5 Choice Indies of 2011

Beating Hearts
Directed by: Matthew Garrett
Written by: Matthew Garrett
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Truly one of the most horrifying short films of the year, “Beating Hearts” is a disturbing and absolutely morbid look at a family ticking away to explode in to a hail of violence and carnage. That bombshell is incidentally the youngest daughter of a brood of middle class individuals who one day wakes up atop her mother’s heaving bosom only to mutilate her before her very eyes.

What follows is a suggestive and utterly unsettling look at cross generational love and disgusting symbolism that signals a horrific crime that was a long time coming and an erratic young girl who never quite figured out how to process her uneasy feelings.

Amy’s in the Attic
Directed by: Matthew Saliba
Written by: Matthew Saliba
Official Trailer
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We’ve been a fan of director Matthew Saliba for years, since he introduced us to his male oriented revenge fantasy “She was Asking For It” and his collaborative unique film style. “Amy’s In the Attic” is an impetus in Mr. Saliba’s cinematic works as it delves in to Italian cinema to tell a morbid tale of a sex game gone wrong. Filmed in the style of classic Italian Giallos and even being filmed with alternate Italian sub-titles, Mr Saliba has outdone himself with a short but sweet tale of what happens when people assume their roles of sexual dominance over a lower being.

And take it one step further. Even more so is the implied surprise ending leaving in the air a plethora of questions that only the characters will truly be knowledgeable of once the film has stopped rolling. With frequent collaborator Kayden Rose at the charge there’s no limit to what Saliba can do next. We’re anxiously awaiting a feature length film from the man.

The Long Slow Death of a Twenty Something
Directed by: Larry Longstreth
Written by: Larry Longstreth
Official Website
Official Trailer
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We’ve followed director Larry Longstreth’s career for years from his time as a short filmmaker, to a critically acclaimed fan filmmaker, to now maturing as a man who has something to say with his film’s that aren’t confined to Batman and the Thundercats. “The Long Slow Death of a Twenty Something” is a complex, heartbreaking, and very funny look at the end of an era when a man loses his outlook on life he had as a twenty something and must figure out where he stands in the world as a thirty something.

And channeling “Fight Club” in many respects, Longstreth’s protagonist must figure out where he stands as a man whose yet to have his right of passage in a world that values materialism over honor. Sans the fighting, of course. Filled with Longstreth’s trademark off balance deadpan humor, and fan boy references galore, “The Long Slow Death” is a deeply personal piece of work that we adored. And it doesn’t hurt that Superman makes a cameo.

Seeds of Arkham
Directed by: Aaron Schoenke
Written by: Aaron Schoenke
Official Website
Official Trailer

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If we had our way, as soon as Christopher Nolan steps down from his throne as the helmer of Batman, Hollywood would come knocking on the door of director Aaron Schoenke. Then they’d ask him “How would you like a crack at Batman?” Then they’d toss him a multi-million dollar budget to stage his reboot of Nolan’s series. And you know what? He’d do a hell of a job and wouldn’t miss a beat.

Because for years now Mr. Schoenke has delivered his own vision of Gotham and the Dark Knight that has been dynamic, gritty, dramatic, and absolutely compelling. When we’re not feasting on Nolan’s Batverse, Schoenke is the man to go to to provide a unique look at the dark city where crime runs rampant and a man with pointy ears can be taken seriously again. Start seeking out Schoenke, Hollywood!

Absentia
Directed by: Mike Flanagan
Written by: Mike Flanagan
Official Website
Official Trailer
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Mike Flanagan’s supernatural horror film invokes shades of Lovecraft in one of the most harrowing and atmospheric indie films of the year. A story about a doomed tunnel and a woman struggling to decipher its secrets, “Absentia” is an often unsettling and brutally disturbing film about a plague on a city and the lengths people are willing to go to stop it and even appease it.

Filled with twists and frightening turns, director Flanagan directs a near masterpiece with a very talented cast of performers, all of whom do battle with a beast that can not bet stopped with a hunger that is insatiable. Filled with a disturbing final scene, “Absentia” kept us thinking for days.