10 Days of Sundance Archive for January, 2011

Sundance Dispatch: It’s a Wrap

Another Sundance Film Festival has wrapped, and I have to say, it was a helluva good year to be in Park City. The logistical nightmare of the P&I line the first five or so days of the fest was a serious pain in the ass, but overall I’d have to say this year’s Sundance programming…

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Sundance Review: The Future

What do you do when you’re paralyzed by fear of failing, of moving forward into the future, of getting older? Of facing the fact that you have a finite amount of time to do everything you ever wanted to do, or thought you would do with your life, but realizing suddenly that you’re nearing the…

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Sundance Review: The Catechism Cataclysm and Septien

The Catechism Cataclysm One of the weirdest — and funniest — films I saw at Sundance was The Catechism Cataclysm. I’m not sure it’s even possible to discuss this film in a way that makes sense, because I’m not sure the film itself even does make sense, but it sure as hell made me laugh…

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Sundance Reviews: Vampire and Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same

Simon’s not a vampire, not really. He’s just a guy who digs the taste of blood, who’s drawn to killing girls in this particular way, and in particular, he’s very invested in the idea that he is not a bad guy, but a good one. He’s helping these girls, not hurting them — even though he knows on the other hand that’s not exactly what you might call “objectively true.”

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Sundance Review: The Lie

Josh Leonard’s adaptation of The Lie, T. Coraghessan Boyle’s 2008 New Yorker short story, is an excellent take on the tale of an idealistic young couple whose lives have veered away from the values they had when they first met, after an unexpected pregnancy forces them to shoulder the responsibility of parenthood.

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Searchlight Lands On Another Earth

Searchlight Lands On Another Earth

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Sundance Dispatch: Homework and Hell and Back Again

We’re officially over the halfway point at Sundance, and already I’m feeling a little glumness trickling in at the thought of this year’s Sundance nearing its end.This morning, of course, were the Oscar noms, and along with most everyone here for Sundance I dragged my bleary-eyed self out of bed at the asscrack of dawn…

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Sundance Review: Pariah

The most gut-wrenching-yet-uplifting film I’ve seen so far at Sundance this year so far is Pariah, which has been getting some mixed buzz. Yes, yes, I know that gut-wrenching-yet-uplifting is practically its own genre here at Sundance, but like many cliches there’s some truth in the stereotype. And Pariah is so moving, so remarkably acted…

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Sundance Dispatch: Rants and Raves

It’s officially Day Four for me here at the Sundance Film Festival, and so far I have yet to see a film I actively dislike at the fest — which, if you’ve ever been to Sundance, you know is a bit of a minor miracle. Granted, I’ve been cherry-picking those films that I think have…

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Sundance Review: POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

I’ll say this about Morgan Spurlock: there’s no one quite like him. Especially when he’s wearing comfy Merrell shoes (hey, they have great arch support) while feeling Ban fresh!, and driving a stylish Mini-Cooper plastered with ads while sipping some refreshing POM Pomegranate juice on his way to catch a fight on JetBlue Airlines.

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Sundance Review: Martha Marcy May Marlene

Martha Marcy May Marlene explores the aftermath of a young girl’s involvement with a cult living on an isolated farm in the Catskills. The thoughtful script by writer/director Sean Durkin is a character study crafted as a deliberately paced psychological thriller, with Elizabeth Olsen (younger sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley, and an accomplished theatrical actress…

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Sundance Review: Project Nim

With Man on Wire, director James Marsh took a story that necessitated being pieced together with reflective interviews and archival footage of past events and wove it all together into a cohesive whole that resonated powerfully as it told the history of Phillipe Petit, a daredevil who pulled off a number of dangerous and unbelievable…

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Sundance Review: Kaboom

I’ll say this up front: Gregg Araki’s Kaboom is not for everyone. If, however, you enjoy completely crazy, immensely creative tales (and I mean crazy in the best Donnie Darko sense), and you’re neither homophobic nor averse to graphic sexual scenes (both hetero and homo), and you’re willing to forgive a few plot twists that,…

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Sundance Review: Silent House

I admit to being a bit paranoid about big spooky houses and things that go bump in the night. I can’t imagine that I would ever choose to live in a big, rambling old house so isolated from civilization that my cell phone wouldn’t work in an emergency. That’s just asking for trouble. And if…

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Sundance Dispatch: Good News, Bad News

The good news was, I flew Southwest, where Bags Fly Free!(tm) So I was able to bring two bags. Major bonus, because that meant I could bring more boots! And a stash of food cheaper than it would cost me at The Market Formerly Known As Albertsons. The bad news was, my flight was delayed…

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Quote Unquotesee all »

“I always thought that once I had lived in Chicago for a while, it would be interesting to do a portrait of the city – but to do it at a significant time. Figuring out when would be the ideal time to do that was the trick. So when this election came around, coupled with the Laquan McDonald trial, it seemed like the ideal time to do the story. Having lived in Chicagoland for thirty-five-plus years and done a number of films here, I’ve always been struck by the vibrancy of the city and its toughness. Its tenderness too. I’ve always been interested in the people at the center of all the stories. This is a different film in that regard, because we’re not following a couple of individuals over the course of the project in the way that a lot of the films I’ve done have, but I still feel like people’s voices and aspirations and hopes are at the center of this series.

It wasn’t easy. We started back in July 2018, it was actually on the Fourth of July – that was our first shoot. It’s like most documentaries in that the further you go along the more involved and obsessed you get, and you just start shooting more and more and more. We threw ourselves into this crazy year in Chicago. We got up every day and tried to figure out if we should be out shooting or not, and what it is we should shoot. We were trying to balance following this massive political story of the mayor’s race and these significant moments like the Laquan McDonald trial with taking the pulse of people in the city that we encounter along the way and getting a sense of their lives and what it means to live here. By election day, Zak Piper, our producer, had something like six cameras out in the field. You could double-check that, it might have been seven. We had this organized team effort to hit all the candidates as they were voting, if they hadn’t already voted. We hit tons of polling places, were at the Board of Elections and then were at the parties for the candidates that we had been able to follow closely. Then of course, we were trying to make sure we were at the parties of the candidates who made it to the runoff. So, yeah, it was kind of a monster.”
~ Steve James On City So Real

“I really want to see The Irishman. I’ve heard it’s big brother Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece. But I really can’t find the time. The promotion schedule is so tight, there’s no opportunity to see a three and a half-hour movie. But I really want to see it. In 2017, right before Okja’s New York premiere, I had the chance to go to Scorsese’s office, which is in the DGA building. There’s a lovely screening room there, too, with film prints that he’s collected. I talked to him for about an hour. There’s no movie he hasn’t seen, even Korean films. We talked about what he’s seen and his past work. It was a glorious day. I’ve loved his work since I was in college. Who doesn’t? Anyone involved with movies must feel the same way.”
~ Bong Joon-ho