Great Independent Films of 2023 Now Streaming on Kanopy

indie films of 2023

While big-budget, major-studio movies like Barbie, Oppenheimer, and Killers of the Flower Moon were the most talked-about films of 2023, there were also plenty of great small-scale independent films from the past year. And now, you can stream some of those films for free on Kanopy using your Livingston Library card. (Descriptions provided by Kanopy) Beau is Afraid – directed by Ari Aster A paranoid man (Joaquin Phoenix) embarks on an epic odyssey to get home to his mother (Patti LuPone) in this bold and ingeniously depraved new film from writer/director Ari Aster (Hereditary, Midsommar). Showing Up – directed by Kelly Reichardt A sculptor (Michelle Williams) preparing to open a new show tries to work amidst the daily dramas of family and friends. A vibrant and captivatingly funny portrait of art & craft from beloved filmmaker Kelly Reichardt (First Cow, Certain Women), and with an endearing and charismatic ensemble cast including André Benjamin, and Oscar-nominated actors Hong Chau and Judd Hirsch. How to Blow Up a Pipeline – directed by Daniel Goldhaber A crew of young environmental activists execute a daring mission to sabotage an oil pipeline in this taut and timely thriller that is part high-stakes heist, part radical exploration of the climate crisis. Inspired by ideas put forth in Andreas Malm’s nonfiction book by the same name, published by Verso Books. Earth Mama – directed by Savanah Leaf With two children in foster care, Gia (Tia Nomore), a pregnant single mother pitted against the system, fights to reclaim her family. In her close-knit Bay Area community, she works to make a life for herself and her kids, in this singular debut feature from filmmaker Savanah Leaf. A glowing breakout at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival. Infinity Pool – directed by Brandon Cronenberg While staying at an isolated island resort, James (Alexander Skarsgard) and Em (Cleopatra Coleman) are enjoying a perfect vacation of pristine beaches, exceptional staff, and soaking up the sun. But guided by the seductive and mysterious Gabi (Mia Goth), they venture outside the resort grounds and find themselves in a culture filled with violence, hedonism, and untold horror. A tragic accident leaves them facing a zero tolerance policy for crime: either you’ll be executed, or, if you’re rich enough to afford it, you can watch yourself die instead. Scrapper – directed by Charlotte Regan In this vibrant and inventive father-daughter comedy, Georgie (Lola Campbell) is a dreamy 12-year-old girl who lives alone in her London flat, filling it with magic after the death of her mother. Out of nowhere, her estranged father Jason (Harris Dickinson) arrives and forces her to confront reality. Uninterested in this sudden new parental figure, Georgie is stubbornly resistant to his efforts. As they adjust to their new circumstances, Georgie and Jason find that both father and daughter still have a lot of growing up to do. Sanctuary – directed by Zachary Wigon A wickedly dark comedy follows dominatrix Rebecca (Margaret Qualley) and her wealthy client Hal (Christopher Abbott) as they engage in a high stakes role playing game for power and control. In the wake of inheriting his father’s hotel chain, Hal attempts to end his long and secret relationship with Rebecca. A battle of wills ensues over the course of one incredibly fraught night, with both Rebecca and Hal struggling to keep the upper hand as the power dynamics swing wildly back and forth. –Joe, Adult Services & Acquisitions