Indie Fresh List

The Indie Fresh List: A Pair of Cultural Icons and a Conscientious Objector

Check out the latest Fresh indie releases, including what's still in theaters and what's coming soon.

by | December 10, 2019 | Comments

Join us weekly as Rotten Tomatoes reports on what’s opening, expanding, and coming to the specialty box office. From promising releases from new voices to experimental efforts from storied filmmakers – or perhaps the next indie darling to go the distance for end-of-year accolades – we will break it all down for you here each week in Fresh Indie Finds. 

This week at the specialty box office, we have new documentaries on ’60s icons of fashion and dance and the latest from The Thin Red Line director Terrence Malick about an unsung World War II hero. In our spotlight section, we bring back Linda Ronstadt’s bio-doc, and in our indie trailer section, we have new clips from Josh Hartnett and Ozark star Julia Garner.

Opening This Weekend

Cunningham (2019) 88%


Experimental avant-garde choreographer Merce Cunningham was at the forefront of a revolution. Over 70 years of work with collaborators like Alvin Ailey, Andy Warhol, and countless others, he reshaped what it means to dance with one guiding principle: any movement is possible. This week, an immersive new 3D documentary featuring a non-traditional narrative style chronicles his career, collaborators, and innovations. Kevin Lee of Film Inquiry said of Alla Kovgan‘s film, “Sometimes you don’t need a narrative in your documentary. Sometimes your silver bullet is so powerful that it speaks for itself. In the case of Cunningham, that silver bullet is the dance choreography.”

Playing New York and Los Angeles this weekend.

A Hidden Life (2019) 80%


Terrence Malick returns to form in this visually stunning World War II epic on life, religion, and fanaticism, based on the true-life story of Franz Jägerstätter, a conscientious objector who refused to fight for the Nazis and was threatened with treason and execution. Zhuo-Ning Su of Award Daily writes, “Malick’s approach to profiling Jägerstätter is so far removed from the typical tropes of cinematic biographies, to call it that seems to almost cheapen the effort. ”

Playing New York and Los Angeles this weekend. 

The Disappearance of My Mother (2019) 96%


A captivating and peculiar examination of a reluctant documentary subject. Benedetta Barzini was an iconic fashion model in the 1960s — a muse to Warhol, Dali, Pen, and Avedon. She disappeared from the public spotlight at 75 years old and retreated to the remote areas of the world, far removed from anyone who knew her. Her son, documentarian Beniamino Barrese, chronicles her self-imposed disappearance and secretly records her, despite her constant effort to prevent him from capturing her on film. The result is a blend of found-footage guerilla documentary tactics mixed with a loving tribute of a son to his mother that J. Don Birnam of Awards Circuit called “an intimate, beautiful and evocative documentary about the life and thoughts of an inherently fascinating, cantankerous, and progressive woman who, in her old age, just wants to disappear.”

Playing New York and Los Angeles this weekend.

Fresh and Still in Theaters

Linda Ronstadt: The Sound of My Voice (2019) 89%

– Spotlight Pick  

Linda Ronstadt trended on social media last weekend, so we thought now would be a great time to remind everyone that she has a brilliant bio-doc still in theaters. As a musician, Ronstadt has been an icon for decades; her voice, ambition, and creativity have given us some of the most famous recordings in modern music. This documentary examines her life, from her humble beginnings singing Mexican canciónes with her family to the 1970s and early 1980s, when she became the first artist to top the Pop, Country, and R&B charts simultaneously. Ronstadt’s career came to an abrupt halt when a Parkinson’s disease diagnosis robbed her of her singing career and the world of one of the best voices ever to perform. A.O. Scott of The New York Times said of Ronstadt, “She shows herself to be one of its indispensable interpreters, as a vocalist and also as a thinker — covering a sprawling landscape with elegance, passion and insight.”

Playing on limited screens this weekend.

Along with…

  • Parasite (Gisaengchung) (2019) , a satire about a low-income family who try to hustle their way to a better life through their association with an affluent family.
  • Pain and Glory (Dolor y gloria) (2019) , a drama about an aging director who reflects on his films, collaborators, and legacy after he’s sidelined by severe back pain.
  • The Lighthouse (2019) , a surreal psychological horror film about two men tortured by the elements and each other while isolated in a remote lighthouse.
  • Mickey and the Bear (2019) , a drama about a teenage girl who navigates a loving but troubled relationship with her single, veteran father in rural Montana.
  • Marriage Story (2019) , a bi-coastal drama chronicling the divorce between a director and his actress wife.
  • Waves (2019) , a drama about a young wrestler who battles familial pressures and the burdens of minority exceptionalism.
  • Citizen K (2019) , a thought-provoking documentary on post-Soviet Union Russia and the oligarchical system that runs it.
  • Jojo Rabbit (2019) , a satire about a naive Hitler youth who discovers his mother is hiding a Jewish girl in the attic during World War II.

New Indie Trailers

The Assistant (2020) 92%

Ozark star Julia Garner stars in a film about the pre-#MeToo film industry as told through the eyes of a young assistant to a predatory Hollywood producer.

Invisible Life (A vida invisível de Eurídice Gusmão) (2019) 93%

An Oscar Foreign Language hopeful about two inseparable sisters who live their lives apart yet are unavoidably linked through time.

Inherit the Viper (2020) 45%

Josh Hartnett stars in this rural thriller about a backwoods drug-dealing family who are put in a battle against the clock when a drug deal goes wrong.

