Sundance Originals

Sundance: New Frontier Round-up

If you’re going to sell me that you have a six-player “epic ‘80s fantasy” experience featuring female warriors, man, I want some interactivity with that that goes beyond white-labeling last year’s cat cannon functionality reworked to shoot lasers out of my arms, and I want some story and character development that makes the female warriors feel actually incepted out of story and a hero’s journey, with enough substance wrapped around the experience to give me a connection to my character and the other avatars and to care why we are there.

Read the full article »

The Daily Buzz from Sundance (Day 10)

We have a special episode today, in which we begin by meeting and discussing filmmaking opportunities for women with Iyabo Boyd and Senain Kheshgi. We then moved on to discuss the film Last Race with director Michael Dweck. We finish by speaking with part of the hilarious and talented team behind the episodic Halfway There, including director Rick Rosenthal, writer Nick Morton, and actors Matthew Lillard and Sara Shahi.

Read the full article »

The Daily Buzz from Sundance (Day 9)

Ever had a project that you were super-passionate about but didn’t know how to fund? Elise McCave of Kickstarter discusses how to crowdfund for your passion projects. Heather Lenz talks about directing Kusama, and we talk about Game Changers with Louie Psihoyos, Joseph Pace and James Wilks. We end with the team behind Science Fair, Cristina Costantini, Darren Foster, Kashfia, Robbi, and Dr. McCalla.

Read the full article »

The Daily Buzz from Sundance (Day 8)

We cover Roll with Me, Zion and Nancy as well as talk to AAPI directors about their films. We start with two diverse AAPI directors, Bing Liu and Cecilia Hsu, then discuss Roll with Me with Lisa Frances, Jorja Fox and Gabriel Cordell. We also speak with Floyd Russ, director of Zion, and one of that short film’s producers. Director Christina Choe joins us for her psychological drama Nancy.

Read the full article »

The Daily Buzz from Sundance (Day 7)

Today we have Chloe Zhao, director of The Rider,  on planning a film with budget restrictions. Co-directors of Genesis 2.0, Christian Frei and Maxim Arbugaev, talk about filming in the heart of Siberia. And we welcome female shorts directors, Anna Margaret Hollyman, of Maude, and Emily Anne Hoffman, of Nevada.

Read the full article »

The Daily Buzz from Sundance (Day 6)

Our Hot Topics Roundtable features Sean Means, longtime movie critic at the Salt Lake Tribune and Maria Smith, executive creative director of M&C Saatchi LA. We’re joined by Slamdance co-founder Dan Mirvish, also director of Slamdance closing-night film Bernard and Huey, from a long-neglected Jules Feiffer script. Director Charlie Bims and actress Julie Sokolowski joins us to talk about their Slamdance feature Human Affairs.

Read the full article »

The Daily Buzz from Sundance (Day 4)

Day Four offers great insight for listeners furthering film careers. We speak with Carrie Lozano and Simon Kilmurry of the International Documentary Association. Pascal Plante, director of Fake Tattoos drops by, as well as the director and cast of Funny Story, Michael Gallagher, Matthew Glave, Jana Wintimitz and Emily Bett Rickards.

Read the full article »

The Daily Buzz from Sundance (Day 3)

Day Three ranges across film genres and guests. We start off with the Russo brothers who are here at the Sundance film festival to receive the Founders Award from Slamdance, along with Peter Baxter from Slamdance. We move on to speak with Rainbow Experiment director Christina Kallas and Isaiah Blake, a part of the cast. Closing the podcast: the We the Animals feature team.

Read the full article »

The Daily Buzz from Sundance (Day 2)

Day Two of Sundance 2018 is filled with snow! Today’s episode starts with Salt Lake’s City Weekly’s Scott Renshaw, a juror for Slamdance film competitions. Anote Tong and Matthieu Rytz of Anote’s Ark discuss the literal sinking of the island of Kiribati and raising awareness around climate change. We end with the moving feature ilm White Rabbit with director Daryl Wein, and cast Vivian Bang and Nana Ghana.

Read the full article »

The Daily Buzz Podcast from Sundance

It’s officially Day One of Sundance 2018, and the first episode for The Daily Buzz is packed with amazing films. This episode begins with a heartwarming tribute to the late Irene Cho, the founder of Daily Buzz; moves on to a fascinating account of the lives and training of service dogs in Pick of the Litter, made by Dana Nachman and Don Hardy; and ends with a packed panel with Nick Offerman, Kersey Clemons and Brett Haley for Hearts Beat Loud.

