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5 Best Films To See In February

Whether or not you have a sweetheart, you always need to have a good movie option up your sleeve for Valentine’s Day. I’m not talking about blockbusters – indie/art films are more my speed. Thinking back to an earlier WallSpin post 10 Ways to Make a New St(ART) – film is art too. So consider this one way of bringing art into your life in 2012. I can think of some other ways to bring art into your life as well, if you need some pointers (wink wink!).

Robert Altman – Director by Matt Dinerstein on Zatista.com

Meanwhile, here’s a list of Leonard Maltin’s Five Best Indie Movie’s To See This Month, via Huffington Post. Check out more of Maltin’s movie musings on www.leonardmaltin.com.

1. Albert Nobbs

Glenn Close first played the role of a woman masquerading as a male butler in Victorian-era Dublin off-Broadway in 1982. It’s taken this long for her to bring this fascinating story to film, and the result has earned her and her gifted costar Janet McTeer well-deserved Oscar nominations.

2. Coriolanus

Ralph Fiennes has chosen one of Shakespeare’s most challenging plays for his directorial debut and done it proud, as both filmmaker and star. Shakespeare’s words flow from his lips with the greatest of ease, and he’s completely credible as a ferocious warrior who finds himself a pariah on his own home turf of Rome.

3. Declaration of War

Valérie Donzelli dares to dramatize her own experiences: falling in love, having a baby, then dealing with the heartbreak of learning that their boy is desperately ill. As director, costar and co-writer (with real-life mate Jérémie Elkaïm) she avoids melodrama, cliché, and easy answers – just as she and her family apparently did in real life. In its own quiet way this film is really quite remarkable.

4. Project Nim

Oscar-winning documentarian James Marsh (Man on Wire) explores a fascinating case study about a chimpanzee who was taken from the wild and placed in a world of humans to see if he can learn to communicate. The animal’s fate, as he is passed from one caring person to another, is fodder for great storytelling – if not a terribly happy tale.

5. On the Bowery

In the late 1950s, novice filmmaker Lionel Rogosin spent months getting to know the denizens of Manhattan’s skid row, The Bowery, so that he could bring cameras there and capture the lives of these men. The result predates both cinema vérité and reality television; its unusual melding of documentary techniques and staged scenes manages to convey the truth of its setting and its sad protagonists. It’s one-of-a-kind, and deserving of rediscovery.

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