Get Your Popcorn Ready: It's the Indie Memphis Film Festival Guide

Get Your Popcorn Ready: It's the Indie Memphis Film Festival Guide

The Indie Memphis Film Festival is taking over midtown from Thursday Nov. 3 until Sunday Nov. 6. This year's festival schedule is packed with everything from regionally made shorts to gala screenings of internationally known films.

Here's a guide to 10 can't-miss films at the 14th Indie Memphis Film Festival:

1. "Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians", Friday, Studio on the Square, 7 p.m.

I had the pleasure of screening "Holy Rollers" earlier this year, and it's fascinating. It's about a team of Christians who make their livings counting cards for Jesus (it makes sense when they explain it). The film follows the team as they struggle with a particularly tough year. (92 minutes, documentary).

2. "Melancholia", Sunday, Studio on the Square, 12 p.m.

Lars Von Trier's "Melancholia" is a wedding story set at the end of the world. It's a dark and psychological thriller staring Kirsten Dunst, Charlotte Gainsbourg and Kiefer Sutherland. (135 minutes, narrative feature)

3. "Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory", Sunday, Playhouse on the Square, 5 p.m.

In light of the resolution of the West Memphis 3 case earlier this year, Indie Memphis is showing all three of the "Paradise Lost" documentaries, including the third and final installment, "Purgatory". (151 minutes, documentary)

4. "This Is What Love in Action Looks Like", Friday, Playhouse on the Square, 7 p.m.

Friday night's gala screening is Memphian Morgan Jon Fox's "This is What Love in Action Looks Like". It's a documentary six years in the making about Love in Action, a controversial (and now closed) ex-gay program based in Memphis. (72 min., documentary)

5. "Losers Take All", Friday, Playhouse on the Square, 7 p.m.

Losers Take All is a rock'n'roll comedy about The Fingers, a band who makes it big through a combination of dumb luck and unbridled energy. Though the film is primed for a wider release, we get to claim hometown pride - most of "Losers Take All" was filmed in Memphis, and it features music by local bands (like John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives). (120 minutes, narrative feature)

6."Better Than Something: Jay Reatard", Saturday, Playhouse on The Square, 7 p.m.

If "Losers Take All" isn't real enough for you, check out "Better Than Something" on Saturday at Playhouse on the Square. The documentary about the late, great Jay Reatard features tons of music, unseen footage and interviews about one of Memphis' most prolific garage rockers. (89 min., documentary)

7. "Woman's Picture", Saturday, Playhouse on the Square, 1:15 p.m.

"Woman's Picture" is a hometown film that pays homage to classic lady movies from the 1930s and 1940s. The film (which stars Amy LaVere) follows three different women's stories (104 min., narrative feature)

8. "Taxi Driver", multiple screenings, Playhouse on the Square

This year's Indie Memphis festival is probably one of the only places you can see the digitally remastered version of Martin Scorsese's classic "Taxi Driver". You can see it three times if you want to - Thursday, Friday and Saturday. (113 min., narrative feature)

9. "Stepping: Beyond the Line", Saturday, 11:15 a.m., Studio on the Square

If you've never seen a step show, you need to be sure to set aside an hour to see "Stepping: Beyond the Line" on Saturday. The hometown documentary is about the tradition and art of fraternity and sorority step dancing competitions. (46 min., documentary)

10. Undefeated, Thursday, Playhouse on the Square, 6:30 p.m.

If you only go to one film at Indie Memphis (which I don't recommend), make it "Undefeated" on Thursday night. The film follows Memphis' Manassas High School football team as they try to win its first ever playoff game (even though they're ranked dead last). I had the absolute pleasure of seeing it at it's premiere at South By Southwest, and it's incredibly funny, compelling, touching and inspiring, like great sports movies should be.

There's more to Indie Memphis than films, though. Be sure to come early for the parties, see some bands and stick around for the Q and A sessions. Festival passes are $18 per day or $36 for the weekend.

You can see the full festival schedule here.

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John Paul Keith
Hi Kerry, just wanted to clarify something - the music in "Losers Take All" was written by a number of writers from other towns, but includes one song written by me and one written by Jack Oblivian. The musicians who recorded the music heard in the film were Steve Selvidge, Paul Buchinagni, Mark E. Stuart, James Godwin, and myself, with Scott Bomar producing. There isn't an actual One Four Fives performance in the movie. I just wanted to clear that up and make sure the guys who played so well on it get credit. Thanks for all you do for the M-10! JPK
October 26, 2011 12:34am

Kerry (admin)
Hi John Paul Keith, I know - I didn't mean to make it sound like it was just you. I just knew you were involved. Thanks for the clarification! K
October 26, 2011 8:19am

Losers Take All
Hi Kerry, Thanks for including us in your list, we can't wait to show Losers Take All to our adopted home town! Just a quick note, however. You have the film screening Friday, when actually it's playing Saturday night (as far as the Indie Memphis website shows). Thanks, JP, for the clarification on the music. Just going by audience reactions, the guys really knocked it out of the park! Best, The Losers From 'Losers Take All'
October 27, 2011 1:14pm

for the press …
[...] Brian Pera made this movie and it will screen this weekend at the Indie film festival in Memphis. Here you find the program: Not to be [...]
November 1, 2011 1:29am

Edward Pollard
I would like to recieve imformation about Indie Memphis.
January 3, 2012 1:31pm