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The Rebirth of Independent Films

In an increasingly connected world, where geographical and cultural barriers are dissolving, a new trend is rapidly taking hold in the global film industry: independent film. We are facing an unprecedented phenomenon, where experimental and original film productions are gaining ground over traditional blockbusters and mainstream films. This trend stems from a variety of motivations that drive audiences to look for something different and to desire a more authentic form of entertainment.

One of the key reasons for the emergence of independent films is audiences’ fatigue with the prepackaged formulas and predictable storylines that characterize blockbusters. People are hungry for novelty, unique and inspiring stories that break the conventional mold. Independent films stand out for their narrative boldness and daring to deal with complex themes, voicing different perspectives and offering a more intimate look at human experiences.

In addition to the desire for originality, there is a growing public awareness of the social, political and cultural dynamics that shape the world around us. Independent films embrace this sensibility and offer a platform for discussing important and often overlooked topics. Through a combination of innovative aesthetics and engaging storytelling, these productions are able to create a lasting impact on society, inspiring audiences to reflect and consider new perspectives.

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New Filmmakers

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Another contributing factor in the growth in popularity of independent films is the democratization of film production. Thanks to advances in technology, access to shooting and editing tools has become more accessible than ever. This has opened the door to a new generation of filmmakers and storytellers, who can express their artistic vision without the restrictions imposed by large production studios. As a result, the cinematic landscape has been enriched with unique voices, creating a variety of options that meet the most diverse needs and tastes.

Last but not least, there is a growing desire for cinematic experiences that go beyond mere entertainment. Independent films offer a deeper and more immersive experience that challenges the viewer and evokes genuine emotions. Experimental art, innovative cinematography and extraordinary performances combine to create an experience that stays in the viewer’s mind

In a world dominated by the grandeur of special effects and the stars of Hollywood, a change of perspective is spreading among movie audiences. The importance of huge budgets and spectacular special effects is slowly fading, replaced by a desire for authenticity and connection to the real world. Today’s audiences are looking for real actors playing real characters, they want stories that touch the heart and that resonate with their own life experience. Films without any budget, but which manage to convey authentic emotions, are gaining more and more acclaim, as they demonstrate that the real magic of cinema does not lie in the costs and special effects, but in the ability to involve and touch the spectators with their authenticity and depth.

The global growth of indie films

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With this cinematic revolution underway, independent films are emerging as the global fad of the moment. They offer a refuge from the monotony of predictable blockbusters by presenting unique, exciting stories and exploring complex themes. Independent filmmakers have the courage to challenge convention and tell the stories that truly matter. So for audiences weary of the same old formulas, clichés, and packaged entertainment, independent films offer a fresh perspective, a showcase for experimental artistry, original storytelling, and soul-touching experiences. It’s time to embrace this global trend and discover the emotion and inspiration that only independent films can deliver.

Independent cinema and documentaries

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It’s not just in fictional fiction that audiences are embracing the allure of independent films. Even in the world of documentaries, the demand for authentic and realistic stories is leading to an incredible renaissance of independent films. The documentary genre has the power to reveal the truth, to explore social, political and environmental issues that have a direct impact on our society. What matters here is the substance and the ability to involve the viewer through a sincere story. Independent filmmakers are able to capture reality with an intimate lens and without filters, often with modest budgets but with a depth that is unmatched. In this new cinematic landscape, the independent documentary is proving to be a fascinating option for those who want to experience an authentic view of the world and learn about stories that would otherwise remain silent.

With the rise of independent films in both fictional and documentary fiction, a new era of cinema is emerging, where audiences seek cinematic experiences that go beyond mere mass entertainment. It is a time of change and openness to new forms of artistic expression, to originality and to a deeper connection with the world around us. Independent films and documentaries offer a refuge for those who wish to be transported to new and authentic worlds, and invite us to explore the complexity and diversity of the human condition. It is an opportunity for the public to participate in this cultural revolution, embracing the trend of independent films and opening the door to a unique and memorable cinematic experience. But let’s take a step back and see exactly what independent films are and how they are born.

What Are Independent Films?

An independent film , also known as indie film , is a film produced without the intervention of a large production company, produced completely independently by all the great Studios. Independent films are often described as original and unconventional. But there are innumerable ambiguities and nuances in this definition.

The world of independent cinema is a complex world, which reflects the development of the film industry and society. Independence In fact it is a way of thinking and acting, which can be found at various levels both in cinema and in life. Financial independence, Independence of ideas, Independence of action, Independence from canons and dominant fashions.

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How Indie Films Are Born

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Almost all the films that have pioneered and developed the cinematic language since the dawn of cinema have been indie films. industrial cinema was more concerned with selecting what worked to offer it with its distributive power to a more dressed audience, without ever risking large budgets for something that hadn’t already been tested by independent cinema.

All the pioneers of turn-of-the-century cinema, all the avant-gardes and movements that changed the history of films were puppy independent films with a few rare exceptions in the bravest mainstream world. Independent and artistic cinema has always explored new territories while the entertainment industry has always preferred to stay safe in reassuring and low-risk places.

The stories, the characters, but above all the languages ​​that independent and experimental films have been able to discover were fundamental in times when it seemed that the business of moving images produced copies of films that were all the same.

