Anticipated 2019 Indie Films

I was reading the December 2018 article by David Ehrlich, et al,  “The 20 Most Anticipated Movies of 2019” on Indie Wire to stimulate my curiosity for films I might like to see this year.

Image result for ad astra film poster

Ad Astra. James Gray leaves the jungle in The Lost City of Z and offers a science fiction drama in space. Starring Brad Pitt, Ruth Negga, Tommy Lee Jones, and Donald Sutherland, it will be a challenge to create a realistic space epic about a son who travels through the solar system to find his father and why his mission to Neptune failed. I am hopeful. Release date: May 24. 

Image result for scorsese the irishman movie posters

The Irishman. Martin Scorsese explores the hitman Frank ‘The Irishman’ Sheeran’s possible involvement in the disappearance of Jimmy Hoffa. If you like mobster movies, I don’t know how one could not be interested, when considering the cast: Robert DeNiro, Al Pacino, Joe Pesci, and Harvey Keitel. Scorsese signs up with Netflix for total creative control and resources. The CGI de-aging of DeNiro has caused rumblings. I’m hoping the chemistry and a well-written script keeps me captivated. It should be seen on the big screen, so I hope it makes it to the theaters. Release date: “Sometime in late Autumn.”

Image result for image jojo rabbit movie poster

Jojo Rabbit. New Zealand director Taika Waititi (Boy, What We Do in the Shadows, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Thor: Ragnarok, Two Cars One Night) whose mother was a Russian Jew, creates an unusual tale about a young German boy who searches for his identity in a fascist regime by creating his own version of Hitler as an imaginary friend. In reality, his mother is hiding a Jew in the basement. Starring Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Rebel Wilson, and Thomasin McKenzie, who was amazing in Leave No Trace, it sounds like a quirky, dark satire. I hope Waititi’s sensitive side adds compassion and irony to a potentially thought-provoking story. Release date:  November 27. 

Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. Is this Quentin Tarantino’s final film before he retires? Whether you love him or hate him, this film intrigues me. It’s Quentin Tarantino’s goal at creating the historical climate of Hollywood in the early seventies. Will it be enough? As with most Tarantino films, I find the plots dubious and rambling — a lot of borrowed style but little content. I hope the script he took five years to create has a beginning, a middle, and an end. Yes, of course, I would love to see Brad Pitt and Leonardo DiCaprio together on screen. So, too, Margot Robbie and Al Pacino. It also helps that the Manson murders are a backdrop and not the central plot point of the movie. That Sharon Tate’s sister approved of the script and that Tarantino had the class to ask her for her blessing, helps the cause. Release date: July 26.

What are some films you are looking forward to watching this year?

48 thoughts on “Anticipated 2019 Indie Films

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  1. Scorsese has assembled a cast to die for. Let’s hope he pulls it off.
    I still want to see ‘The Favouirte’. In my world , that’s ‘current’. 🙂
    Best wishes, Pete. x

  2. i finaly got to see the movie i have been waiting teo years for..Jodorowslis Endess Poetry. now i have high hopes for Gloria Bell, Mo of the ones mentioned here interest me. havent seen a decent SF movie in ages and dont expect to. Scorsese and his bunch have been over it for decades the most i can hope for the irishment is that its vulgarity keeps me awake. dont know anything about the new zealand picture, so there is hope.. but tarantino shoould be buried six feet deep and forgtten. he is one of the most offensive presneces ever to stimk up a cinema. all said, i am so very happy to hear you are back to your old self, Cindy,