Read the full article » 1 Comment »

Sundance Seen Part 1

The whispering of powder from a dull quiet sky. Snowflakes fall between the screenings. Then the sun is bright and powder dusts off the slopes.

Read the full article »

Sundance Reviews: The Wolfpack, Slow West

Unique ironies surround Crystal Moselle’s bewildering documentary, The Wolfpack, not the least of which is that the film opens with a group of brothers at home re-enacting Reservoir Dogs, a film that premiered at Sundance 23 years ago.

Read the full article » 2 Comments »

Six Films To Watch At Sundance

Attending Sundance this year means personally jumping through a lot of difficult hoops to make it happen, but this festival is becoming legendary—2014’s iteration eclipsed both Cannes and TIFF combined—and I simply couldn’t skip this year.

Read the full article »

Sundance 2014 Last Call

As a documentarian, Balmès shows more than tells; his work tends to curate moments that strike him as meaningful into a largely abstract tapestry and let you make of them what you will. Consequently, Happiness is not a neatly delineated picture of narrative storytelling, nor is it quite traditionally structured documentary. True to form, the director’s work here tends toward the languid and fluid; we float gently along the placid life rhythm of this small village on a faraway mountaintop as the camera captures the subtle – and sometimes not so subtle – shifts in the cultural and social landscape wrought by the march of technological progress.

Read the full article »

Sundance 2014 Review: The Better Angels

A film created to be seen on a big screen, where the gorgeous cinematography can fill your soul. Dialogue is sparse, used only to augment the narration and visuals, with the result that in many ways feels almost like watching a silent film with narration over it. Or perhaps, to be more accurate, it’s like immersing yourself into a black-and-white landscape of stunning beauty, where there happens to be this story happening around you. Edwards’ time spent as a cameraman on Malick’s films is evident here in the framing of shots, the extensive use of nature in storytelling, and his willingness to let his tale breathe in quiet spaces.

Read the full article »

Sundance 2014 Review: Listen Up Philip

Here’s a truism about men like Philip: smart women who tell themselves they would never put up with his particular brand of bullshit no matter what nonetheless can and do fall prey to the allure of the reclusive, temperamental, misunderstood genius, and will keep coming back for more. Men like Philip present a challenge to overcome, a puzzle to solve – until the women in their lives finally have enough and say “no more.” And then those men end up alone, feeling misused and mistreated, looking everywhere save within themselves for the answer to the riddle of their loneliness and isolation.

Read the full article »

Sundance 2014 Review: What We Do In The Shadows

This is one of the festival’s most pleasant surprises because it’s gotten to the point where certain horror tropes are dead or dying: recent zombie movies have been more shambling than exciting; vampires in general have become anemic and fangless (shout-out to the Twilight series, driving nails into the rhetorical coffin).

Read the full article »

Sundance 2014 Review: War Story

The death of Lee’s friend has perhaps made her see the wages of war as a price higher than she ever thought she’d pay to be in the thick of it. She’s captured so many losses, so many tragedies, through the lens of her camera, but she has no idea how to capture and cope with her own. The film’s final moments elegantly underscore the truth about the death of those we love and how we grieve the impact of losing them: It hurts, it will always hurt, when you lose someone you love, and even more so when you feel yourself responsible. But life moves on, wars continue to happen, the world spins around its axis just like it did before you lost this person you cared about.

Read the full article »

Picturing Sundance 2014: 21 Images

Sleep is good. Seeing movies is better. Writing solid, thoughtful reviews instead of instant reactions longer than a well-wrought tweet: even better. A few quick descriptions and some more glimpses of 10 days at Sundance.

Read the full article »

Sundance 2014 Review: Imperial Dreams

Bambi’s story is something we in our cozy middle class lives maybe prefer not to think about too hard when we ponder the abstract idea of projects and prison terms. The real plight of poverty is the disparity of opportunity, and the way in which we blame those born into an urban war zone for growing up in a way that enables them to survive in it. It’s nature versus nurture: How do we expect a kid with the potential to do something amazing with his life to navigate his way there with no support system save for the friends and relatives who have him working the corner and holding a gun in his hand from childhood?

Read the full article »

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch