s lemon grove.   more

    SLEEP DEALER
The near future. Like tomorrow. The world is divided by closed borders, but connected by a digital network that ties together people around the world. Memo Cruz lives with his parents and his brother in the small, dusty village of Santa Ana del Rio, in Mexico. Santa Ana is an isolated farming community, the kind of place that seems frozen in time -- except for the hi-tech, militarized dam that was built by a corporation, more

    THE MERRY GENTLEMAN
Running away from a troubled marriage, Kate Frazier hopes to find anonymity with a new home and a new job in Chicago. Despite friendly flirtation from co-workers and others, the shy and reserved Kate keeps her distance, avoiding questions about her sudden arrival and her recent past. more

    THE SKEPTIC
Following the mysterious death of his aunt, Bryan Becket (Tim Daly) separates from his wife (Andrea Roth) and young son, to move into the elderly woman’s supposedly haunted Victorian mansion. A die hard skeptic, he dismisses one eerie incident after another as natural phenomena:  more

    ADORATION
ADORATION speaks to our connections—with each other, with our family history, with technology and with the modern world.

Sabine (ARSINÉE KHANJIAN), a high school French teacher, gives her class a translation exercise based on a real news story about a terrorist who plants a bomb in the airline luggage of his pregnant girlfriend. more

    RUDO Y CURSI
Beto (Diego Luna) and Tato (Gael García Bernal) Verdusco are brothers who work at a banana plantation and also play soccer for the village team. Nicknamed “Tough” because of his personality and football style, Beto dreams of becoming a professional soccer player; Tato’s dream is to be a famous singer, and both share the dream of building a house for their mother, Elvira (Dolores Heredia) more

    LITTLE ASHES
In the midst of the repression and political unrest of pre-Spanish Civil War, eccentric artist Salvador Dalí and renowned poet and revolutionary Federico García Lorca find their artistic and sexual freedom. The two form a bond challenged by their fierce ambitions, their friends, the struggle between a love for Spain and a love for each other.  more

    JULIA
Julia, 40, is an alcoholic. She is a manipulative, unreliable, compulsive liar, all strung out beneath her still flamboyant exterior. Between shots of vodka and one-night stands, Julia gets by on nickel-and-dime jobs. Increasingly lonely, the only consideration she receives comes from her friend Mitch, who tries to help her.  more

    BIG MAN JAPAN
A middle-aged slacker living in a rundown, graffiti-ridden slum, Daisato’s job involves being shocked by bolts of electricity that transform him into a stocky, stick-wielding giant several stories high who is entrusted with defending Japan from a host of bizarre monsters. more

    MANAGEMENT
MANAGEMENT is a romantic comedy that chronicles a chance meeting between Mike Cranshaw (Steve Zahn) and Sue Claussen (Jennifer Aniston). When Sue checks into the roadside motel owned by Mike's parents in Arizona, what starts with a bottle of wine "compliments of management" soon evolves into a multi-layered, cross-country journey of two people looking for a sense of purpose.  more

    EASY VIRTUE
John Whittaker, a young Englishman, falls madly in love with Larita, a sexy and glamorous American woman, and they marry impetuously. However when the couple returns to the family home, his mother Mrs Whittaker has an instant allergic reaction to her new daughter-in-law. Larita tries her best to fit in but fails to tiptoe through the minefield laid by her mother-in-law. more

    THE GRILFRIEND EXPERIENCE
Set in the weeks leading up to the 2008 presidential election, THE GIRLFRIEND EXPERIENCE is five days in the life of Chelsea (adult film star Sasha Grey in her mainstream film debut), an ultra high-end Manhattan call girl who offers more than sex to her clients, but companionship and conversation – “the girlfriend experience.   more

    AWAY WE GO
Exploring the comedic twists and emotional turns in one couple's journey across contemporary America, Away We Go is the new movie from Academy Award-winning director Sam Mendes, from the first original screenplay by novelists Dave Eggers & Vendela Vida, and featuring music by singer/songwriter Alexi Murdoch.  more

    MOON
It is the near future. Astronaut Sam Bell is living on the far side of the moon, completing a three-year contract with Lunar Industries to mine Earth’s primary source of energy, Helium-3. It is a lonely job, made harder by a broken satellite that allows no live communications home. Taped messages are all Sam can send and receive.  more

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