Independent films and the phenomenon of independent cinema was born with the invention of cinema. A number of inventors and manufacturers of the first film projectors and shooting systems operated in the shadow of the large groups. These groups, Edison, Biograph and Vitagraph, held the power and patents needed to monopolize the film industry. As soon as any independent inventor managed to create better devices than theirs, they neutralized it with legal action.

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The goal was to have absolute control of the industry to maximize their profits. In the early 1900s, independent cinema thus became a sort of romantic struggle against monopoly giants such as the Patents company. These monopolistic companies, however, coalesced and all merged into the creation of Hollywood , which gives almost a century is a conglomerate of Studios that manage the control of theaters and distribution in the United States and around the world. & nbsp;

Independent films, at the dawn of cinema, were aimed at the niche of provincial cities of the American states that were not always reached by mainstream productions. Or addressed to a specific ethnic group like that of black men. Or to a certain youth subculture that was neglected by mainstream films.

Several inventions came from independent inventors who operated in cinemas that weren’t controlled by the Studios. For example the wide screen, and later, in the 1950s, three-dimensional cinema.

From Hollywood creations onwards, the dialectic between high-budget films and independent cinema becomes continuous. Some writers start as independents and then go to work in Hollywood studios. Others take the opposite path and decide to have more freedom of expression after the first films. Even the famous actors work on both types of films, which in some cases get confused.

Producers such as David Selznick and Sam Goldwin understand that producing independent films as well, already having the resources of a large studio, can be an interesting activity. The most important battle against the big studios was made by United Artist a distribution company created by Mary Pickford, Charlie Chaplin , Douglas Fairbanks and D. W. Griffith . Producer Selznick’s success in indie cinema hinted that things would soon change.

The Development of Independent Films

Since the 1950s, the industrial assembly line in Hollywood begins to grant works to independent external producers and directors, leaving more room for creativity. This way of working gave birth to a hybrid independent cinema , created by the collaboration between large studios and small independent companies. Many Blockbusters are produced by independent companies in collaboration with the Studios.

The phenomenon of independent cinema has increased significantly in the last 30 years thanks to video and digital technologies. It is now a boundless universe that lives next to Hollywood’s mainstream cinema. annual films.

What movie is this? What is the lowest common denominator of independent films? It is difficult to answer this question. Each independent film has its own personality. Every independent director has his own creative motivations. Independent cinema is certainly the mirror of independence in everyday life . The independent film often arises as a critique of the dominant system, as an alternative film with greater sensitivity and creativity.

Just as in life there are citizens who question the dogmas and truths of the dominant information systems, who do not lower their heads to the absurdities of power and who want to think for themselves, in the same way independent cinema is made up of filmmakers. and people who want to make something that goes beyond the standards of cinema that submits to commercial approval

The Genres of Independent Films

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The genres, however, can be the most varied: there is the filmmaker who makes a intimate film like a personal diary that would be impossible to shoot in the film industry. There is the director who uses independent cinema to give life to his social and political ideas, without following the winding road of finding big funding. 

There is the director who feels part of a community and wants to tell that community through his documentary. There is the director who goes into the territories of experimental cinema and the avant-garde with the intention of deconstructing the language and renewing it. And there is also the independent cinema that is born with purely commercial intentions, the cinema of exploitation, or the production of B movies like those of the American director who more than any other has been able to transform indie films into profitable products: Roger Corman

In short, independent cinema is an extraordinary galaxy, much more complex, heterogeneous and stratified than mainstream cinema. You could spend a lifetime discovering independent cinemas from various countries around the world and their often unknown authors. And you would be impressed by the quality of the films, often not accompanied by as much notoriety.

American Independent Cinema

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In the 1960s, a trend of artistic and avant-garde independent cinema was born. And the American New Wave which has its corresponding movement in various countries of the world such as the French Nouvelle Vague and the Iranian New Wave. The progenitor of this beautiful movement in the United States is John Cassavetes, who made his first film of the 60s, Shadows. 

The characteristic of this type of film is the realistic setting and the centrality of the characters, often played by ordinary people. Together with the experimentation of a free and new language. Filmmakers like Maya Deren and Stan Brakhage instead seek a more experimental and underground way, far from narrative. 

This type of cinema slowly contaminates the Hollywood mentality over time. In the 70s the industrial system is on the brink of the financial abyss, its production mechanism no longer works, the films cost too much and are unable to recover the expense with the proceeds. It is precisely independent cinema that saves industrial cinema. 

Movies like Night of the Living Dead, Halloween, The Last Man On Earth, and many others in the horror genre were hugely financially successful. Youth counterculture films like Easy Rider made Hollywood understand the importance and magnitude of these phenomena. Independent cinema showed Hollywood the strength of an often rough, violent, erotic language, as for example in Russ Meyer. 

In the 1970s, Hollywood began to imitate some very successful independent films with more expensive versions. As for example in the case of William Friedkin’s The Exorcist and Steven Spielberg’s The Shark. In those years, Hollywood understood the public’s demand for independent films and managed to regain that slice of the market, leaving the crumbs to independent productions again. 

This did not happen in the art and avant-garde sector, the phenomenon of the so-called New Hollywood. Independent directors with original languages ​​and aesthetics such as Martin Scorsese and Robert Altman gave birth to New Hollywood. However, it was a short-lived episode and relegated to the Festival circuit. In the 80s Hollywood and right-wing politics reaffirmed itself with arrogance, regaining the market and consensus. Scorsese, Altman, and many others began working for the departments of arthouse cinema of the Hollywood majors. 

