Beyond Blockbusters

Beyond the blockbusters and the movies on the block, there are several independent and international films and festivals worth looking forward to this summer.

For films theatrically, there are lots of alternatives to a vacation, presenting both breathtaking and challenging experiences for all. Let’s dig deeper into that mound of sand for some real buried treasures.

For animation, there is the Japanese anime adaptation of When Marnie Was There and the long-awaited collaboration of chapters from animation directors from around the world on Salma Hayek’s The Prophet. Both films are scheduled to come to The Cable Car Cinema in PVD.


There are several more recommendations from across the globe to keep an eye out for this summer. French director/writer Mia Hansen-Løve takes on the world of a 1990s French House DJ, exploring the French touch style in the acclaimed feature Eden. Birdman’s Alejandro Iñárritu and Black Swan’s Darren Aronofsky are co-presenting another bird film — Swedish filmmaker Roy Andersson’s A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence, a visionary and philosophical masterpiece about being human. Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy’s The Tribe from the Ukraine is made entirely with sign language without subtitles. And Ken Loach’s Jimmy’s Hall will teach us about political activist Jimmy Gralton during the Red Scare of 1930s Ireland.

One of the most anticipated releases this summer is an equally heartbreaking and powerful companion piece to Joshua Oppenheimer’s The Act of Killing. The new film, The Look of Silence, instead of a murder’s reenactment of his crimes, provides a further look at the 1965 Indonesian genocide through the eyes of optometrist Adi Rukun, who directly confronts the men who murdered his brother.

Want a taste of independent and international film festivals both in the city of PVD and on the beach? You can find that, too.

In June, Womanimation! presents sophisticated international animated short stories by women at the Black Box Theatre at AS220 on June 27. You can get out for a day or weekend beach trip for the truly diverse Provincetown Film Festival (June 17-21), and the newportFILM series takes acclaimed new documentaries outdoors throughout Newport in July and August.

You can kick up more sand in Cape Cod to the beat of eight days of screenings, music, workshops, parties and more from July 25 through Aug 1 at the 24th annual Woods Hole Film Festival. Finally, summer is not complete without a visit to the Rhode Island International Film Festival from Aug 4 – 9, which features documentaries and narrative features, as well as shorts of all sorts.