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Five Notable Independent Films of the Last 15 Years
By Alexandria Gonzalez
Independent films have a harder time finding an audience, but when they do, some
of them become instant classics. Take, for instance, the beloved films of directors
like Wes Anderson, Zach Braff or Spike Jonze. These films include The Royal
Tenenbaums, The Last Kiss and Being John Malkovich. Their films must find much
more niche audiences than the films of J.J. Abrams, McG or Michael Bay, like
Transformers, Star Trek and Terminator Salvation.
Indie films, more often than not, are more honest and take a good, hard look at real
life and its everyday struggles. Indie horror film writer and director Millie Loredo
loves independent films so much that she created one herself: Sorrow. After
struggling to find funding and distribution like most independent filmmakers do,
her perseverance paid off. Sorrow premieres at River Oaks Theatre in Houston,
Texas on Tuesday, April 21.
With her directorial debut premiere only three weeks away, Millie reflected upon
some of her favorite independent films since the year 2000. Below are five
independent films Millie grew to love much like the rest of the country. Keep
reading to find out which indie films they are!
1. Sorrow (2015)
There is no doubt Sorrow will become an indie horror film classic. Written
and directed by Millie herself, Sorrow follows the story of Mila Sweeney, a
forensic psychologist who is kidnapped and tortured by deranged serial
killers Dale Rogers and Hersey Igor. She manages to escape and exact
revenge against her captors. The film was inspired by horror film classics like
The Devil’s Rejects, Last House on the Left and Natural Born Killers. It
combines the gore and psychological fear utilized by all three films to create
a modern indie horror classic.
2. Little Miss Sunshine (2006)
Little Miss Sunshine, directed by Jonathan Dayton and Valerie Faris, centers
on a complicated family living in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It starred Alan
Arkin, Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Greg Kinnear, Paul Dano and Abigail
Breslin. The film took the mundane problems families sometimes face and
made them heartbreaking and honest. It earned Michael Arndt an Oscar for
Best Original Screenplay and Alan Arkin an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor.
3. Garden State (2004)
Garden State, written and directed by Zach Braff, is about a young man
named Andrew Largeman who returns to his hometown after his mother
dies. It centers on the struggles Andrew faces while “finding himself,”
inspired by Woody Allen films and embracing the humdrum of urban New
4. Whiplash (2014)
Whiplash, written and directed by Damien Chazelle, centers on the thorny
relationship between drummer Andrew, played by Miles Teller, and jazz
conductor Terrence Fletcher, played by J.K. Simmons. Chazelle’s script gave
life to the psychologically terrifying character of Terrence Fletcher who was
played by J.K. Simmons with such electricity that he earned the Oscar for Best
5. Napoleon Dynamite (2004)
Napoleon Dynamite, written by Jared and Jerusha Hess and directed by Jared,
is about a social misfit of the same name. It was quirky and a very new sort of
comedy that received mixed reviews. However, it has garnered a cult
following over the years and rightly so.