European Independent Films

In Europe, things are different. Indie film is a popular definition especially in the United States, but the term is more ambiguous in Europe. There are few large studios, television and state funding are the major film producers. It could be argued that 90% of European films, like a large part of US films, are small indie films with modest budgets that could easily be called independent films in the United States.

According to this definition of independent films, the most famous European authors, and many Americans, known all over the world, are independent directors. Certain streaming channels, for example, put names like Woody Allen, Martin Scorsese in the indie movie category. The reality is quite different. Within this generic category, from which we could only exclude Hollywood blockbusters, there are indie films “truly independent”, that is, made in an artisanal way or, for the most successful ones, we could say “state of the art” with minimal budgets. and almost non-existent. 

Indie Films, The New Frontier of Digital Cinema

From the 1980s onwards, independent cinema has grown tremendously thanks to video technology, but has seen an exponential increase since the early 2000s with digital and sophisticated compact cameras that today guarantee a quality similar to that of mainstream productions.

Added to this are digital editing software such as Adobe Premiere, Final Cut and others that offer the simplicity of classic editing and incredible post-production capabilities for image, color, sound and special effects.

The only market in which independent films have always been taken very seriously is the US, where the eye of large productions has always been focused on low-budget films, with talent scouts always looking for new potentially interesting projects. for a wider audience. Many studios, in fact, have created departments exclusively dedicated to auteur and independent cinema, expanding their target to that public niche.

Watch the video of director Fabio Del Greco explaining his vision on the new possibilities of making and distributing independent films in the age of digital technology. (subtitles with automatic translation)

Independent Films Are a Sustainable Enterprise

Independent films are a sustainable enterprise but have always played a marginal role throughout Europe. Most of the films (almost all) that appear to the public as successes are not part of this niche, but they are also totally unsuccessful projects. Let’s take an example: a first feature advertised as an extraordinary debut, an unpretentious film that looks like a television drama, production cost €600,000, promotion and marketing cost for the theatrical release around €200,000 (which is why the public knows it and which consequently generates prizes at important festivals. Box office €200,000. The film is therefore at a loss of €600,000, a hefty sum for mere mortals, thank goodness there is public taxpayers’ money, as always, to cover the losses.

But we could give examples of much more famous auteur films and considered by all to be great successes which are actually in financial deficit. Multiply this hole by hundreds of films every year and 40 years of public cinema funding and you get a gigantic hole full of money. Many will respond indignantly to these insinuations that it is legitimate to finance culture. However, it must be specified that most of these films, even if financed with the film of cultural interest label, are neither culture nor art, and are often mediocre, or less than mediocre, works that are awarded prizes and awards. The cinema enterprise has not been sustainable for a long time and has been getting worse and worse. Independent films have existed since the 70s, and in a certain way of seeing things they have always existed, but it was from 2000 onwards that, thanks to digital, it spread in Italy and that its production costs dropped considerably.

In the United States, from Cassavetes‘ films onwards, indie cinema has always generated a millionaire turnover and stimulated the interest of Studios, because it has often produced unpredictably profitable and innovative films. In Europe, independent cinema has always had a very marginal role outside of any business interest, but for about ten years truly remarkable films have been produced which are distributed directly in streaming. But the real point is: Independent cinema is a sustainable enterprise. If I produce a low-budget independent film my business risk is low and the chances of being able to make a profit are many more. But by now the scenario is clear: with minimal investments, technology makes it possible to make films that are also perfect from a technical point of view.

I’m not talking about the great mainstream cinema or period films that will remain high-budget productions, but about all that range of art-house films, or presumed such, which still today have stratospheric industrial costs and which in many European countries we pay subsidizing them out of our own pockets. In Europe, independent cinema is still wrapped in a patina of disinterest, as something amateurish or as a stepping stone towards the classic mechanisms of industrial production described above, the same mechanisms that seem to have a short life. To be recognized as important directors you need to get state funding, raise your voice, be seen on TV and collect the tin statuettes with tuxedos. This patina envelops everyone: viewers, critics, insiders and even directors. And if even the authors of the film think this way, no change is possible.

The Best Italian Independent Films

By standard definition, Italian films are all independent films, simply because mainstream cinema and blockbusters don’t exist! With the necessary exceptions for the most famous comedians of cinepanettoni and companies. But for “real” independent cinema, things are very different, and the production is very lively.

There is no doubt: Italian independent films are experiencing a season of great creativity and excitement. Perhaps thanks to the new digital technologies that have made the making of an indie film possible outside the classic dynamics of film production, which in Italy are exclusive to those who live within a specific caste.

Perhaps because we live in a period where in our country there are conflicts that generate a strong need to express oneself, the works of Italian independent cinema, as opposed to those of mainstream cinema that seem to attract less and less interest, are among the most surprising of the international panorama.

But a warning is a must: I’m not sure about films for those who still think of cinema as a spectacular high-quality product with well-known actors, but products designed and created in a profoundly different and new way, often made without any budget. , very far from what we are used to seeing in theaters. A bit like it is profoundly different to go to a circus show or enter a modern art gallery.

