This Weekend's Indies: Exorcisms, Emperors & Michel Gondry
Beyond the Hills
Romanian director Cristian Mungiu had already won a Palme d'Or at Cannes in 2007 for 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days when he returned last year and took Best Screenplay for Beyond the Hills. IMDb sums up the plot as, "The friendship between two young women who grew up in the same orphanage; one has found refuge at a convent in Romania and refuses to leave with her friend, who now lives in Germany." But the film is also based on a true-life story of an exorcism gone wrong in Romania. It's certainly one of the best-reviewed films of the year, though also subject to a lot of controversy in Romania.
Matthew Fox and Tommy Lee Jones team up to tell the story of the American occupation of Japan in the days immediately following the Emperor's surrender in World War II. Jones plays General Douglas MacArthur, tasked with the decision of whether or not to execute Emperor Hirohito.
Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey
Wouldn't YOU liked to be plucked from obscurity via your YouTube videos and asked to be the new lead singer of YOUR favorite band? (Actually, wait, that's a catch-22, because Garbage fronted by me instead of Shirley Manson would no longer be my favorite band.) This documentary about Arnel Pineda and his strange and exuberant journey to Journey played at last year's Tribeca Film Festival, to much acclaim.
The We and the I
Director Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind) is back with this story of Bronx teenagers on the last day of school ecompasses every aspect of techy millennial culture -- texts! Phone videos! -- as well as non-professional actors , all stuck on the same city bus.