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Five indie films that could cause an awards season upset

Pic: Zombi Child

Big budgets, top directors and A-list stars do not always make the best movies. Here are five smaller indie films worth a look.

As we head into awards season, all eyes are on the films that will catch the eye of critics and take home the trophies.

The girl just happens to be the granddaughter of the aforementioned Zombi from the Haitian timeline.

At once suggestive and surprising, the film is full of visual and aural grace notes which ripple across a subtext questioning the sins of colonialism and cultural appropriation.

The film builds to a suitably intense finale but maintains a playful engagement with its mysterious materials.

In UK cinemas from 18 October.

Workforce at LFF
Image:Mexican labourers fight back against exploitation in Workforce

Workforce

David Zonana’s debut feature follows a group of Mexican labourers renovating a luxury home.

The builders – played by a cast of non-professional actors – take an unexpected revenge when their unscrupulous bosses continue to exploit them in the aftermath of a workplace accident.

The film plays out in short, observational snapshots but delivers a surprising and complex study of solidarity and shifting allegiances in the face of exploitation.

UK release not yet announced.

Johnny Depp and Mark Rylance in Waiting for the Barbarians (2019)
Image:Johnny Depp and Mark Rylance in Waiting For The Barbarians

Waiting For The Barbarians

Ciro Guerro, director of the well- received Embrace Of The Serpent and Birds Of Passage, returns with Waiting For The Barbarians, an adaption of JM Coetze’s novel of the same name.

An allegorical fable set in an unnamed desert frontier town occupied by a European army, it pits Mark Rylance’s benign Magistrate against Johnny Depp’s sadistic Colonel Jol, ice cold in fascistic uniform and sunglasses.

Despite handsome cinematography from DP Chris Menges and the star power of Rylance, Depp and Robert Pattinson, the film is strangely inert and sags under its own earnestness.

Audiences will undoubtedly get a chance to judge for themselves however as the high-profile acting talent will undoubtedly secure a wide UK theatrical release.

UK release not yet announced.

Deerskin (2019) Trailer | ENGLISH SUBTITLES | Quentin Dupieux, Jean Dujardin
Image:Deerskin – an offbeat comedy about a man who becomes obsessed with his jacket

Deerskin

An altogether less ponderous affair, Deerskin is deeply eccentric and unpredictable black comedy.

It stars Jean Dujardin (who won an Oscar winner for The Artist) as George, a divorced middle-aged man who develops an unhealthy obsession with a vintage deerskin jacket.

Holing up in a remote country hotel, George poses as an independent filmmaker in order to carry out a bizarre scheme in which his beloved deerskin jacket directs him into some questionable and ultimately murderous behaviour.

Dujardin is a hoot in the central role and the film is wild and nimble enough to sustain itself despite its bizarre central conceit.

It will receive its UK release in May next year.

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