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The 2nd Annual iCMFF: English-Language Independents

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The 2nd Annual iCMFF: English-Language Independents

#1

Post by outdoorcats » October 31st, 2018, 11:27 pm

Welcome to the 2018 iCheckMovies Film Festival!

Festival Dates: Nov. 1-30

Please rate the films the films you've seen on a scale from 1-10 to help contribute to this year's Audience Award.
(Ratings are due by the end of the month to be counted)

This is the thread where all users can rate and discuss the films in this year's English-Language Independents section:

Certain Women dir. Kelly Reichardt. 2016, 107 min. :imdb: :ICM:
Continuing her streak of truly independent American cinema following Old Joy and Wendy and Lucy, Reichardt adapts three different stories by writer Maile Meloy for this anthology drama about three different women in Montana struggling to attain their dreams. With an all-star cast including Laura Dern, Michelle Williams, and Kristen Stewart.
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James White dir. Josh Mond. 2015, 85 min. :imdb: :ICM:
Christopher Abbott gives an intense, committed performance as an addict trying not to spiral off the rails as he takes care of his dying mother (Cynthia Nixon).
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The Childhood of a Leader dir. Brady Corbet. 2015, 115 min. :imdb: :ICM:
Actor Brady Corbet (Mysterious Skin, Simon Killer) turns to directing in this "chronicle in the childhood of a post-WWI leader" (the less said, the better).
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The Fits dir. Anna Rose Holmer. 2015, 72 min. :imdb: :ICM:
In this "nearly perfect movie" (Ty Burr), an 11-year-old struggles to fit in with the dance troupe she's joined, which begins to experience mysterious fainting spells and violent fits.
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The Survivalist dir. Stephen Fingleton. 2015, 104 min. :imdb: :ICM:
In a post-apocalyptic world, food has become extremely scarce and violence and anarchy reign. A lone survivalist finds his solitude threatened when a mother and daughter come upon his cabin and make him an offer he can't refuse.
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Werewolf dir. Ashley McKenzie. 2016, 80 min. :imdb: :ICM:
In this bleak Canadian portrait of addiction, two young meth addicts in a small town struggle to survive and maintain their fragile bond to one another.
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Last edited by outdoorcats on November 29th, 2018, 11:29 am, edited 3 times in total.

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#2

Post by edward5 » November 1st, 2018, 3:30 am

Certain Women 7.5/10
James White 7/10
The Childhood of a Leader 6.5/10
The Fits 7/10
The Survivalist 6/10
Werewolf not seen

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#3

Post by joachimt » November 1st, 2018, 6:07 pm

Certain Woman 6/10
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#4

Post by peeptoad » November 4th, 2018, 8:44 pm

The Survivalist- 7/10

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#5

Post by Lakigigar » November 4th, 2018, 11:08 pm

James White 7/10

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#6

Post by cinewest » November 5th, 2018, 7:50 am

James White- a very solid, well scripted, well acted drama- 7.5

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#7

Post by connordenney » November 5th, 2018, 6:58 pm

Keeping this here so that I can add ratings in case I watch any others.

Certain Women: 10/10
James White:
The Childhood of a Leader:
The Fits:
The Survivalist:
Werewolf:

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#8

Post by zissou14 » November 9th, 2018, 2:30 pm

Certain Women 7.5/10
James White 8.5/10

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#9

Post by joachimt » November 11th, 2018, 8:38 pm

James White 7/10
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#10

Post by lynchs » November 14th, 2018, 1:44 pm

only 3

Certain Women (2016) 8/10
The Childhood of a Leader (2015) 6/10
The Survivalist (2015) 6/10

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#11

Post by zissou14 » November 16th, 2018, 6:51 pm

The Childhood of a Leader: 7.5/10
The Fits: 7/10
The Survivalist: 8/10
Werewolf: 6/10

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#12

Post by ralch » November 21st, 2018, 8:38 pm

Certain Women --7/10

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#13

Post by RogerTheMovieManiac88 » November 24th, 2018, 12:15 am

'Certain Women' - 9/10
'The Survivalist' - 7.5/10

The Reichardt is a favourite.
That's all, folks!

