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So we're halfway through 2018 and we've already had a great load of films be released. Whether it be studio blockbusters, such as Black Panther and Avengers: Infinity War, or small indie features, such as Hereditary and First Reformed, 2018 has brought some fantastic films big and small for audiences to see. There's still plenty more to come and without mentioning the big name ones, I'll be here to tell you a few under-the-radar films that people should definitely put on their calendar.
The debut directorial feature film by comedian Bo Burnham is a comedy-drama about a thirteen-year-old (breakout star Elsie Fisher) trying to deal with eighth grade and all of its dramas. The film has been receiving rave reviews from everyone ever since premiering at the Sundance Film Festival back in January. Being distributed by all-star company, A24, you can expect a great indie film that people will be heralding as one of the best films of the year. The film will be released on July 20, 2018.
A topical and political film, Blindspotting, directed by Carlos López Estrada, tells the story of a former convicted felon experiencing a White cop shooting a Black civilian one night when skipping curfew. Starring Daveed Diggs of Hamilton fame, Blindspotting looks to be the Good Time of 2018, and that is a very big compliment. A thriller-comedy-drama, Blindspotting could have all the elements to make one of the best films to deal with the Black Lives Matter movement in an interesting visual way. The film will be released on July 20, 2018.
Spike Lee's return to grace seems to be knocking it out of the park. Hot off of winning the Grand Prix runner-up prize at the Cannes Film Festival, BlacKkKlansman looks to be Spike Lee handling the topics he always does, but with a new sense of flavor to them. The film stars John David Washington as Ron Stallworth, an African-American detective in Colorado Springs, Colorado who infiltrates the local Ku Klux Klan. The film also stars everyone's favorite boy, Adam Driver. A comedy-drama that looks to bring back the amazing energy that Lee's 1989 magnum opus Do the Right Thing had, but now for a modern audience. The film will be released on August 10, 2018.
'Under the Silver Lake'
Four years after his debut horror hit, It Follows, director David Robert Mitchell sets his sights on the neo-noir genre with Under the Silver Lake. Starring Andrew Garfield, a disenchanted man who meets a mysterious a woman at a pool, who happens to go missing the next morning, decides to take it upon himself to find her, leading him on a toxic, surreal journey. I'm personally very excited for this film because I loved It Follows and the original poster for this film looked amazing. It also has been said to contain elements of Thomas Pynchon's novels, who if you've seen Paul Thomas Anderson's 2014 film Inherent Vice, know that that means it's crazy and insane. A talented cast and director always makes for an intriguing film. The film will be released December 7, 2018.
'The Death and Life of John F. Donovan'
Let me ramble on about French-Canadian director Xavier Dolan for a little bit. This man is only 29 years old. Twenty-nine years old and he has directed seven feature films, one that has won the Grand Prix at Cannes (It's Only the End of the World, 2016) and one that has won the Jury Prize at Cannes (Mommy, 2014), tying with French director Jean-Luc Godard, one of the greatest directors of all-time. Makes you think about where you're at now, doesn't it? Well, The Death and Life of John F. Donovan is his first English language feature and has a huge cast, with the lead played by Kit Harrington. The film is about a famous celebrity who is caught in a sexual scandal with an underage boy. There was fake controversy over Jessica Chastain's scenes being cut from the final cut of the film, but it was amicable as the director Dolan thought that the character inevitably wasn't as important to the story as he thought. Chastain agreed with him and they now hope to work on a film together in the future. Dolan is perhaps the best young director out there and this film looks like it could be one of his best. The film will be released on September 28, 2018.
South Korean director Lee Chang-dong returns after eight years with his powerhouse film Burning. Based off a short story by Japanese post-modernist writer Haruki Murakami, someone I recommend everyone reads, Burning tells the story of a deliveryman who starts a relationship with a girl. She goes on a trip and returns with a man who is very eccentric and may have a strange hobby. The film has received ecstatic praise around the world from critics since appearing at Cannes and finally landed an America distribution. The film will also be the Koren language debut of The Walking Dead actor Steven Yeun, who has received praise for his performance. The film will be released on October 26, 2018.
'The House That Jack Built'
The newest film from controversial Danish auteur Lars von Trier has already become notorious for its performance at the Cannes Film Festival, with over 100 people walking out of the theater disgusted and appalled. Von Trier would want it no other way. The film stars Matt Dillon as Jack, a serial killer and the 12 years of his life that form him into the psychotic murderer he is today. People have claimed that the grotesque gore and sexual images are too much, but this is common ground for Lars von Trier as all of his films have shocked and alienated audiences in some way. Personally, I'm a huge fan of von Trier and would recommend any of his films, just to see what the mind of a complex man really looks like. The film does not have an official release date but is expected to be released sometime around late 2018.