Sydney Freeland's Drunktown's Finest is a touching story about three lives that for all intents and purposes would never collide with one another, but when they look within themselves, their roots and where they have come from, the similarities become hard to avoid.
Wondrous, dense and utterly abstruse, Shane Carruth’s Upstream Color is the sort of film that surrenders more on a second viewing. Or third, or eighth. Yet, it still doesn’t surrender everything. If anything it asks surrender of the viewer. To watch Upstream Color is to accept incongruity, embrace esotericism and really to roll with what is on offer. Oddly, this is a good thing. A really good thing. “You can force your story’s shape but the color always blooms upstream.” Two watches in, and that statement is no closer to making an iota of sense, but that is okay. Mysticism is the order in Upstream Color.
Jordan Vogt-Roberts' The Kings of Summer is one of the most touching and profound coming of age comedies to have ever been made because it carefully balances The Hangover style comedy, with the camaraderie of Stand By Me and the intelligence of Juno. This is a film, which on paper isn't made for anyone; is it for adults to reminisce about when they were kids or is it for kids to fantasise about what could happen to them if they ran away? Or perhaps Vogt-Roberts has created a film, which is for everyone and how you react to the story is ultimately personal to where you are in your life - now how many comedies can do that?
The films of Jeff Nichols are all very much informed by the South, none more so than his prototypical frontier fable, Mud. One of the most impressive and consistent American filmmakers currently working, Jeff Nichols has now made three sprawling dramas where the ways and workings of the South play as large a part as the characters in the way things turn out, with Mud being the most typically Southern.