10. Upstream Color
Many months on, I still have little-to-no idea as to what I was actually watching. Shane Carruth pretty much epitomizes the independent filmmaker. In the long awaited follow-up to the mind-bending Primer, the writer/director/actor/composer created a Lynchian feverdream of the bizarre and the beautiful. It’s the kind of film that demands multiple viewings -a cinematic acid trip packed with jumps in time and space. Despite its deliberately impenetrable plot, it’s a visually dazzling and suprisingly visceral experience featuring one of the year’s most underrated performances from the brilliant Amy Seimetz. As fascinating as it is confusing, Upstream Color is – if nothing else – thoroughly unique.
9. Europa Report
Just when you thought the found footage genre was dead in the water, its final death rattle went and produced something actually worth watching. An off-beatly intelligent, occasionally very creepy little sci-fi movie, Europa Report follows a group of astronauts searching for intelligent life on Jupiter’s fourth largest moon – at which point everything inevitably goes completely wrong.
Though measured in build-up, it grows into an all out bat-shit insane crescendo that you’d begrudge in a lesser film, but here feels warranted. With some brilliant visual touches belying its minimal funding, Europa Report is an encouraging reflection of just how far low-budget cinema has come.