Indie Films You Must Watch

Here is a list of Italian and international independent films that you absolutely must see arranged in chronological order.

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Festival in Cannes (2001)

Cannes, 1999. Alice, an actress, wants to direct an independent film, and is looking for financiers. She meets Kaz, a talkative businessman, who promises her $ 3 million if she uses Millie, a French star who has passed her youth and no longer finds interesting roles.

Alice tells the story of the film to Millie and the actress falls in love with the project. But Rick, a prominent producer who works for a large Hollywood studio, needs Millie for a small part in a film due to shoot in the fall, or else he will lose his star, Tom Hanks.

A film shot with great stylistic freedom, like a documentary, during the 1999 edition of the festival, which focuses on the performances of the actors with a spontaneous and fluid improvisation method, inspired by the cinema of John Cassavetes. A light and moving sentimental comedy, where the conflicts and frailties of the stars of the show business gradually emerge, bringing the important themes of life to the surface.

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Hollywood Dreams (2007)

Aspiring actress Margie Chizek seeks stardom in Hollywood. She is rejected by the cinema scene, falls in love, discovers the deceptions behind the world of film advertising, and understands her identity better. Saved from ruin by a kind producer, Margie manages to enter the world of the rich in Hollywood and falls in love with a young actor, who is building his career by pretending to be gay. 

Hollywood Dreams by Henry Jaglom is a subversive film, a satire of an industry that is based on deception. Inspired by the productive freedom and improvisation of the actors of John Cassavetes’ independent cinema, more rigorous and exciting than Henry Jaglom’s other films, Hollywood Dreams focuses on a smiling actress who suddenly becomes famous. 

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Irene in Time (2009)

A father who has long since disappeared affects the life of his daughter, Irene. Irene talks about her father of her, remembers her youth, associates her old friends and even goes out with men with whom she wants to fill the emptiness of her life. But her encounters are a series of failures.

“Irene in Time” is part of Jaglom’s “Women’s Trilogy” on women’s problems. Shot with the usual acting improvisational style of the Californian independent director, the characters and their humanity are at the center of Irene In Times, a film acted in an authentic, interesting, fresh way, different from the acting of industrial films.

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Tournee (2010)

Joachim Zand, a TV producer in crisis, returns to France after a long stint in the United States. Joachim had cut off all relations in France: friends, enemies, children. He arrives with a group of chubby, boisterous Californian strippers who do burlesque shows and who he wants to show in Paris.

Tournee is a film on the road where the burlesque shows were actually performed for a live audience during the production of the film. The story is inspired by Colette’s 1913 book on the dance hall experience in the early twentieth century, The Other Side of Music-Hall. Presented at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival where it won the Fipresci award, the most important award of film critics, and the award for best director.

Babycall (2011)

Anna and her 8-year-old son Anders flee a tragic family past: the child’s father is a violent and dangerous man. They move into a secret house and Anna buys a babycall to keep Anders in check while he sleeps. One night Anna wakes up with a start: noises come from Anders’ room, it seems a murder is taking place.

But when the mother goes to the baby, nothing seems to have happened. Noomi Rapace brilliantly plays a restless and obsessed with control character. A woman who never smiles, shady, trying to save her fragile mental balance. Story of love, motherhood and violence, between gray city exteriors and claustrophobic interiors.

Adorable Friends (2012)

Thelma, Louise and Chantal (2012) is a French comedy film directed by Benoît Pétré. The film stars Jane Birkin, Caroline Cellier and Catherine Jacob.

Three friends in their fifties are invited to the wedding of Philippe, a mutual friend of theirs from youth, who after many love affairs seems to have found the right woman, Tasha. Chantal is alone, her relationship with her husband is in crisis and the bizarre job of promoting bitter chocolate is a disaster. Gabrielle is an uninhibited and libertine friend of hers, convinced that having sex is the only way not to grow old. And then there’s Nelly, depressed and frigid, or so it seems.

The film is a bittersweet comedy that explores themes such as coming of age, friendship and freedom. It was met with positive reviews from critics, who praised the performances of the three lead actresses.

The Fifth Season (2012)

In a small town in the Ardennes lives a community that is about to celebrate the end of winter with a traditional bonfire. A boy and a girl are discovering love and desire. Pol, a nomadic beekeeper, also arrives in the village and settles in the center of the village in his trailer, together with his disabled son. The joy of the party vanishes when a strange event occurs, interpreted by the villagers as a bad omen: the fire of the stake does not light.

The starting idea is brilliant. The result is an anthropological and philosophical film, divided into four chapters, with a splendid photograph inspired by Flemish paintings. Snow covers everything, even the chatter of the villagers, which leaves room for long metaphysical silences. The fifth season is an allegorical film, loaded with powerful symbols and metaphors, in which nature is the real protagonist.

Viramundo (2013)

The life and art of Gilberto Gil, musician and influential man in the most recent history of Brazil. From musician creator of the Tropicalism movement to first black man appointed Minister of Culture in Brazil. In Viramundo, a documentary directed by Pierre-Yves Borgeaud, Gilberto Gil takes a fascinating journey to the peripheries of the rich and technologized world.

A journey in symbiosis with nature, which starts in Brazil and arrives in Africa via Australia. It is not a simple tour but an extraordinary opportunity for encounter and exchange between ethnic groups and cultures.

