The concept is “counter-programming,” and studios have been doing it since the blockbusters started taking over the moviegoing marketplace: acknowledge that, particularly in the summer, there’s usually one (sometimes two) big-budget, big-canvass, big-ad-buy picture that can and will win the box office, and then position your diametrically opposed small-budget, intimate, independent film for the same weekend, in case the grown-ups might like to go to the movies too (or, in case that big movie is sold out). July’s indie slate is chock full of blockbuster counter-programming, with an emphasis on acclaimed documentaries and festival favorites. We’ve picked ten of the ones we’ve seen and liked (or can’t wait to check out) after the jump.
RELEASE: July 6
DIRECTOR: Jay and Mark Duplass
CAST: Mark Kelly, Steve Zissis, Jennifer Lafleur, Julie Vorus
If the latest low-key comedy/drama from the Duplass brothers seems like a return to their roots after the big-star crossovers of Cyrus and Jeff, Who Lives at Home, there’s a reason: it was actually shot before those pictures, back in 2008. It’s not some sort of long-shelved white elephant, however; this shambling and frequently funny effort is an honest and occasionally painful examination of the power dynamic between two competitive brothers, and the toll their rivalry takes on the rest of their family.