2014 was a fantastic year in film, but 2015 looks set to be even better. We asked our writers to share their thoughts on the most impressive indie films picked up for release over the coming year.
Wild Tales (Relatos Salvajaes) (2014)
Currently set for release by Curzon Film World on March 27, Damián Szifrón's collection of short films is a savagely funny delight. Argentina's Foreign Language Oscar entry, it has already made the shortlist and while its stories may be more humorous than your average statuette contender, the filmmaking is a delight. Each of his six stories is a tale of the unexpected hinging on revenge - from worms that turn to weddings from hell and includes slapstick violence from the dark side and the best freeze-frame joke you're likely to have seen in a while. Would appeal to lovers of Roald Dahl's adult work and anyone who has ever wanted to serve up a slice of commeuppance pie. Cold. -- AW
A Girl Walks Home Alone At Night
As a film critic viewing hundreds of new works a year, one wades through an awful lot of mediocre material in search of the occasional gem. To discover a talent like this is a once in a lifetime experience. Ana Lily Amirpour’s remarkable film – not at all what you’re likely to picture when imagining an Iranian skateboarding vampire western – is truly immersive, bringing together an exceptional mastery of the visual craft, sound, structure, performance and that cinematic quintessence, something poetic that lifts it altogether out of the sphere of the ordinary. At heart it’s a romance, but as bleak as they come, set among the junkies, sex workers and petty hoodlums of Bad City where nobody ever seems to get a break. The film doesn't have a fixed release date yet but Studiocanal have the UK rights. See it if you like Dogs In Space, Death In Venice or Don’t Look Now. -- JK
There's a really simple idea at the heart of Coherence, for all its quantum trappings, its comet a harbinger of things to come. At a dinner party, things break down. Theodore Sturgeon said that Science Fiction was a human problem with a human solution, caused and brought about by science. Coherence is that. With a small cast, an intimate location, perhaps one or two effects shots, this isn't the big budget bombast of Interstellar, but nor does it suffer from time-dilation. Not a second seems wasted in a crisp and compelling tale of the relative and the probable. Choices made, taken, not taken, all have an influence, are influenced - and it invites close reading. Things like colour, number, even automotive technique have something to say about events. It matches Primer's sense of certainty, it knows what it is going to do and it does it, repeatedly, with variety, and skill. It will be on limited release from Metrodome on February 13. See it if you liked Exterminating Angel and John Dies At The End. -- AR
The Salt Of The Earth
Wim Wenders and Juliano Ribeiro Salgado's Oscar shortlisted documentary The Salt Of The Earth (Le Sel de la Terre) starts with photographer Sebastião Salgado's famous Serra Pelada gold mine photographs, the series, shot in Brazil in the 1980s, that makes one think of timeless madness, organised greed, physical teamwork and otherworldly skies, all at the same time. Seeing the images on the big screen are a visual gift as much as the subject matter of his work is a scream for change. The way photographs and interviews with Sebastião Salgado are projected over one another like a palimpsest aids the sensitive celebration. Directed by Wenders, in silvery black and white, with the photographer's son, Juliano shooting in colour, The Salt Of The Earth functions adroitly as a serious reminder of the half-forgotten and what it means to be human. Images re-route thinking and destruction is not the end point. Currently set for release by Curzon Film World on July 3. See this if you liked: Gianfranco Rosi's Sacro GRA or David Lowery's Ain't Them Bodies Saints. -- AKT
Read reviews of more films coming to UK cinemas in 2015 here.