Abacuc (2015)

Abacuc (2015) is an Italian experimental documentary film directed by Luca Ferri. The film is a haunting and poetic exploration of isolation, alienation, and the search for meaning in a world that feels increasingly meaningless.

The film follows Abacuc, a solitary and enigmatic figure who lives in a dilapidated house on the outskirts of a city. Abacuc spends his days wandering the streets, observing the city from a distance. He never speaks, and his only interactions with others are through the occasional phone call from an unseen caller.

The film is shot in a minimalist style, with long takes and a focus on the mundane details of Abacuc’s life. The soundtrack is composed of sparse and atmospheric sounds, which create a sense of unease and mystery.

Abacuc is a challenging and thought-provoking film that defies easy categorization. It is a film that rewards careful viewing and contemplation. The film has been praised for its originality, its haunting beauty, and its exploration of profound philosophical questions.

Abacuc is a film that is not for everyone. It is a slow and meditative film that demands the viewer’s full attention. However, for those who are willing to engage with it, Abacuc is a rewarding and unforgettable film.

An extremely experimental, avant-garde film that challenges the viewer with unique inventions through the everyday life of a surreal character who is not easily forgotten. Abacuc is a guy condemned to roam in a esoteric and cool hell, without life.

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Lack-Purgatory (2016)

Lack-Purgatory (2016) is a 2016 Italian experimental film directed by Stefano Odoardi. The film is an experimental work that explores the theme of lack and the search for salvation.

The film is set in a non-specific non-place, a suspended time and space. The characters in the film are a group of humans who wander aimlessly, searching for something they cannot find.

The film is characterized by unconventional cinematic language. The image is often blurred and distorted, and the sound is fragmented and discordant. This stylistic choice contributes to create an atmosphere of anxiety and mystery.

Lack-Purgatory is a complex and difficult film to interpret. It does not offer easy answers to the questions it asks, but leaves the viewer with a series of questions.

Unusual and powerful images, an enigmatic film, a dreamlike journey between half-damned souls waiting. Inspired by Homer, Paul Éluard, Allen Ginsberg, Odoardi composes an Odyssey full of echoes.

Read the full review

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Day 122 (2016)

A group of survivors of a train accident find themselves isolated in the Tuscan-Emilian Apennines. After waiting in vain for help, the survivors set off into the snowy forest, looking for food and shelter. But what are those strange orange stripes that cross the sky?

“Day 122” is an eye on the human soul: selfishness, brutality and personal interests lead the planet to collapse and man returns to the beast of his origins.

Appennino (2017)

Appennino (2017) is an Italian documentary film directed by Emiliano Dante. The film is a cinematic diary that follows the life of the director and his family in the city of L’Aquila, after the earthquakes of 2009 and 2016.

The film is divided into two parts. The first part, entitled “L’Aquila,” follows the director as he returns to the city after the 2009 earthquake. The director meets his friends and family, and documents the progress of the reconstruction.

The second part, entitled “S. Benedetto del Tronto,” follows the director and his family as they move to S. Benedetto del Tronto, a city in the province of Ascoli Piceno that has hosted many earthquake victims from L’Aquila. The director documents the daily life in a hotel for earthquake victims, and the difficulties that people face in rebuilding their lives.

The film was praised for its unconventional style, which combines elements of documentary, fiction, and autofiction. The director used a variety of cinematic techniques to create an atmosphere of realism and poetry.

An intimate as well as paradoxical , lyrical and also geometric story, where the inquiry of living in a seismic location becomes the device to review the really definition of making movie theater of fact.

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The Enemies (2017)

During the Georgian-Ossetian conflict in 2008, after the bombings, two men – Georgian soldier Zaza and terminally ill old Ossetian man Zaur – find themselves trapped in an underground room of a 5-story building. They immediately start blaming each other for instigating the war, arguing about who is at fault and who is right.

But as time passes, the two gradually realize that both sides have their own truth and the entire conflict is driven by a “third force.” Through their conversation and behavior, it becomes evident that both of them are children of the lofty Caucasus mountains, with unwritten Caucasian traditions, beliefs, laws, and heritage, and both nations have nothing to truly fight over.

Conflicts between different generations, different ethnicities. Fathers and sons, old and young, Georgians and Ossetians fight against each other due to wars they fail to fully comprehend. Director Giorgi Ghachava tells us the absurdity of war through two talented actors imprisoned in a basement, illuminated only by candles, forced to come to terms with their lives shattered by the war.

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The Rest With My Eyes (2017)

Claudia Cattelan, an Italian video artist, is preparing a film that blends reality and fiction. After unsuccessfully searching for the right actors for her characters, she moves to Rotterdam, where she sets the story. There, she meets a French actor, Serge Coran, who is a serious but still relatively unknown professional. Serge is excited about the opportunity to play the lead role, but when he reads the script, something deeply disturbs him.

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Feast (2018)

The master of poetry cinema Franco Piavoli, authors of masterpieces such as “The blue planet” and “Voices in time”, returns to film the everyday life of a country on a feast day. Franco Piavoli, author of the work of art “The blue earth”, returns to the direction to record the “night of the day of celebration”, between Leopardi and Pascoli.

What does it stand for, from a material as well as symbolic factor of view? It does not require any type of tinsel, Feast, and arrives right in the viewer’s heart without stratification, without any kind of deviation from the course, without any addition.