    1. Hi Bill! No, I didn’t expect you’d be rushing to watch the new T or S film. I’m praying for robust scripts.
      I almost went to see Gloria Bell — just couldn’t make it to the theater. I do admire Julianne Moore so much. “Endless Poetry” looks breathtaking.
      Another film that has my attention for atmospheric creepiness is Robert Egger’s “The Lighthouse” Set in 1890, “The Lighthouse” stars Willem Dafoe and Robert Pattinson as characters in a remote part of Nova Scotia. Inspired by sea-faring myths, hauntings and harsh weather filmed at a beautiful location have me curious.
      Ha! Great Gerwig has a new one coming out, which I don’t anticipate you will bother with. “Little Women” starring Saoirse Ronan. (Another reboot! God, I hate that play. And I was Jo in my high school production!) Sigh.
      Finally, Kore-eda Hirokazu might have something on his hands with “The Truth” starring a lot of swell actors: Ethan Hawke, Juliette Binoche, and Catherine Deneuve.

      1. julianna moore. i wrote a verse about her in a song last week,
        once i played the counting game
        as they stretched me on the rack
        i saw her lanky shapelessness
        red freckles on her back
        now im in a plaster cast
        on ward 17
        wondering what it is about her
        that i had failed to see

        i wish still had the language
        i wrote her in a letter
        madame doctor tell me
        does it ever get any better?

        i like the cast of the truth,,not the cast of the lighthouse. cant stand gerwig, but ill see little women anyway. gonna watch this crummy sounding movie tonight called the man who killed hitler and then bigfoot…..only because the man is played by samm elliot……oh, and you might like stan and ollie,, i did, to some extent

  3. ill .never forget those red freckles. i just remembered that i thought of you while watching the highwaymen. lawmen must be the most difficult characters to play, especially the obsessive moralists. kevin costner has more good moments as the texas ranger who led the bonnie and clyde massacre than he had as elliot ness, but he is ultimately just as stiff and boring.
    there was a scene in stan and ollie that choked me up..an old grand movie palace filled with an audience of about 3,000..all laughing together at the duos
    onscreen hijinks. that is something we shall never again see. kids today will never know the communal joy of the movies..and will probably ever understand what we found so funny about people like stay and ollie. moments out of time.

    1. The Highwaymen? A strange moment to think of me. Well, I heard only poor reviews of it so I haven’t bothered to watch it. Yes, about Kevin Costner. His monotone voice kills whatever cute facial expression he’s making which is rare. I find him wooden. Yet, he’s a strange oddity. I never mind watching him on the screen. Yes, to Stan and Ollie moments of the past with a completely different way for communal entertainment. It had been that way for centuries, when you think of it. And killed seventy odd years ago. I hadn’t thought of that before. A huge change due to the “progress” of technology.

      1. i thought of you during highwaymen because of your reaction to the stiffness of costners performance inthat one as well,. and we compared it to his elliot ness in the untouchables. my defense was that these characters demand such stiffness as that is the way they are in real life, and now here we have costner again in his characteristic stffness giving yet another stiff portrayal of a lawman.

        1. 🙂 I think that’s what I like about Eastwood so much. He was stiff yet there was a lot going on via his voice, his eyes, his mannerisms, and the actions. That kind of stiffness or “posing” is fine by me. Costner simply has limited acting ability. (Yet, I like him. Weird! )

  4. Can’t wait for ‘The Irishman’. Netflix is really giving the traditional movie producers a run for their money. I love the Cohen brothers ‘The Ballad of Buster Scaggs’.

    1. with a global subscription base in the millions, each household paying around $10 a monthm Netflix is the only company that has the money to systematically produce high quality films, These are not television movies, and the worthy ones , such as the irishmanmm will have their premieres in cinemas, if one can call these screening rooms for digital projection cinemas,

    2. Me, too! My favorite vignette was gold digger in filmed outside of Telluride, CO. I love that place. It’s heaven on earth. So beautiful. The story and acting was outstanding. The second vignette was toward the end with the love story and the Prairie travelers.

          1. Wow! Jim loves listening to him. I couldn’t believe how well he acted in that particular vignette. That was the best part of Buster Scruggs. Did you see it? The first vignette turned me off, but it got better. I liked the bravery of the Coen Brothers for even trying something like that–talk about nostalgia. Bringing back the folk tales of the West through a series of vignettes. Brave.

