Entertainment

Four New Little Indies to Watch This Weekend

Featuring Jessica Williams, Michael Cera and a Rather Interesting Bear

By Sam Eichner ·
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Photo: Netflix
Sometimes, it can be hard to see beyond the blinding major-studio-backed spotlight cast by blockbusters like Dunkirk and Atomic Blonde, the latter of which comes out this Friday. And while we’re looking forward to watching Charlize Theron kick some ass just as much as everyone else, we’d like to use our proverbial soapbox to recommend four little indies coming out—online and in theaters—this very weekend.

So if you’re looking for something a little more low-key, like Kyle Mooney dressing up in a bear costume, or Michael Cera chilling with Abbi Jacobson, keep reading.

If you’re not, well...what the hell’s wrong with you?

Kidding.

Dunkirk is dope.


Brigsby Bear
(in theaters July 28th)
The pedigree: The co-writer/star here is Kyle Mooney, who, when you look past the Trump stuff and star power of Kate McKinnon, might be the most interesting player on SNL. His best sketches—analog-looking digital shorts that, at their best, lightly satirize Nick at Nite-type feel-good sitcoms—are natural extensions of the Good Neighbor stuff he put out in the years prior. Here, Mooney’s directed by Good Neighbor alum and fellow SNL writer Dave McCary. The film had a well-received debut at Sundance, and has been garnering solid reviews all week.
Appetite-whetting synopsis: A teen, kidnapped at birth and sheltered from society with only a children’s TV show to keep him company, is returned to his biological parents. Naturally, he attempts to create the final episode to his beloved show. You can probably guess what said show is called.
For Fans of: Good Neighbor sketches, E.T., fun Greg Kinnear and The Truman Show.


Person to Person
(streaming on Amazon July 28th)
The pedigree: This is a sort-of coming out party for festival-circuit darling Dustin Guy Defa, starring Broad City’s Abbi Jacobson opposite Michael Cera, an actor who continually proves he’s far more talented and versatile than one might think.
Appetite-whetting synopsis: It’s a patchwork of breezy vignettes that take place in a single day in New York City. Topics include: buddy-cop-like investigative reporting, finding a rare Charlie Parker record, angst-ridden teens and dancing. You’re probably really into this or really not into this by now.
For fans of: New York, I Love You, New York Stories, New York, like, generally and Woody Allen.


The Incredible Jessica James
(streaming on Netflix July 28th)
The pedigree: Another Sundance breakout, this one from Daily Show correspondent and podcasting talent, Jessica Williams. She stars alongside the always-great Chris O’Dowd, Noël Wells (from Master of None) and next-big-thing Keith Stanfield (of Get Out and Atlanta fame).
Appetite-whetting synopsis: A confident, fun-loving Brooklyn-based playwright (Williams)—because, really, where else are playwrights based?—looks for love in New York City. Ultimately, she finds it hiding in an unlikely package, i.e. a middle-aged divorced dude with a Scottish accent (O’Dowd).
For fans of: Master of None, 2 Dope Queens (Williams's podcast) and rom-coms where the protagonist starts out not liking his or her love interest because they're not their usual bag, but eventually realizes maybe that's a good thing. So, rom-coms.


Room 104
(premieres on HBO July 28th)
The pedigree: It’s the new HBO anthology series from Togetherness creators and prolific indie filmmakers, Mark and Jay Duplass. Yes, I know, this isn’t a movie. But for the sake of this roundup, let's go ahead and call it a series of short films.
Appetite-whetting synopsis: Twelve genre-hopping short stories—horror, dance, comedy, etc—set in one titular hotel room.
For fans of: David Lynch’s HBO series Hotel Room, High Maintenance, American Horror Story, college creative writing exercises.

Sam Eichner likes literature, reality television and his twin cats equally. He has consistently been told he needs a shave since he started growing facial hair.

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