Six indie movies about dogs.
Umberto D. (1952): Dogs (preferably those en route to the pet cemetery) are a favorite shortcut to box-office bonanza. But specialty cinema is hardly immune to the emotional charge one gets from plopping a well-trained mutt on the screen. In what is otherwise known as the saddest movie ever made--and all the sadder for not ending the way you think it will--Vittorio de Sica's slice of prime Italian neorealism depicts an aging government pensioner planning to kill himself. But first he has to get rid of Flike, his Jack Russell terrier and only friend. But no one will take him. Prepare those
Pound (1970): After his no-budget satire Putney Swope became a freak hit, Robert Downey the Elder continued to cause head scratching with this X-rated comedy featuring humans (including Robert Downey Jr. in his film debut) as jailed dogs. Allegedly the producers were perplexed when they saw it. They assumed it was going to be animated.
A Boy and His Dog (1975): Don Johnson is the star of this Harlan Ellison adaptation about a boy tramping across a post-apocalyptic wasteland with only his telekinetic talking dog for company. Eventually Johnson mates with a comely lass, but he's ultimately forced to choose between her and his canine. Guess who wins?
Baxter (1989): A perverse experiment in viewer-protagonist discombobulation, this French black comedy features a Bull Terrier who, in his strange quest for domestication, kills several people. He also narrates.
Amores Perros (2000): Spanish for "Love's a Bitch," the breakthrough film for Alejandro Gonz�lez I��rritu (21 Grams,Babel) finds numerous ways to abuse canines, be it via bloody Michael Vickish dogfights or as metaphors for the rift between a well-off couple.
Wendy and Lucy (2008): Poor traveller Michelle Williams loses her dog in Nowhere, Ore., in the saddest dog movie since Umberto D. In my opinion, this is a glorious fuck you to Marley & Me.