Marcel the Shell with Shoes On has always found a way to make people laugh through short films and literature. For their next trick, creators Dean Fleischer-Camp and Jenny Slate effortlessly expand on their concept to include more of an emotional core to Marcel’s world in this self-titled, feature-length debut.
By: Jolie Featherstone Much like the movie itself, Marcel is a small shell with a big heart.
A young woman is caught between the expectations of her Pakistani family and her growing independence in writer/director Haya Waseem’s haunting coming-of-age drama, Quickening.
Jillian Bell (Office Christmas Party) and Steve Zahn (Saving Silverman) play against their comedic type in Cowboys, a solid family drama that could also be interpreted as an unconventional buddy western between Zahn and young breakout Sasha Knight.
By: Jolie Featherstone Imbued with dry wit and heaps of quirk, Keith Bearden’s high school-outsider dramedy Antarctica leans into absurdist humour to highlight the pressures and barriers teenage girls are facing today.
You don’t so much watch Freaks as you do discover it. As the writers and directors of this terrific flick, Zach Lipovsky (co-producer of Afflicted) and Adam Stein do a good job building anticipation in their sci-fi/thriller. Each scene contains clues, and it’s up to the audience to piece the film’s premise together up until the somewhat typical finale.
Family history is a dependable theme for filmmakers to explore. The Last Black Man in San Francisco, however, is more about what it means to preserve that lineage. In their breakout feature film debut, filmmaker Joe Talbot and actor Jimmie Fails unpack an observational story that’s related to that, based on elements of Fails’ real-life experiences.
By: Jolie Featherstone When a movie opens with an inspirational, expletive-filled meditation guide voiced by Maya Rudolph, you know you’ve chosen the right movie.
Giant Little Ones is a very sweet movie about confronting and dealing with homophobia as a teenager. If that reads like I’m patronizing the film, I don’t mean to be. This is an important coming-of-age story with a unique voice, and filmmaker Keith Behrman should be proud of his accomplished indie. It’s a hopeful movie that will hit home with audiences.
Documentarian Rama Rau (The Market, League of Exotique Dancers) takes a break from documentary filmmaking to make Honey Bee, a coming-of-age drama for mature audiences.