Welcome to 2022! Wait, don’t run away.
While I do admit that there has been, let’s call it an ‘unfortunate workaround’ from a truly abysmal 2020 year, there is one more thing we can all look forward to, even in the darkest and darkest days. more pandemic, and these are the movies. Independent films, in particular.
And before anyone gets mad, I love Hollywood movies. If we ever felt completely comfortable slouching in our theater seats on the opening night of the latest superhero blockbuster Take to the Universe, I assure you I’ll be up front. and in the center, a huge popcorn bucket and some gummy bears close at hand.
But, kicking off the 2022 movie schedule (and remembering the name of that column), here are the independent movies fighting for our ticket scraps. The weird, thought-provoking, hard to market, genuinely independent work of some of the best directors you’ve never heard of.
Just a note: all release dates are seriously tentative, with all this pandemic shaking up film production because, as mentioned, 2020 was hot junk.
“Kimi”, February 10
No director is as comfortable between Hollywood and the outskirts as Steven Soderbergh. In her latest freelance venture, an agoraphobic tech worker (Zoë Kravitz) must set out to solve a violent crime during the lockdown, and with her hometown of Seattle rocked by protests against police brutality.
“Everything everywhere at once”, April 1
Tall Michelle Yeoh (“Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon”) stars in this banana fantasy about a Chinese immigrant housewife who discovers that only she can save the universe – by invoking the alternative selves that she would’ve been. Fun fact: If you’re wondering what happened to Ke Huy Quan (“The Goonies,” “Indiana Jones, and the Doomed Temple”), he plays Yeoh’s naturally baffled husband, so-and-so.
“The man from the North”, April 6
It might be sprawling, but this Viking revenge saga is directed by the reliable Robert Eggers (“The Witch,” “The Lighthouse”), so prepare for this drama adjacent to “Hamlet” to turn majestically weird. . With Anya Taylor-Joy and Alexander Skarsgård in the lead, though we all know brother Gustaf Skarsgård (TV’s “Vikings”) is the only true Norse in the family.
“The unbearable weight of massive talents”, April 22
The enigma that is Nicolas Cage arises from purgatory in streaming to play… Nicolas Cage! In this promising piece of strangeness, Cage himself is a half-washed actor sent by the CIA to spy on his No.1 fan, a notorious drug lord (the always excellent Pedro Pascal).
“The black telephone”, June 24
Joe Hill from Maine (son of Stephen King from Maine) wrote the inspirational short story of this horror thriller, about a masked serial killer (Ethan Hawke) and the young boy trying to escape his clutches with the help of a mysterious phone that allows him to communicate with the dead. Specifically, the other children that Hawke’s psychopath killed. Let Mainers make it terrifying.
“No”, July 20
We know so little about Jordan Peele’s upcoming earth-shattering horror film. There’s a menacing poster, the movie stars Keke Palmer, “Get Out’s” Daniel Kaluuya and Steven Yeun, and some people think you can see a face in the clouds. But Jordan Peele is the smart, socially incisive horror standard-bearer, so I’m 100% no further info needed.
“Until”, October 17
Director Chinonye Chukwu (“Clemency”) tackles one of the most infamous cases of racially motivated murder in our country’s turbulent history in this biopic. Danielle Deadwyler (“The Harder They Fall”) plays educator and activist Mamie Till-Mobley, whose quest for justice in the 1955 lynching murder of her 14-year-old son Emmett tears at the heart of American institutional racism. Look for it in rewards season.
‘Call Jane’ and ‘The Janes’, release dates TBD, though both premiering at Sundance in January
The sadly continuing battle for women’s bodily autonomy sees these two films tap into the same inspiration from real life. “Call Jane” (starring Elizabeth Banks, Kate Mara and Sigourney Weaver) is a fictional portrayal of the underground network called The Jane Collective, which has helped women obtain safe abortions when abortion was illegal. The Sundance premiere is also “The Janes,” a documentary chronicling the same suddenly relevant group who were finally arrested in the last days before Roe v. Wade.
“Crimes of the future”, to be determined
David Cronenberg is repurposing the name of one of his particularly chilling early cinematic explorations of our monkey’s nauseous desire with nature for this still-mysterious film. We know it stars Viggo Mortensen and Kristen Stewart, and that the 1970 film was about scientists whose reckless experiments and a deadly plague cause serious mutations of Cronenbergian body horror. So let’s keep our fingers crossed.
“Blvd de la Deception”, to be determined
Ari Aster has directed some of the most horribly gruesome films of recent years in the cult horrors “Midsommar” and “Hereditary”. Now he takes Joaquin Phoenix, another Method Intensity fan, on a so-called four-hour horror “nightmare comedy” described only as “an intimate, decades-long portrayal of one of the most successful entrepreneurs of all. the temperature “. How is this going to freak us out as deeply as Aster’s previous work? I have no idea – and that’s what is so exciting.
“Introduce yourself”, to be determined
Kelly Reichardt is the aforementioned best director that you’ve probably never heard of. Teaming up for the fourth time with star Michelle Williams (after “Wendy and Lucy”, “Meek’s Cutoff” and “Some Women”), Reichardt’s latest involves an artist (Williams) preparing to unveil her latest work of art decisive for an audience that never really understands. Which is pretty much a summary of Reichardt’s consistently brilliant work – and the essence of what independent cinema is.
Dennis Perkins is a freelance writer who lives in Auburn with his wife and cat.
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