Independent films offer moviegoers a welcome break from vengeful aliens attempting to extract the secret of cold fusion from Soviet Russia's DNA. Experience a festival of highbrow proportions with today's Groupon: for $37, you get a five-day VIP matinee all-access pass to the Manhattan Film Festival, held in the Upper West Side.
The fourth incarnation of the Festival unites the latest brainchildren from local filmmakers such as Jason Cusato with indie movies from all over the globe for daily matinees from July 21 to July 25 at 12:30 p.m., 3 p.m., and 5:30 p.m. More than 75 films from every genre will be screened and followed by a question-and-answer session with the filmmaker. Unlike a normal movie-going experience, your VIP pass will finally enable you to prod the director for the juiciest details, such as the lead character's motivation behind shaving his pompadour before taking his date out on the town. You'll also gain admission to all of the numerous after-parties, allowing you to mingle with the city's most creative minds in surrounding Upper West Side restaurants, nightclubs, bars, taxis, and sewers. Watch the trailers and catch up on past films to get a sense of where you'd like to gravitate, but don't be surprised if something completely unexpected drives you to delighted distraction over the course of the five days.
Gather your film-buff friends and art-house acquaintances and get today's Groupon to sop up some collective unconscious and build a formidable repertoire of indie film knowledge, or cruise the festival as a solo moviegoer and make some like-minded friends as you hit the after-parties with wild abandon. After-party bars and restaurants will be offering discounts to festival attendees, making today's Groupon a moderately priced, highly cultured notch on the arty experience belt.