From sadistic social experiments to seedy club nights and David Foster Wallace reincarnated
Think there’s no way you could film a full cinematic feature on an iPhone, or successfully shoot a movie only on Tuesdays for an entire year? Think again. There’s no limit on directorial scope this June. First-time director Crystal Moselle tells the incredible story of a band of brothers locked away for their entire teenage years, nurtured by a small TV and a worn DVD collection, after having spotted them in the New York streets. Kyle Patrick Alvarez chews on a notorious 70s social experiment that went wrong and spits out a psychological thriller, and Davis Guggenheim takes on the story of one of the most important teens of our time. Here are some of the films we can’t wait to see.
IT'S LIKE: Christiane F. - Wir Kinder vom Bahnhof Zoo meets a night in Watergate, Berlin
Sebastian Schipper’s Victoria, shot in one unedited take, snaps eponymous Spanish waitress from strobe-speckled Berlin club straight into heart-in-your-mouth heist with a gang of Berliners. Swapping house beats for bank robbery before her breakfast shift in the Mitte district, Victoria finds herself cheek-to-cheek with doe-eyed Sonne who has his crew of Boxer, an ex-convict, and Blinker close behind, roping her in as their rag-tag getaway driver through the streets of the dark urban playground. Onwards to Berghain?
HE NAMED ME MALALA
IT'S LIKE: Every Last Child meets Honor Diaries
“My father only gave me the name Malala, he didn’t make me Malala.” She hardly needs an introduction as arguably the most famous and inspirational 17-year-old in the world, but she’s just done it. This statement, and the rest of Davis Guggenheim’s beautiful exploration of her life, shows just how much girl power Malala embodies. Besides being a feminist superhero, He Named me Malala paints a picture of a teen girl who loves school, hangs with her siblings and has crushes (shoutout to Roger Federer).
Out in cinemas October 2 2015
DIARY OF A TEENAGE GIRL
IT'S LIKE: American Beauty meets Ghost World
Sexual liberation as a teenage girl tends to be awkward, confusing and, er, individual. So Diary of a Teenage Girl explores one very specific sexual encounter of Minnie Goetze – her mother’s boyfriend. Her dictaphone-recorded confessions and illustrations run rampant onscreen alongside a frank, vibrant, coming-of-age narrative. Cringy mom lines from Kristen Wiig as the bohemian mother who’s way oversighted make it laugh out loud, and the attention to detail with Carmen Grande’s 70s costumes and the hints at the impending punk and disco revolutions are next level.
Out in cinemas August 7 2015
ME AND EARL AND THE DYING GIRL
IT'S LIKE: 50/50 meets The Perks of Being a Wallflower
We've all been subjected to those awkwardly forced friend dates with your mum’s mates children. Greg – the ‘me’ from the title – is forced by his mum to befriend a classmate and former childhood friend who’s been diagnosed with leukaemia. Instead of awkward silences and small talk about the Simpsons and physics teachers, Greg and Rachel bond quickly, and he introduces her to his friend – or ‘co-worker’ – Earl, who he makes pun-titled films with (e.g. Eyes Wide Butt). The flawed and fresh characters – a tattooed history teacher is far from the usual on-your-level authority figure trope – as well as the films-within-film medium make it wildly different from the usual indie duplicate.
Out in cinemas June 12 2015
THE END OF THE TOUR
IT'S LIKE: Almost Famous meets Deathtrap
Based on the meetings of minds of Rolling Stone reporter David Lipsky and Infinite Jest author David Foster Wallace, Lipsky’s successful book has been translated to screen. The film traces the five-day interview on Wallace’s book tour, 12 years before his suicide. It’s a raw portrayal of the sometimes heart-breaking, solitary world of celebrity, set to Danny Elfman’s delicate score. Finally, a film where perennial moron Jason Segel isn’t flashing someone.
Out in cinemas July 31 2015
THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT
IT'S LIKE: Green Mile meets the worst kind of social experiment videos on Youtube
Who would you be: a guard or a prisoner? The Stanford Prison Experiment saw university students pick up shackles or a baton for a make-believe prison scenario that quickly descended into brutality and the abuse of power. Those who won’t bend are broken, like the emphatic Ezra Miller, and students as guards take a terrifying turn into Percy-Wetmore-in-Green-Mile kinda territory.
IT'S LIKE: All About my Mother meets Just Bea
The sexual awakening of 16-year-old Billie and the transgendered transition of her mother coincide in a yearlong narrative artfully filmed over 52 Tuesdays. Ambitious, but worth it for what feels like a real life docudrama that doesn’t hold back: “If you’re with (a woman) are they are lesbian or are they straight?” It’s told in part through Billie’s video diary, through which we see her experiment with friends Josh and Jasmine in dreamy cuts and her tumultuous relationship with her changing parental unit.
Out in cinemas August 2015
ALL AMERICAN HIGH REVISITED
IT'S LIKE: Dazed and Confused meets Beverly Hills, 90210
This film explores American high school in 1984: a world of blowdries, starched cheerleader skirts and weed. Southern California's Torrance High School welcomes Finnish exchange student Rikki Rauhala, who’s bemused by the setup. It’s where no one gives a damn about Pythagorean theorem and 18th century romantic literature but whether you’re a ‘punk’, a ‘preppy’ or a ‘meddler’ makes a world of difference.
Out in cinemas July 3 2015
IT'S LIKE: The Little Prince meets This Boy's Life
Films are an escape from real life: to an era before your time, a country you’ll more than likely never visit, a different dimension. For the Angulo boys, films were an escape into most people’s reality. The band of six brothers were kept locked up in a 16th floor apartment in New York by their parents, rarely venturing outside. Director Crystal Moselle follows the pack as they trade in Pulp Fiction for walks on the promenade and real life, normal teenage things.
Out in cinemas August 7 2015
IT'S LIKE: Pretty Woman meets Thelma & Louise meets The Other Woman meets the Hefe Instagram filter
Shot completely on iPhones, Tangerine isn’t your usual white-people-problems indie fare. Sin-Dee Rella, an LA transgender sex worker, gets out of jail to find out her pimp/boyfriend is cheating on her with a real fish (read: cisgender woman). With her bestie Alexandra, she hunts down her boyfriend stealer, but what ensues is a more-than-the-usual-crazy kind of day mapped out between Donut Time and Metro Station. Like they say, it’s all about their hustle.