"What We Do in the Shadows": Working in the faux-documentary tradition of
"Far From Men": Set against the historical backdrop of the French-Algerian conflict, David Oelhoffen's soulful, existential period western, featuring Viggo Mortensen, conveys an affecting humanity that resonates deeply in alienating wide-open spaces and extended silences.
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"It Follows": Tapping into the primal fear zeitgeist is David Robert Mitchell's nerve-jangling thriller about a college student (Maiki Moore) stalked by a supernatural force. Underscoring the ensuing, mounting dread is a potent, pulsating synth soundtrack by video game composer Disasterpeace.
"Song From the Forest": German author-photojournalist Michael Obert etches an evocative portrait of a man who found his muse by answering the call of the Bayaka pygmies.Ethnomusicologist Louis Sarno's captivating journey into the Central African Republic's lush jungles casts a quietly poetic spell.
"Goodnight Mommy": Co-directors Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala take a visually studied, slyly playful approach to this unsettling yarn about 9-year-old twin brothers who begin to suspect that the woman who returns home from the hospital is no longer their mother. It all makes for one seriously subversive yet tastefully-appointed art house thriller.
More, please: After a prolonged "Behind the Music" funk, documentaries about iconic musicians shook off their hagiographic tendencies and incorporated existing footage in inspired ways to portray their subjects — Amy Winehouse, Kurt Cobain and Janis Joplin among them — in a fresh, revealing light.