Opera and poetry cinema by a director who has always lived and worked far from the film industry. There is nothing further from the cinema than Franco Piavoli’s independent cinema.

Read the article on Franco Piavoli

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Tides (2018)

Can the story of a river reveal the meaning of a life imprisoned by history? Despite the end of the conflict, in Northern Ireland there is still a city with two different names: Derry, for Catholics, Londonderry for Protestants.

In the center of the city, a river streams: The Foyle, which separating them literally, has become their physical boundary in spite of itself. Tides – a tale of lost and discovered lives and also dreams, has actually won 6 worldwide awards.

A fascinating flow of desire images on the themes of boundary, time and also desires. One of the best independent films of recent years, not to be missed, magical, poetic, where the images of the director Alessandro Negrini, an Italian living in Dublin, transport us to the territories of dreams.

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The Astronot (2018)

The Astronot follows the journey of Daniel McKovsky, a wandering and lost soul who has spent the past 30 years of his life alone, gazing at the stars through his trusty brass telescope. Memories of his father’s disappearance during World War II haunt Daniel’s mind as he continues to search for purpose in life.

Growing up without his mother and left to fend for himself in the woods of central Oregon, Daniel dreams of becoming an astronaut and exploring the vast unknown reaches of space. However, the irony of his situation is not lost on him, as he remains trapped in his isolated world.

The Astronot is a romantic comedy with a vintage aesthetic that takes place in a remote rural area of the United States. Despite its lighthearted tone, the film explores the challenges that life can bring and the impact they have on Daniel’s journey.

His tragic experiences create a deep empathy with the audience, as they witness a funny and endearing character struggling to find his place in the world. With its mix of humor and drama, The Astronot is a unique and captivating film that will leave viewers rooting for Daniel’s success.

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Employee’s Mystery (2019)

Employee’s Mistery (2019) is an Italian film directed by Fabio Del Greco. The film stars Fabio Del Greco, Chiara Pavoni, Roberto Pensa, Lucia Batassa, Roberto Rossetti, Flavia Coffari, Umberto Canino, and Giuseppe Lorin.

The film tells the story of Giuseppe Russo, a middle-aged employee who lives an apparently normal life. He is married, has a daughter, a stable job, and an apartment in the city. However, his life is turned upside down when he meets a mysterious vagabond who gives him old video tapes of himself from when he was a child, but which he remembers nothing of.

The film is a psychological thriller that explores themes such as memory, identity, and control. It was met with positive reviews from critics, who praised the performances and directing.

An independent film not to be missed, between science fiction and existential drama, which deals with important themes such as the control of the masses and the use of technology for control purposes. A dystopian film inspired by the “Orwellian” work and by the reality observed in recent years on the complex on digital social control with powerful images of the past of the protagonist, played by the director himself, at various periods of his life: images shot over the span of approximately Director Fabio Del Greco’s 30 years of filmmaking, used here for the first time.

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Custody (2019)

Miriam Besson and Antoine Besson are a divorced couple. They have a daughter who is about to turn eighteen, Joséphine, and an eleven-year-old son, Julien. Miriam wants to keep her youngest son away from her father, whom she accuses of being a violent man. He asks for exclusive custody of Julien: the child is traumatized and does not want to see his father again.

In Custody Xavier Legrand tells the characters with great humanity. A dramatic story in which little Julien is destined to lose the ingenuity of his childhood in a battle for survival. The film, shot with a sober and intimate style, highlights a bitter and hopeless vision of human nature, with men who, in order to escape loneliness and failure, become violent and murderous persecutors.

Charlie Says (2019)

Karlene Faith is a social worker who works in the women’s prison where Leslie Van Houten, aka Lulu, Patricia Krenwinkel aka Katie and Susan Atkins aka Sadie are held. They are three “Manson’s Girls”, the girls of the sect of Charles Manson, guilty of having participated in heinous crimes, sentenced to the death penalty for the murder of nine people, including actress Sharon Tate.

Director Mary Harron does not describe Charles Manson as the personification of evil, an enigmatic and cursed character. Instead, he portrays him as a mediocre, racist man, a failure who has failed to realize his dream of becoming a musician and vents his pent-up anger and frustrations by humiliating others, in a crescendo of madness and violence.

Into the Mirror (2019)

Into the Mirror is a 2019 British drama film written and directed by Lois Stevenson, and starring Jamie Bacon, Charles Streeter, and John Sackville. The film follows a young man named Daniel who struggles with his identity. After moving to London, he discovers a drag bar called Lost & Found and begins to explore his sexuality.

Daniel has always felt like he doesn’t belong. He doesn’t fit in with his family or his friends, and he’s always felt like there’s something missing from his life. When he moves to London, he’s hoping for a fresh start, but he soon realizes that he’s still feeling lost.

Into the Mirror is a powerful and moving film about identity and acceptance. It’s a story that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt like they don’t fit in. The film is beautifully shot and features a strong performance from Jamie Bacon.

The film has been praised by critics for its performances, direction, and screenplay. Rotten Tomatoes gives the film a score of 92% based on 23 reviews. The website’s critical consensus reads: “Into the Mirror is a powerful and moving film about identity and acceptance. It’s a story that will resonate with anyone who has ever felt like they don’t fit in.”

