Film buffs really ought to consider a trip to the Brooklyn Academy of Music in the coming days because the 2018 edition of BAMcinemaFest offers the chance to take part in a veritable feast of eagerly-anticipated independent movies.
In terms of star power and high-interest titles, this is one of the annual festival’s strongest lineups in years, offering promise for moviegoers looking beyond the multiplex.
These are some of the most intriguing films left to play at what has become the signature event on Brooklyn’s movie calendar, which began on June 20 and runs through July 1. Many of the screenings include appearances from talent involved and a large portion of the movies have release plans.
‘Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot’
The latest movie from Gus Van Sant teams the filmmaker who gave us the eternal classic “My Own Private Idaho” and plenty of other greats (“Good Will Hunting,” etc.), with Joaquin Phoenix and Jonah Hill (as well as Jack Black and Rooney Mara), in telling the story of the late, quadriplegic Portland, Oregon, cartoonist John Callahan. June 26, 7 p.m.
Elsie Fisher has garnered ample critical acclaim since the Sundance premiere of this coming-of-age movie from writer-director Bo Burnham, about a 13-year-old who must navigate the contrast between her confident social media personality and the extremely awkward and uncomfortable real life realities of the teenage years. June 27, 7:30 p.m.
‘Crime + Punishment’
This documentary follows minority NYPD officers as they speak out against arrest and summons quotas and file a class-action lawsuit against the department. If you miss the BAMcinemaFest screening, you can catch Stephen Maing’s film on Hulu and in theaters beginning Aug. 24. June 24, 5 p.m.
‘Leave No Trace’
The new movie from Debra Granik (“Winter’s Bone”) is the festival’s centerpiece selection. It stars Ben Foster and debuting actress Thomasin Harcourt McKenzie as a father and daughter living in the Oregon wilderness, and it has attracted considerable acclaim on the festival circuit. June 25, 7:30 p.m.
‘Support the Girls’
The new movie from the influential independent filmmaker Andrew Bujalski chronicles a sports bar called Double Whammies (essentially a fictional Hooters), that’s run by a character played by Regina Hall. Her performance is garnering raves. June 22, 7 p.m.
‘Skate Kitchen’ and ‘Minding the Gap’
Skateboarding provides the subject of notable selections. “Skate Kitchen” is the new film from “The Wolfpack” director Crystal Moselle, which has another intriguing back story: the filmmaker based the entire narrative movie on real New York skater women and cast them to star in it along with, yes, Jaden Smith. “Minding the Gap” finds Bing Liu making a documentary about him and his skateboarding friends in Rockford, Illinois. “Skate Kitchen” is at June 23, 6:45 p.m. and “Minding the Gap” shows June 25 at 9:30 p.m.
If you go: BAMcinemaFest 2018 runs through July 1 at Brooklyn Academy of Music. For a full schedule of films and ticket information, go to bam.org.