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Summer Indie Counter-Programming

Posted June 18, 2010 to photo album "Summer Indie Counter-Programming"

In anticipation of the release of Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids Are All Right, Nick Dawson looks back at summer indie hits from years past.

Slide 1: Introduction
Slide 2: Kids
Slide 3: The Usual Suspects
Slide 4: Ulee's Gold
Slide 5: The Full Monty
Slide 6: The Blair Witch Project
Slide 7: Ghost World
Slide 8: Whale Rider
Slide 9: 28 Days Later
Slide 10: Swimming Pool
Slide 11: American Splendor
Slide 12: Napoleon Dynamite
Slide 13: Fahrenheit 9/11
Slide 14: Broken Flowers
Slide 15: Little Miss Sunshine
Slide 16: (500) Days of Summer
Slide 14: Broken Flowers

Slide 14: Broken Flowers

Release Date: August 5, 2005
Domestic Gross: $13,744,960  
Programmed Against: The Dukes of Hazzard

In 2005, 80s nostalgia was in full swing as the big screen remake of the TV series The Dukes of Hazzard hit theaters, with a pop star (Jessica Simpson) and an MTV bad boy (Johnny Knoxville) in the lead roles. In Broken Flowers, which opened the same week, writer-director Jim Jarmusch’s travelogue of a man re-visiting all the women he loved provided a more personal concept of nostalgia. The film starred Bill Murray as Don Johnston, an aging lothario who goes to visit all of his old flames after he receives an anonymous letter telling him he has a 19-year-old son. Jarmusch’s film boasted an all-star cast, with Murray’s exes being played by Sharon Stone, Frances Conroy, Jessica Lange, Tilda Swinton and Julie Delpy, but was still quintessentially a Jarmusch movie, as Jessica Winter explained in her ReWatch essay on the movie. “Broken Flowers is somewhat faster-paced and more action-packed than some of Jarmusch’s earlier films,” Winter writes, “but all the components of his distinctive template are familiar: the recurrence of visual motifs and songs, the fade-outs between vignettes, the dry sight gags.” The film, awarded the Grand Prix at Cannes prior to its U.S. release, broke barriers as it got the excellent reviews that have become standard for Jarmusch movies, but also grossed a very impressive $13 million at the box office. You can watch Jessica Winter’s ReWatch video on Broken Flowers here.