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The Year of the Dog (2019)


“The Year of the Dog” is a visionary and surrealistic short film hailing from the United States in 2019. The director, Jeremy Johnson, guides us through an intriguing and rather unsettling story.

At the heart of the plot, a lonely man, possibly afflicted by mental disturbances, embarks on an obsessive behavior towards a young and attractive woman. His obsession manifests through the compulsion to incessantly follow and photograph her. He manages to uncover that the woman works as a prostitute, observing her seduce a man through the streets of Los Angeles and subsequently lead him to her abode.

“The Year of the Dog” embraces stylistic elements reminiscent of the masterful David Lynch and occasionally evokes the profound existential loneliness of the protagonist Travis from “Taxi Driver”. Initially, it appears to be a film oriented towards mystery and erotic obsession, but its narrative trajectory takes a surprising turn in the ending, culminating in a shocking climax that leaves the audience speechless.

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The War in Cuba (2019)

The War in Cuba (2019) is an Italian drama film directed by Renato Giugliano and starring Elisabetta Cavallotti, Younes El Bouzari, Marco Mussoni, and Luigi Monfredini. The film is set in a small Italian town and tells the story of five characters whose lives intertwine in the week leading up to a mass shooting at the town’s patron saint festival.

As the film progresses, the characters face a series of challenges, both personal and social. Maria confronts death and loneliness, Mohammed struggles to find his place in the world, Marco feels powerless in the face of violence, Luigi faces bankruptcy, and Laura feels overwhelmed by the responsibility of motherhood.

The War in Cuba is a powerful film that explores themes such as violence, immigration, identity, and the economic crisis. The film was critically acclaimed and won several awards, including the Best Director award at the Ischia Film Festival.

2 Below 0 (2019)

Rusty, a poet tormented by the loss of his beloved Alice, seeks solace in the desolate, snow-covered landscapes of a remote American town.

Having sold everything he possessed in his former home, Rusty purchases a trailer and embarks on a journey of self-discovery, hoping to find peace amidst the vast expanse of the frozen wilderness. However, his inner turmoil lingers, and he struggles to accept Alice’s departure from his life. Her memory haunts him, and he clings to her presence through a female mannequin that he keeps close by.

In the quiet town’s only store, Rusty encounters Babs, Fran, and Ruth-Ann, a trio of women who regularly gather at its entrance. Rusty’s presence stirs their desires and ambitions, particularly for one aspiring writer who dreams of publishing her debut novel with his help.

Tim Cash masterfully weaves humor and grotesque elements into this tale, set against the backdrop of a snow-covered landscape. The protagonist’s abandonment by Alice, a hidden drama buried deep within the narrative, gradually unfolds. This storytelling approach, reminiscent of Cash’s previous film “The Astronot,” where the sudden shift from comedy to tragedy takes viewers by surprise, proves captivating once again.

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The Mirror and the Rascal (2020)

Director, screenwriter as well as set designer, composer of the soundtrack, editor and editor, and finally also protagonist, De Filippis makes a mystical film that is a reinterpretation of Richard III. The Mirror and the Rascal is an experimental film based on William Shakespeare’s “Richard III”.

It tells the delirium of contemporary power in the reinterpretation of an author of cinema, video clip art and even music. The protagonist, Richard Duke of Gloucester, brother of King Edward IV, with a long series of crimes removes all the obstacles that separate him from the throne of England.

Valerio de Filippis, is a well-known painter who has actually been following his research path for some time, investigating the association between light, corporeality and mind. The mirror and the rogue is the cinematographic equivalent of Valerio De Filippis’ painting, his figurative drawing actually remains very clear looking at his paintings.

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Nika (2020)

The film “Nika” follows the story of a young woman from Los Angeles who lost both of her parents in a car accident. Although she has embarked on a career as a model, Nika feels an emptiness in existence and the weight of the time she passes.

Although she has studied in various artistic fields, she has not achieved the success she hoped for and her friend, who has become a popular star, does not seem happy. Nika, in financial desperation, faces a life choice that could make or break her: becoming an escort.

The film represents a world of fragility and characters who seek meaning in a society that seems hostile. The director Leilani Amour Arenzana, through surrealist and dreamlike inspirations, tells the story of characters imprisoned in a “Western” trap, where vices, psychological fragility and materialism take over. Nika is a film that mixes drama and romance, narrating a period of transformation and redemption for the protagonist.

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The Hollywood Tour (2020)

The Hollywood Tour is a 2020 film directed by Austin Spies. The film tells the story of a homeless young man who meets a tour guide on Hollywood Blvd. The film was shot in Los Angeles, California. The cast of the film includes John Davenport, Hannah Fournier, and Sean Spies.

Gus is a young American who runs away from home after arguing with his parents. He finds himself living on the streets, homeless, and starts smoking weed and sleeping in a park. One day, he meets Cedar, an older boy who sells tickets to tourists for Hollywood tours.

The film “The Hollywood Tour” is an example of cinema verite. It is shot exclusively with a smartphone, without professional actors, without photography or any kind of artifice. The director limits himself to rigorously filming what happens and editing the scenes interfering as little as possible with the events that flow.

