The 6 Must See Films Of IFF Boston 2014


It’s that time of year again!

Today marks the beginning of the 2014 Independent Film Festival Boston, and per usual UTG is on the scene with two writers who will be bringing you reviews and insight into this year’s screenings. There are over 100 films playing this year, but you and I both know there is no way in hell anyone has the time or physical ability to see them all. So, in an attempt to lessen the frustration caused by pouring over schedules and choosing between conflicting features, we have compiled a list of six films you absolutely must make time to see. These are the films that people will be talking about, studios will be buying, and people will be committing to memory for years to come. Let’s dive in, shall we?

Skeleton Twins

skeleton twins iff boston

Saturday Night Live alums Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader reunite for a sibling journey to reexamine where their lives went wrong after they coincidentally cheat death on the same day. This involves revisiting past relationships and old wounds, as well as recognizing the faults in themselves, and it looks to be told through the painfully relatable yet somehow still hilarious dramatic style that Wiig has built a career on in recent years. Ty Burrell, Luke Wilson, and Kathleen Rose Perkins also star. (Screens April 24 @ Brattle Theater 9:30 PM)James Shotwell

Ping Pong Summer

Following on the thematic heels of last year’s runaway indie favorite The Way Way Back, Ping Pong Summer offers a nostalgic coming of age story that takes place on the shores of the Atlantic ocean during the late 1980s. There’s ping pong, break dancing, and Susan Sarandon acting far more limber than any of her other recent work would lead you to believe. I am going to go out on a limb and guess you can put together how the story ends well before the halfway point in the film, but movies like this are more about the journey than the destination, and for what it’s worth this journey looks like one people will want to take again and again. (Screens April 25 @Somerville Theater 9:30 PM)James Shotwell

Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon


Mike Myers, the man behind Austin Powers and The Love Guru, directs his first documentary about the famed music manager, Shep Gordon. The film follows Shep’s days of excess in the 70s up into his Buddhist teachings/learning today with the help from many celebrities’ accounts of the man, the myth and the legend. Alice Cooper, Michael Douglas, Willie Nelson, Sylvester Stallone and Emeril Lagasse all lend their personal experiences with Shep to develop an image of the man along with archival footage to support those accounts. If this film is as foul-mouthed and hilarious as I have heard from rumblings at other fests, then consider me in a seat with my eyes open and mind attentive. (Screens April 27 @ Sommerville Theater 1:00 PM)Sam Cohen

Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter


Have you ever watched a film and been totally convinced that the fictional events that happen are real? No? Well in Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter, Rinko Kikuchi (Pacific Rim) stars as the titular character who is totally convinced that the events that conspired in the seminal Coen Brothers classic Fargo are real. So real that she runs from her mundane life in Tokyo in search for the buried satchel of money that is mentioned in the film all the way in Minnesota. I can imagine that the film will function as a story about a woman outside of her element while also being a study on how obsessions become realities in some cases. Sign me up for what sounds to be one of the weirdest films at the festival this year. (Screens April 27th @ Brattle Theater 6:00 PM)Sam Cohen

The Sacrament

I love a good cult movie. Who doesn’t? For his latest feature, filmmaker Ti West has channeled the spirit of a Vice TV news team for a found footage adventure that looks both engrossing and incredibly unsettling. A small film crew is sent to a remote location to capture a cult on camera and things go horribly awry. Whether or not the final results are as riveting as the trailer suggests remains to be seen, but if the execution is on par with the rest of West’s work we may be looking at an instant ‘shaky cam’ classic. (Screens April 28 @ Brattle Theater 9:45 PM)James Shotwell

The Double

Richard Ayoade, actor in both The Watch and the popular British show The IT Crowd, rounds up a cast including Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Chris O’Dowd and Sally Hawkins for his trippy sophomore feature film directorial effort. The film follows Eisenberg’s Simon who works as a clerk for a shady government agency and lacks the gut to approach Wasikowska’s Hannah for a date. Things take a turn for the weird when a man named James, who is Simon’s doppelganger, shows up with his infinite charm and throws a wrench into Simon’s life. With visual influences that look very akin to what Terry Gilliam has produced, The Double is a darkly comic tale about Simon becoming more assertive and taking back what is his from his doppelganger. (Screens April 29th @ Coolidge Corner Theater 9:45 PM)Sam Cohen

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

Latest posts by James Shotwell (see all)

Both comments and pings are currently closed.
  • XBlueCollarHardcoreX

    The Sacrament looks identical to what happened in Jonestown. I don’t know if that’s what they are going for, but if they were trying to be original I don’t think this would be such a new idea. I guess the documentary style footage would be a new twist.