Independent films can often give us whole new perspectives on the male side of parenthood. In recent years, one of the most important distributors and producers of indie films to emerge is Oscilloscope Laboratories. It was founded by Adam Yauch, the recently deceased Beastie Boy who was also an activist, filmmaker, and -- perhaps most importantly -- a father. Yauch's stylistic vision and hands-on approach to Oscilloscope is reflected by the company's worldly catalog of incredible films.
Here are three films from Oscilloscope that celebrate, probe, philosophize, and endear fatherhood. These movies represent perfect alternative viewing options for Father's Day.
"The Other F Word"
"The Other F Word" is an American documentary directed by Andrea Blaugrund Nevins picked up for distribution by Oscilloscope in 2011. Gathering interviews with famous bad boys of punk rock, skateboarding, and BMX biking, the movie examines what it's like to become a father amid a high-octane lifestyle.
This South By Southwest Film Festival award winner is a riot, but also offers touching insights into the sacrifices fathers make. Just a few of the interviewees include Flea from the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Fat Mike from NOFX, Mark Hoppus from Blink 182, Mark Mothersbaugh from Devo, and Tony Hawk.
"Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father"
One of the first documentaries released by Oscilliscope was Kurt Kuenne's "Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son About His Father." It starts off intended as a gift to a son about his murdered dad in a collage of memories and personal interviews, but pulses into a riveting true crime thriller.
Zachary Bagby's father, Andrew, was murdered by his girlfriend, who realized she was pregnant with Zachary during the investigation and trials into her crime. There are no happy endings in this true story, but it's a cinematic feat worth experiencing.
"Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale"
On the slightly lighter side of Oscilloscope's feature films, the dark holiday classic "Rare Exports: A Christmas Tale" was picked up by Yauch's company for U.S. distribution. This Finnish film is unlike any Christmas movie you've seen, but it's still got the heart of a lion in the spirit department.
When a group of myth-hunting anthropologists excavate what turns out to be the biggest burial mound in the world, they dig up some mythological truths about Santa. From there, the story follows a motherless boy and his father who live quietly as reindeer herders.
Jalmari Helander's film is about facing the truth of myths and how sometimes fathers need to let their boys be men. Most of all, "Rare Exports" is a hilarious portrait of a father and son contending with a less rosy vision of Santa Claus. The foreign flick delivers a thrillride worthy of any American blockbuster.
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