Thumbnail images by Kino Lorber, Magnolia Pictures & Magnet Releasing, Fox Searchlight Pictures

Like this? Subscribe to our newsletter and get more features, news, and guides in your inbox every week.

Tag Cloud

PBS Shudder 4/20 finale aliens Vudu 20th Century Fox VH1 Rocky Syfy criterion 007 Thanksgiving Rom-Com harry potter critics RT21 comiccon Toys Animation Heroines psychological thriller Winter TV nbcuniversal National Geographic cancelled TV shows A24 facebook Sundance TV zombies RT History American Society of Cinematographers Food Network Election Netflix Christmas movies composers Marvel dogs Interview award winner First Reviews ratings mockumentary Mary Tyler Moore classics anthology supernatural teaser emmy awards best DC streaming service zero dark thirty Comedy Central breaking bad Ghostbusters Oscars a nightmare on elm street free movies movie Musical zombie doctor who Starz MSNBC Set visit Extras Infographic CNN GLAAD FX on Hulu The Walking Dead CW Seed USA mutant elevated horror disaster biography batman Mary poppins Freeform versus crime drama game show LGBTQ FOX Awards Television Academy Calendar sequels directors justice league Premiere Dates Summer Best and Worst HBO Go Ovation cooking Star Trek IFC Films The Witch Western children's TV golden globes USA Network 72 Emmy Awards Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt true crime nature SXSW series CBS romance travel FXX universal monsters Drama Rocketman FX binge Hallmark Christmas movies Travel Channel Showtime cancelled TV series theme song Biopics GIFs all-time halloween Martial Arts TCA 2017 Columbia Pictures A&E period drama Apple TV Plus crime thriller superhero Trivia renewed TV shows spy thriller Holiday spain Brie Larson indiana jones Amazon Prime Video cartoon diversity jamie lee curtis Year in Review obituary singing competition toy story vampires sag awards Valentine's Day Turner Classic Movies festivals Anna Paquin Quiz Logo TBS Netflix Grammys 71st Emmy Awards Box Office comic stoner Polls and Games child's play medical drama Paramount Network animated revenge Emmys Spike WarnerMedia Lionsgate Cosplay Women's History Month 45 foreign El Rey Comedy laika Stephen King TCA Awards Walt Disney Pictures Star Wars ESPN Peacock sequel docudrama LGBT Chernobyl cars Pixar Adult Swim war strong female leads Amazon Prime Rock Comic Book MTV Awards Tour stand-up comedy slashers Disney streaming service OneApp Fox News Ellie Kemper New York Comic Con TNT talk show NBC Disney+ Disney Plus Tomatazos sitcom Classic Film hollywood dragons Writers Guild of America Disney Channel Comics on TV NYCC Apple Amazon 2020 name the review Tumblr dark First Look Cannes Superheroe Sundance sports Arrowverse Spring TV movies television Pet Sematary Mindy Kaling Song of Ice and Fire dc DC Universe OWN cinemax Academy Awards crime cancelled Podcast quibi Chilling Adventures of Sabrina kids Action Crunchyroll news Country cops satire christmas movies Video Games Black History Month The Arrangement franchise 2018 based on movie Funimation Mary Poppins Returns tv talk Discovery Channel miniseries witnail Hallmark cults PlayStation Christmas video Creative Arts Emmys PaleyFest ABC screen actors guild BBC independent Disney indie Photos dramedy BET Awards AMC TCM Tarantino cancelled television canceled Emmy Nominations natural history Binge Guide Film MCU Sneak Peek Universal politics Character Guide reviews Pride Month DirecTV Opinion comics romantic comedy TV renewals Countdown Turner stop motion Shondaland TV Land Mystery TV BBC One transformers documentaries Masterpiece Pop TCA Winter 2020 concert Winners TLC Super Bowl unscripted chucky spider-man ghosts documentary APB Apple TV+ Reality TruTV Certified Fresh Red Carpet dceu YA Superheroes Kids & Family historical drama rotten movies we love asian-american robots fast and furious Nat Geo Lucasfilm casting Baby Yoda psycho IFC hist richard e. Grant WGN hispanic Holidays werewolf Hear Us Out Musicals 21st Century Fox Music Bravo Watching Series 2017 discovery Tubi History social media DC Comics Trailer Sony Pictures Britbox worst Schedule ITV crossover Sundance Now BET science fiction Endgame Reality Competition twilight SundanceTV SDCC E! 2015 Esquire what to watch films book San Diego Comic-Con Disney Plus YouTube cats streaming ABC Family joker Elton John Lifetime Christmas movies south america CBS All Access Paramount Black Mirror Film Festival CMT TCA YouTube Red police drama spanish language HBO Max Marvel Television VICE game of thrones Avengers anime green book Family Cartoon Network technology Captain marvel comedies The Purge Fall TV Acorn TV Spectrum Originals screenings boxoffice Nickelodeon Amazon Studios adaptation BBC America canceled TV shows DGA BAFTA latino HBO Marathons Teen Mudbound blockbuster Pirates 2019 Warner Bros. rotten Marvel Studios adventure Pop TV space political drama Sci-Fi Television Critics Association President VOD 24 frames Nominations See It Skip It Horror Hulu GoT Crackle Dark Horse Comics thriller reboot die hard 2016 scary movies Fantasy TIFF parents X-Men Epix serial killer YouTube Premium The CW video on demand spinoff E3 mission: impossible Trophy Talk blaxploitation Lifetime