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The Kempinsky Method (2020)

The road is made of water, the destination is falsely unknown: the images of Federico Salsano‘s atypical road movie capture the eye and seduce the mind. A journey across the ocean that becomes the metaphor of the journey of life. An obsessive, ironic, intimate flow of thoughts that is a confession of the doubts and unresolved plots of an entire existence.

The landing in Cuba as a castaway, naked, fleeing the conflicts of the West. And the final search for that meaning that seems to continually escape. But is there really a sense? A metaphysical and spiritual film built as a stream of consciousness with splendid dream images, which does not take itself too seriously but which does not refuse to face the drama of human existence. One of the best Italian independent films of 2020, perhaps of the decade.

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Corona Days (2020)

Made during the lockdown is an indie film shot in direct contact with reality, partly fiction, partly documentary, with a high degree of Chinese box cinema construction, genuine and instinctive, a kind of “cinediary” about loneliness and on loss, which also becomes a reflection on personal freedom.

The protagonist, played by the director Fabio Del Greco himself, finds himself locked in the house alone during the lockdown. It is a moment of inner reflection on his own life, on the loss of his father, on the changes in the society around him.

A moment also of transgressive outings to take walks in the pine forest behind the house that look like stalking of an action film, an impossible search for an open bar to have a coffee, a symbol of lost sociability.

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Gold and Lead (2020)

Gold and Lead (2020) is an Italian western film directed by Emiliano Ferrera. The film stars Yassmin Pucci, Piero Olivieri, Tiziano Carnevale, Benny Lo Monaco, Alessandro Ostili, Philippe Boa, Claudio Gregori, Sofia Ferrera, Valerio Rota Vega, Renny Zapato.

Clare Peralta is a young and courageous woman who lives in a small village in the Italian West. Her life is turned upside down when her family is killed during a robbery. Clare decides to avenge them and sets out on a journey to find the perpetrators.

An independent film as spectacular as a major studio film is something rare. A heartfelt homage to Sergio Leone’s cinema with an exceptional cast, excellent photography and a scenographic reconstruction that has nothing to envy of the most famous westerns.

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Occupied House (2020)

A large room, a lonely pianist, a mysterious presence and the world outside, within lonely streets, around a swimming pool, along a river, still her, still her. Hollow memories of a love story. An assiduous game of mirrors awaits the man, when a strange woman knocking on his door is too much like the soul that dwells in his house. 

A poetic work with a linearly intelligible structure that harks back to the imagery of gothic-romantic films, life after death and love beyond any concrete obstacle to living, with the center its indissoluble mystery and the transience of earthly love, the sense of belonging to one’s home and the desire to escape from the tormenting memories of the past that still bind you to the present.

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Beyond Our Lives (2021)

Beyond Our Lives (2021) is an Italian film directed by Fabio Martorana and starring Francesca Aledda, Paola Lavini, Ketty Roselli, Domenico Rolando Astone, Cristiano Mariani, Arianna Piattelli, Marzia Pichi, and Riccardo D’Acunto. The film was released in Italian theaters on January 1, 2021 and was distributed by Running TV.

The story follows Alex and Claire, two people who have something in common: they both have recurring dreams and disturbing memories. The two meet by chance and a love story begins to blossom between them. However, their dreams and memories seem to be connected in some way, and this begins to put them in danger.

The film is a psychological thriller that explores the themes of dreams, memory, and reality. Martorana’s direction is effective in creating an atmosphere of suspense and mystery, and the performances of the actors are convincing.

Alex is a psychoanalyst who has a recurring nightmare in which he sees a woman being murdered. Claire is a young woman who is haunted by memories of a difficult childhood. The two meet by chance and a love story begins to blossom between them. However, their dreams and memories seem to be connected in some way, and this begins to put them in danger.

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The Offline (2022)

Italy, during the duration of Covid-19. Matteo Rovere is over forty years old, paranoid, hypochondriac and resides in a small apartment with his old mother, dealing with his boring days in a compulsive way. He goes out very little, and even when he goes out shopping or to buy cigarettes, he decontaminates every single product a certain number of times.

He does not enter the house unless he has taken off his shoes and is completely undressed. He doesn’t even touch his face without first washing his hands completely. In short, his life has become a nightmare.

Winner of many awards at festivals around the world The Offline is a completely independent low-budget production made thanks to the enthusiasm and dedication of a team of young artists, an honest and realistic film, outside the logic of the commercial film market. A small independent gem, shot entirely in Ischia, with a cast mostly of locals.

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The Ardor of the Timid (2022)

The Ardor of the Timid is an ensemble film, which intersects different stories in the Neapolitan hinterland, represented in a curious suspension between tragedy and boutade. Five stories, five small universes: Mario, the girl, the homeless man, the light, the sea, the hills, Sergio the journalist, the solitudes of Eugenia, Cristiana and Alessandra, a family that confronts the land, work and own story. Lelio and Sandra who clash over the vision of a revolutionary future.

The Ardor of the Shy has a slender gaze on a horizon that bypasses the ego. The shy are not in the spotlight, they are in the corner of the frame, they live a little out of time, they don’t make the news, but when they are seized by their ardor they sow seeds of vitality that bode well, and perhaps make us rediscover the lost route in this world where often only form and appearance count and contents have little weight.

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Fabio Del Greco

Fabio Del Greco

Director, screenwriter, actor, creator of moving images since 1987. Passionate about cinema and scholar of the seventh art.

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