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Signe BaumaneOn Sunday March 22nd, the Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film will honor filmmaker Signe Baumane with its Visionary Award, during its 21st annual Chlotrudis Awards ceremony at the historic Brattle Theater in Cambridge’s Harvard Square.   Ms. Baumane will be in attendance to accept her special award from Chlotrudis to celebrate an impressive and broad-ranging career. | Read more »

Chlotrudis Society picks the Best Animated Films of All Time!

Spirited AwayEvery year at this time, the members of the Chlotrudis Society for Independent Film publish a new list detailing their members favorite films in a certain category.  Past categories have included such topics as Best Scary Films of all time, Best Remakes and Sequels, Funniest Films of All Time, Foreign Language Films and Documentaries to name a few.  You can find all of these lists by checking out Our Favorite Films section of the website. | Read more »

Ten Fall Indies

With the prestigious fall movie season almost underway, here are but ten (and in a few cases, relatively) independent films I’m looking forward to. Release dates are New York ones (so we might not see a few of the December releases in Boston until Jan. or beyond) and as always, subject to change.

Since I’ve missed it at two local film festivals, will some daring programmer in Boston please book a run of Lance Hammer’s acclaimed, purportedly visually stunning, self-distributed debut feature? If not, I’ll attempt to make a one-off screening with the director in person on September 29 at the Harvard Film Archive. (Oct. 1)

The plot sounds like a retread of last year’s MARGOT AT THE WEDDING, but great reviews from Toronto say otherwise—a long awaited return-to-form (and return to relatively low-budget filmmaking) from Jonathan Demme? A great role for Anne Hathaway? The triumphant return of Debra Winger? (Oct. 3)

Mike Leigh’s last two features haven’t exactly been a barrel of laughs, so I anticipate his upbeat tale of a relentlessly optimistic London schoolteacher (Sally Hawkins), and also approach it with a little caution, for Leigh’s sharpest work has only the faintest rays of hope struggling through all the gloom and dysfunction. (Oct. 10)

I missed this supposedly sweet, Swedish, coming-of-age vampire film when it played Provincetown this year, and I don’t intend to do so if it plays here again—after all the lurid, sexed-up stuff we’ve seen on the subject, this alternative take sounds refreshing. (Oct. 24)

In his directorial debut (and first film since ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND), Charlie Kaufman gives us Philip Seymour Hoffman as a theatre director building a life-sized replica of New York City inside a warehouse. Sounds like it’ll be either mind-blowing or completely inscrutable, but not boring. (Oct. 24)

Arnaud Despelchin follows KINGS AND QUEEN with this holiday-set ensemble piece that received more than a few raves when it premiered in Cannes last May. Promisingly, the cast reprises a few faces from the earlier film, including Mathieu Almaric, Emmanuelle Devos and Catherine Deneuve. (Nov. 14)

High expectations for this biopic to be the next BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN—it just might work if Sean Penn (as slain gay elected official Harvey Milk) proves his mettle while not overacting, and if director Gus Van Sant transforms the instinctual feel of his last few films into a more approachable (but not too conventional) narrative. (Nov. 26)

Kelly Reichardt’s OLD JOY suggested a lot of potential I hope her new film fulfills. It sounds like another deceptively simple but carefully constructed story, involving a woman (Michelle Williams), her dog and an impoverished economic milieu most American movies overlook or ignore. (Dec. 10)

Winning the top prize at Cannes doesn’t necessarily equate a great film. Laurent Cantet’s (HEADING SOUTH) French classroom drama will hopefully be a worthy successor to last year’s winner. (Dec. 12)

Unusual, innovative animated features that manage to find an audience always intrigue me. This Israeli film, which straddles the line between fiction and documentary and looks like a cross between WAKING LIFE and PERSEPOLIS, may be the next. (Dec. 26)

Signe Baumane at Sundance

Signe Baumane has had two films screen as part of the Chlotrudis Short Film Festival. In 2002 she wowed us with a lovely story about a lonely housewife and her vacuum cleaner in Natasha. She was back in 2004 with a short film of more mythic proportions called Woman. Now it seems that for the first time she has brought one of her own films to Sundance. The film is called Teat Beat of Sex and it stems from the filmmaker's penchant for talking dirty at screenings. Read in interview with Signe over at The Reeler. Congratulations, Signe!