Foreign, indie films don’t disappoint

Some days there isn’t a single movie out in theaters that seems remotely entertaining. Netflix’s instant streaming selection leaves much to be desired. Blockbuster is disappearing, and Red Box and Blockbuster box rentals at grocery stores have even slimmer pickings.
So this week, why not check out some of the indie and foreign films playing in smaller theaters? If not, you might just get roped into watching “Alvin and the Chipmunks.”

“Tomboy”
“Tomboy” is a film about a young girl who wants to be a boy. The film explores gender identity as 10-year-old Laure, who is new to the neighborhood, passes herself off as Michael to her new acquaintances.
The film is screening at the Cosford Cinema starting Thursday at 7 p.m. The first screening will be followed by an audience discussion featuring Steve Butterman, UM’s director of women and gender studies, and Geme Perez-Sanchez, associate professor in the department of modern languages and literature.

“The Artist”
The Golden-Globe winning silent film is a French production, but don’t worry about subtitles – there is no sound, after all. George is in love with Peppy, but does not want to cheat on his wife. The two are actors, and the film follows the stories of their careers as George becomes a has-been and Peppy becomes a star.
It’s not easy to engage an audience without words, but “The Artist” is reminiscent of the era of Charlie Chaplin, and black and white films – it finds a way to keep you hooked.

“Le Quattro Volte” (The Four Times)
This Italian film is deep without being melodramatic. The Cannes Film Festival winner explores the cycles of life: mineral, plant, animal and human.
Director Michelangelo Frammartino follows a charcoal kiln, a tree, a goat and a herder in a film that’s scenery is as beautiful as the message behind it.
The film opens Saturday at the Miami Beach Cinematheque and runs through Wednesday. For more information, visit miamibeachfilmsociety.com.

“Splinters”
A documentary on indigenous surfing in Papau New Guinea sounds like a hard sell, but the story is a fascinating one. In the 1980s, an Australian pilot left a surf board behind and in the years since the sport has exploded.
The film follows the top surfers in the country as they compete to be on the national surfing team, showing the audience just how high the stakes are.
“Splinters” opens at O Cinema on Thursday and runs through Sunday. Student tickets are $9. Visit o-cinema.org for showtimes.