          2. i couldnt get past the first vignette, i hate that psuedo hipster cool nonsense. and particullary cant bear tim blake nelson, didnt know waits was in it, ill have to give it another chance, did you see ironweed? if you have, ill tell you something funny.

          3. Yes, fast forward to Tom. I liked the last one, the love story between the Prairie trail walkers. I saw Ironweed, but truthfully I don’t remember much. I was a lot younger. But I like funny stories so shoot!

  5. Both “Once Upon A Time In Hollywood” and “The Irishman” are high on my list, albeit with some reservations about both…I am also VERY eager for the “Downton Abbey” movie which is due in May – thanks for the great preview!

    1. Oh, that’s right. I saw that. I wonder what they will do with it? Seems like the story has been told for a decade. How to condense it to a 2 hour movie? Or is it a completely different plot?

  6. Great post 🙂 I am most excited for Jim Jarmusch’s The Dead Don’t Die (a zombie comedy), The Irishman and Once Upon a Time in Hollywood 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

  7. Some really good ones. I am really excited for Ad Astra and Jojo Rabbit. I’m approaching Hollywood with the same caution I usually do when it comes to QT movies. Fingers crossed and expectations in check.

  8. The thing about Indies is that money isn’t the first inspiration on their list. They want to say something and make a good movie. indie computer games are often very good too. For the same reason.

      1. in the studio era, mves were made in a certain way. there was little deviation from the established way of shooring a picture. several people who worked in the studio, such as john cassacettes and samuel fuller, made indie movies as well as studio pictures, and n these movies they had a free and to make them as they pleased. since they werewell estabished in gasic film making principles, their films were often of studio quality, but boasted theindepent hand of the artst. today, the studios system has collapsed and finances for films comes from numerous sources, as one can see by the number of companies crediting in the beginning of the credits and the number of producers at the other end, since there has been no apprenticeship for the young film makers, theirwork os often amateuris to the point of being unwatchable, they are either 90% CGI, which any kid with a computer can manipulate or are filmed on limited sets with a small cast and minimal editing. indie films in the classic sense do not exist anymore, since there is no monolithic studio monopoly from which they have become independent. so, in a way, all vies today are indie movies, yet few of them have the qualities once associated with the indie film,

          1. eight years before a fledgling editor is allowed to even touch a pirce of film. that was the way it was for those with, a desire to work in the film industry. that iswhay an error in editing is a very rare occurence on studio films. a film school is no substitute for that. they teach yoou the basics of operating the equipment and make available the resources neccessary for the physical production of a film, but i have never seen a thesis film that comes close to the basic competence of the lowest studio picture. the best they can acheve is an experimental abstract thing like eraserhead, still the best thing lynch has ever done as, despite his talent, he ha never learned the basic skills of film directing.. or exploitation fare such as jamaa fanakas soul vengeance.

          2. Interesting. Editing is underrated. I would love to spend a summer practicing and editing. I think if I had a job in the industry, it would be editing. Wow. I feel the parallels between all the arts. That is, one can go to “writing school” and get an MFA and come out of it knowing a few things. Or music school. Or art school. But, the talent has to be there. Some seem instinctively to know what to do with their craft and their works are never seen or heard. Others seem to combine the talent with the technical neccessities and market themselves well — sometimes it pays off and sometimes nothing comes of it.
            I believe there’s a God above who looks down into the swirling pool called artists and plucks he or she out at random. That’s the luck of it all. All the talent in the world won’t get you anywhere without luck.
            How many greats got their chance because they were at the right place at the right time?
            I get a kick out of pre 1980 classic stories and films where the protagonist decides to become a writer as a job choice. Just take your manuscript to a publishing house and they edit it and if you are halfway talented, your book is published. Now, forget it. A billion people around the world are writing their books. I am but a drop of water hoping the Gods above pluck me out of the pool…

