Indie Film Release Guide: July 26th [An ONTD Original]

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The only major studio release this weekend is Once Upon a Time in Hollywood. But between that film, The Lion King’s continuing reign, and the late July heat, I'm guessing movie theaters will probably be pretty busy. This week’s indie release slate includes documentaries, foreign language films, and a drama where Jeff Goldblum gives people lobotomies. What more could you ask for?

The films listed are from studios other than the “Big Six” - Paramount, Warner Brothers, 20th Century Fox, Universal, Columbia and Disney. Note that some of the movies listed are in their first week or two of limited release in the USA, so it may take them a few more weeks (or months) to show up in your local arthouse theater or on VOD. Check out the posts from the past few weeks for more movies that may have just opened near you: July 19th, July 12th, and July 5th.


The Mountain



Stars: Jeff Goldblum, Tye Sheridan, Hannah Gross, Denis Lavant
Writer: Rick Alverson, Dustin Guy Defa
Director: Rick Alverson
Genre: Drama
Plot: Set against the 1950’s "golden age" of American male supremacy, an introverted young photographer joins a renowned lobotomist on a tour to promote the doctor’s recently-debunked procedure. As he increasingly identifies with the asylum’s patients, he becomes enamored with a rebellious young woman and lost in the burgeoning New Age movement of the west.
What you should know: It was in the main competition at Venice 2018.
Opens in: Select cities



Skin



Stars: Jamie Bell, Danielle Macdonald, Daniel Henshall, Bill Camp
Writer/Director: Guy Nattiv
Genre: Biography, Crime, Drama
Plot: A destitute young man, raised by racist skinheads and notorious among white supremacists, turns his back on hatred and violence to transform his life, with the help of a black activist and the woman he loves.
What you should know: Based on the 2012 MSNBC documentary about Bryon Widner.
Opens in: Select cities


Mike Wallace is Here



Director: Avi Belkin
Genre: Documentary
Storyline: For over fifty years, 60 Minutes' fearsome newsman Mike Wallace went head-to-head with the 20th century's most influential figures. The film tracks Mike's storied career and troubled personal life via archival footage while unpacking how broadcast journalism evolved to today's precarious tipping point.
What you should know: The newsman died in 2012.
Opens in: Select cities


Jirga



Stars: Sam Smith, Muhammad Shah Majroh, Amir Shah Talash, Basheer Safi
Writer/Director: Benjamin Gilmour
Genre: Drama, War
Plot: Former Australian soldier, Mike Wheeler, returns to Afghanistan, seeking redemption from the family of a civilian man he killed during the war.
What you should know: Premiered at TIFF 2018.
Opens in: NYC


Honeyland



Director: Tamara Kotevska, Ljubomir Stefanov
Genre: Documentary
Plot: Hatidze lives with her ailing mother in the mountains of Macedonia, making a living cultivating honey using ancient beekeeping traditions. When an unruly family moves in next door, what at first seems like a balm for her solitude becomes a source of tension as they, too, want to practice beekeeping, while disregarding her advice.
What you should know: Won several awards at the 2019 Sundance Film Festival.
Opens in: Select cities


For Sama



Director: Waad Al-Khateab, Edward Watts
Genre: Documentary
Storyline: A love letter from a young mother to her daughter, the film tells the story of Waad al-Kateab’s life through five years of the uprising in Aleppo, Syria as she falls in love, gets married and gives birth to Sama, all while cataclysmic conflict rises around her. Her camera captures incredible stories of loss, laughter and survival as Waad wrestles with an impossible choice–whether or not to flee the city to protect her daughter’s life, when leaving means abandoning the struggle for freedom for which she has already sacrificed so much.
What you should know: Premiered at SXSW.
Opens in: Select cities


The Great Hack



Director: Karim Amer, Jehane Noujaim
Genre: Documentary
Plot: Uncovers the dark world of data exploitation through the compelling personal journeys of players on different sides of the explosive Cambridge Analytica/Facebook data scandal.
What you should know: An early cut was screened at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.
Opens in: Select theaters & Netflix


Astronaut



Stars: Richard Dreyfuss, Lyriq Bent, Colm Feore, Krista Bridges
Writer/Director: Shelagh McLeod
Genre: Drama
Plot: A lonely widower battles his family, ill health and time to win a competition for a golden ticket to space.
What you should know: Premiered at the Edinburgh International Film Festival.
Opens in: Select cities


Angels Are Made of Light



Director: James Longley
Genre: Documentary
Storyline: A sweeping, profoundly compassionate group portrait of Afghan students and teachers weathering national turbulence.
What you should know: It’s in a variety of languages, and serves as a follow-up to the 2006 film Iraq in Fragments by the same filmmaker.
Opens in: NYC


The Ground Beneath My Feet



Stars: Valerie Pachner, Pia Hierzegger, Mavie Hörbiger, Michelle Barthel
Writer/Director: Marie Kreutzer
Genre: Drama
Plot: Lola controls her personal life with the same ruthless efficiency she uses to optimize profits in her job as a business consultant. But when a tragic event forces the past back into her life, Lola's grip on reality seems to slips away.
What you should know: It’s in German and English, and is also known as Der Boden unter den Füßen.
Opens in: Select cities


Also opening: Dead Water (Trailer), See You Soon (Trailer), Arjun Patiala (Trailer), Judgmental Hai Kya (Trailer), The Fighting Preacher (Trailer)



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What have you been watching lately, ONTD? Seeing anything this weekend?