Christmas 2016: The best independent films to watch over the festive season
It’s Christmas time, which means travelling home, eating until you feel sick, drinking one too many glasses of wine and getting into an argument with your uncle about Brexit. Thankfully, there are plenty of good (independent) films on over the holiday season – a welcome opportunity to sit in the dark and not talk about your relationship status.
The Edge of Seventeen
There’s still time to catch Kelly Fremon Craig’s terrific directorial debut, which stars Hailee Steinfeld as a whip-smart teen marooned in the unforgiving politics of high school. It’s a classic-in-the-making that, unlike many of its contemporaries, understands and accurately depicts the poignant realities of growing up.
The Edge of Seventeen was released in selected cinemas on 30th November 2016. Read our review here.
If it’s escapism you’re looking for, then perhaps avoid Krisha. A woozy, off-kilter portrayal of a festive family dinner – in this case Thanksgiving – that goes badly, the film is impressive in both its nerve-jangling technique and its terrific central performance by Krisha Fairchild, inviting comparisons to Gena Rolands in A Woman Under the Influence.
Krisha was released in selected cinemas on 9th December 2016. Read our review here.
This drama about footballers repressing their homosexuality occasionally belies its theatrical origins, but otherwise crackles with the aura of a well-made chamber piece. Russell Tovey gives a great performance, in spite of the fact that he wears a pair of tighty whities throughout most of it.
The Pass was released in selected cinemas on 9th December 2016. Read our review here.
Every Scorsese film is an event, but his deeply personal adaptation of Shusaku Endo’s novel – about Jesuit priests facing religious persecution in Japan – has finally been made, after over 20 years of stop-start development. It’s out on New Year’s Day, and early word-of-mouth implies it’s absolutely unmissable.
Silence is released nationwide on 1st January 2017. Check back here for our review.
If all else fails, there’s nothing more festive than watching Dennis Hopper beat the crap out of Kyle MacLachlan in David Lynch’s surrealist masterwork, currently enjoying an extended re-release. Thirty years have done nothing to dent the film’s electrifying power – its depiction of evil behind white picket fences both timeless and unforgettable.
Blue Velvet was released in selected cinemas on 2nd December 2016.