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#14

Post by mightysparks » November 24th, 2018, 2:16 am

Don't think I'm gonna get the last 2 done in time to complete this section, but what I've seen so far:

James White 6/10
The Childhood of a Leader 6/10
The Fits 6/10
The Survivalist 6/10
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#15

Post by Muellwind » November 26th, 2018, 6:17 pm

Certain Women 5/10

The Fits 5/10

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#16

Post by flaiky » November 26th, 2018, 6:46 pm

Just want to mention that The Fits has a really interesting style and I'm excited to see what Anna Rose Holmer does next. The narrative doesn't *totally* work but it doesn't really need to when the vibe of the film is so mysterious. The little girl is great too.
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#17

Post by outdoorcats » November 27th, 2018, 2:32 am

James White - 5
The Survivalist - 8

Bummed I didn't get around to watching more of these!

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#18

Post by outdoorcats » November 27th, 2018, 5:12 pm

I managed to watch The Fits - I agree that it feels like only half of a great movie, but at least it's a very good one. Since it's fairly light on plot and kid-oriented it has to rely on compelling and likable child performances, a rare phenomenon--luckily, this film has an excellent young star in Royalty Hightower (Indie Hollywood, are you watching?). The director also knows how to capture the charm of young kids. She could have done much more with the characters, and given a "bigger" and more complex story I gladly would have followed these kids in something longer. However, given she chose to keep the film as minor key as she did, the running time is just right and an example to set for many other indie filmmakers. Leave people wanting more, not glad your film is over. :lol:

The mystery of the fits - I assumed through most of the film it was more of a social phenomenon? - ends up being secondary to the fact that it's a metaphor for coming-of-age, puberty, etc. once it starts affecting the younger girls.

(my rating is 7.5)

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#19

Post by flaiky » November 27th, 2018, 8:24 pm

Yeah I actually like that the film is short and incomplete and ambiguous, it very much fits the tone and themes. A quote from Holmer:
What Toni is struggling with is fear of herself. Not knowing her own body, desires, insecurities, limits. That’s what adolescence is about. It’s pretty scary. The entire film is really about putting the audience in Toni’s headspace and physical bodily space, and that’s fraught with anxiety and tension. That’s where the nod to horror comes from. There was this unseeable monster, which manifests itself in the fits. But I think it’s also brewing quietly in Toni. When you see that monster it might not be what you feared. It could be this beautiful, transformative, graceful thing. The not knowing is what’s so scary.
And because I increasingly suck at expressing myself, I'm going to continue quoting sources that do it better than me - from a Guardian review, this is what I meant by "interesting style" ( :rolleyes: ):
It’s the audacity of the film-making, however, that’s truly bewitching here: the eerie, long tracking shots, the dazzling flares from lighting sources that eclipse the figures, and the spaced-out spookiness of Danny Bensi and Saunder Jurriaans’ score, creating an isle full of noises, sounds and sweet airs.
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#20

Post by Lonewolf2003 » November 28th, 2018, 12:11 pm

I had already had seen these before, the others here don't appeal to me enough to seek out.
Certain Women (2016): 7.5
James White (2015): 6.2

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#21

Post by outdoorcats » November 28th, 2018, 12:36 pm

@flaiky - I'm surprised she described it as a nod to horror. Certainly some of the fainting spells were eerie, but mostly I got a regular coming-of-age vibe from the story. Interesting to know what she was going for, however.

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#22

Post by mightysparks » November 28th, 2018, 12:57 pm

Yea I didn’t get a horror vibe, just a bit of mystery.
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#23

Post by Straka » November 29th, 2018, 9:08 am

Certain Women 6.5/10

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#24

Post by mightysparks » November 29th, 2018, 10:03 am

Certain Women (2016) 5/10

Found this really dull. Compared with something like the Main Slate's 'Western' which is kinda similarly quiet, this is like a wet noodle. Was never engaged, and the only actor who didn't seem equally bored out of their mind was Michelle Williams, even though she usually annoys me, and so I only really 'liked' her segment even though it was pointless (as were the others). Laura Dern seemed high and Kristen Stewart was her usual cardboard self. It's not really that the stories were bad, or the film was that bad, I just really didn't care.
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#25

Post by flaiky » November 29th, 2018, 6:25 pm

mightysparks wrote:
November 29th, 2018, 10:03 am
Certain Women (2016) 5/10

Found this really dull. Compared with something like the Main Slate's 'Western' which is kinda similarly quiet, this is like a wet noodle. Was never engaged, and the only actor who didn't seem equally bored out of their mind was Michelle Williams, even though she usually annoys me, and so I only really 'liked' her segment even though it was pointless (as were the others). Laura Dern seemed high and Kristen Stewart was her usual cardboard self. It's not really that the stories were bad, or the film was that bad, I just really didn't care.
That's interesting, we're kind of opposite. I really like Michelle Williams but I thought her segment was by far the worst. I don't even know what we were meant to get out of it to be honest. Laura Dern's segment is okay, but the final segment is what saves the film. I agree about Kristen Stewart (I don't understand this recent reappraisal and enthusiasm towards her) but Lily Gladstone is wonderful and I loved her character. The whole film should've been her story, if you ask me.
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#26

