Film Fests Archive for December, 2008

Sundance Goody-Bag

Color me (starting to get) hopeful and excited about Sundance. Oh, I know, I shouldn’t build my hopes up too much. God knows, everyone who’s been to Sundance — been to any fest, really — has seen at least as much unadulterated crap as they have really wonderful films. But, they do take some interesting chances at Sundance, and I’ve uncovered a gem or two there, even in the more experimental categories. Sundance announced its competition schedule today, and here are three films from each of the announced categories that I’m already excited about checking out (the non-comp categories will be announced tomorrow):

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“The purpose of film isn’t to present the kindness of the world.”
~ Isabelle Huppert

The Promised Land steers into the fact that the United States can mean whatever people want it to mean. You may not be able to be Elvis, but you can sure as shit impersonate him for a living. America, like its current President (at least as of this article’s publication), is so dangerous precisely because it’s a blank canvas on which anyone can project their dreams. Whatever it is that you see for yourself, there’s someone you can pay for the pleasure of believing that it’s possible. In his view, the pursuit of happiness is the ultimate con, a delusion that prevents us from seeing our circumstances for what they are.

“Forget the Matrix, it’s the invention of happiness that blinded us to the truth. The rich got richer and the poor help them do it. Jarecki doesn’t argue that the American Dream is dead; he argues that it was never alive in the first place — that we were all lobsters in a pot full of water that was boiling too slowly for any of us to notice. And now it’s time for dinner. Donald J. Trump is the President of the United States. Elvis has left the building.”
~ David Ehrlich