          3. i believe the problem facing the writer now is a lack of readers. the novel has ceased to be the preferred form of storytelling to the wealth of 20th century authors was the result of so many factors, including the hiring of writers for government projects, which gave so many writers their start in the 20s. then there was the war, after wich so many people had unique stories to tell that people were eager to hear, then there was the pulp magazines and television, amd fially the explosion of novel reading from the newly educated middle class. i remember the60s and 50s when everybody knew what the best sellers were, and were reading them..from boris pasernnak to harold robbins. the idea that one couls join the ranks of the great writers of antiquity was validated by writers from durrell and hemingway to udike and mailer. but now….people prefer the ling form television mini series to the novel,,,and read books, it all, for information,,,,,,sex tips, political gossip, pop psychology and psuedo religions, and celebrity tell alls…it isnt that writers cannot write, but that readers cannot read.

          4. I read the Pulitzer every year. I spent a lot of years in college reading everything important that everyone said was important. There’s a lot of college grads out there who are able to read books. Movies disappoint me more as the years roll on. Netflix mini-series are the new God. There are some I found entertaining and well made. But most are crap. It’s hard sometimes to think about what to post about.
            One last thought to reading –I don’t think it’s so much about people being unable to read. I think it’s the death of imagination. Reading is a pro-active, imaginative activity. Watching a netflix show or a movie is a passive activity (unless you are taking notes to post about it). People just want easy entertainment. Reading is a solitary activity, too. People want to hang out on the couch and talk to their partner or friends about what they’re watching. All that CGI and special effects has mesmerized the viewer at the cost of their imagination.

          5. your secondparagraph is on the money. regarding your readng habits, im otreferrng to the reading habits ofwriters or even literarytypes from college ..but the average oerson..who used to take out loads ofboos frothe libraries, joined book clubs, kept u with all the current authors. here is something you ight find interestng, as i have. willam buckley, leading intellectual of the right wng intelligensia, in 1985, his days of influence long past, intervewing two brilliant new writer in their early 20s, being extremely respectful but not quite approving or understanding them, both of whm are licid and polite.. then into the fraw comes a 30 something litrerary critic, very smug and smirking, misunderstanding understanding everythng yet thinking hw can these young punks argue about what i have to say about their work..she s completely out of it and irrelevant, and it is a firing squal of her ilk that a new writer is always put in front of. very exciting dynamic between these four. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCOSG2jCOoM&t=89s

          6. I didn’t like the snooty critic at the podium. But you are right, it was interesting. Oh, the critic. I only hope I never have to sit in a chair and have smug personalities pick at me like a bird to bread.

          7. Oh, what do you think of the Cannes Festival? I am hoping T. Malick tells a story in his historical fiction “A Hidden Life”.
            Any of the entries appeal to you? I’m so glad there’s a list of films worth investigating.

          8. i try to know as little as possible about a picture before watching it. the thin red line was the last thinng of malicks liked. the ones on this list that i want to see are Tommaso (dir: Abel Ferrara), The Best Years of a Life (dir: Claude Lelouch), Sorry We Missed You (dir: Ken Loach), Pain and Glory (dir: Pedro Almodóvar), and The Traitor (dir: Marco Bellocchio),

  9. I am looking forward to Scorsese’s The Irishman and Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, too. I am just a tiny bit frustrated that both of these directors are so in their comfort zones when making these films. I mean Scorsese doing a gangster film, and Tarantino in Once Upon is doing his usual chaotic, weird thing, well, whatever he is normally doing with films. I always want to see something unusual and extraordinary coming from directors, maybe I want too much.

    1. You make a good point. Is it an end-of-the-career goodbye film that made Scorsese and Tarantino famous in the first place? They aren’t likely to move out of any comfort zone; therefore, the films will feel mediocre. I hope it’s a snazzling script and the plots are engaging.

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