Post by mightysparks » November 29th, 2018, 9:55 pm

flaiky wrote:
November 29th, 2018, 6:25 pm
mightysparks wrote:
November 29th, 2018, 10:03 am
Certain Women (2016) 5/10

Found this really dull. Compared with something like the Main Slate's 'Western' which is kinda similarly quiet, this is like a wet noodle. Was never engaged, and the only actor who didn't seem equally bored out of their mind was Michelle Williams, even though she usually annoys me, and so I only really 'liked' her segment even though it was pointless (as were the others). Laura Dern seemed high and Kristen Stewart was her usual cardboard self. It's not really that the stories were bad, or the film was that bad, I just really didn't care.
That's interesting, we're kind of opposite. I really like Michelle Williams but I thought her segment was by far the worst. I don't even know what we were meant to get out of it to be honest. Laura Dern's segment is okay, but the final segment is what saves the film. I agree about Kristen Stewart (I don't understand this recent reappraisal and enthusiasm towards her) but Lily Gladstone is wonderful and I loved her character. The whole film should've been her story, if you ask me.
I liked Gladstone’s character but not Gladstone herself. I felt that segment would’ve been my favourite if both actors had been better.
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#27

Post by mightysparks » November 30th, 2018, 1:31 pm

Werewolf (2016) 6/10

I can't believe a dirty looking meth addict can get more job opportunities than I've ever been able to... I wish there was a little more insight into the characters, particularly the relationship between Nessa and Blaise, and more of Nessa's attempts to change, as it felt a little empty but otherwise it was a nice quiet drama. Also stuff like this makes me glad that I have someone as awesome as my bf who is completely supportive of me as I get healthy and sober when he isn't quite ready to do so himself.

My picks:

1. James White
2. The Childhood of a Leader
3. Werewolf

--

4. The Fits
5. The Survivalist
6. Certain Women
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#28

Post by zissou14 » November 30th, 2018, 2:25 pm

My picks in order:

1. James White
2. The Survivalist
3. The Childhood of a Leader

--

4. Certain Women
5. The Fits
6. Werewolf

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#29

Post by hurluberlu » November 30th, 2018, 7:54 pm

1. The Childhood of a Leader 7
2. The Fits 7-
3. The Survivalist 7-

--

4. James White 6+
5. Werewolf 6+
6. Certain Women 6
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#30

Post by outdoorcats » November 30th, 2018, 8:00 pm

A 3-2-1 points system ties James White with The Childhood of a Leader. Given it's the film which appears on all three of your lists, can you all live with The Childhood of a Leader as your pick?

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#31

Post by zissou14 » November 30th, 2018, 10:48 pm

Yeah I can live with that. It was a great competition

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#32

Post by mightysparks » November 30th, 2018, 11:13 pm

Yep, they were both kind of tied for me anyway!
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#33

Post by sacmersault » November 30th, 2018, 11:58 pm

Here are my ratings for the films I saw in this section (I loved the 3 films I saw in this section and James White was already on my radar but didn't see it)

In order:
The Fits 10/10
Certain Women 10/10 I love the simplicity of the stories told
The Childhood of a Leader 9/10 Very interesting and artfully made

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#34

Post by flaiky » December 1st, 2018, 2:07 am

I was going to watch The Survivalist, especially as I know a girl who's in it, but after a quick scan I decided against. I'm not sure it's my sort of film. So, ratings:

James White - 9
The Childhood of a Leader - 8
The Fits - 8
Certain Women - 7
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#35

Post by xianjiro » December 1st, 2018, 6:50 am

I've completed this slate. My top three in order of preference are:

Werewolf
The Survivalist
Certain Women

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#36

Post by outdoorcats » December 1st, 2018, 8:09 am

I know you didn't rate it the highest, but the other three jurors seem to be OK with The Childhood of a Leader. Can you live with it as the selection?

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#37

Post by xianjiro » December 1st, 2018, 8:19 am

Um, well, since I'm a late comer to the process and not an official jury member, I can live with anything but I believe Childhood of a Leader to be one of my least liked films of the festival. But after scanning the comments, I seem to be on a different planet or something.

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