Tag Archive: Sundance Film Festival

Six Sundance Love Stories for Valentine’s Day

What better way to perpetuate the quixotic romantic desires that reside in our partners’ minds than by watching films that validate those delusions of love? This Valentine’s Day, we’re offering a short list of Sundance-supported love stories as a remedial to such lofty figments—unfortunately, the reality is not quite as attractive. From an idyllic summer love that concludes with an acerbic breakup in 500 Days of Summer to a lingering, albeit passionate romance that traverses drug abuse and other pitfalls in Keep the Lights On, these six stories of (not always mutual) affection will jolt even the most deluded lover from their reverie.

Keep the Lights On

Keep the Lights On, Ira Sachs’ second feature since snagging the 2005 Grand Jury Prize with Forty Shades of Blue, is about as creatively precarious as films come. It’s a heartrending semi-autobiographical love story that chronicles the ecstasy, the agony, and the utter hysterics of a 10-year relationship between two men in 1990s New York. It’s one thing that Sachs is able to find the courage to vividly broach and revisit such an emotional phase of his life; it’s another that he has the valor to share it with us. In doing so, he displays an incredible aptitude for chronology, managing to convey the intimacy and depth of a decade-long romance despite the constraints of a feature-length reel.

A pair of stunning performances from Danish actor Thure Lindhardt and up-and-comer Zachary Booth bring to life a script that is both beautiful in its honesty and excruciating in its vulnerability, as Sachs invites viewers to walk step-by-step with him on a journey of love and addiction.

500 Days of Summer

It’s a nod to 21st century urban romance, and a do-it-all film that dismisses the perceived boundaries of romantic dramas. Marc Webb’s 500 Days of Summer casts Sundance vet Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Zooey Deschanel in starkly contrasting — but equally impressive — roles. Beautifully structured and dominated by inventive montage sequences, Webb’s feature tracks the 500 days of a couple’s relationship—or more aptly, the period of Gordon-Levitt’s mostly-unrequited love. Be forewarned, Deschanel plays something of a conniving bitch. It’s ok, we still love her.

Love & Basketball

Film titles don’t come more terse and fitting than Gina Prince-Bythewood’s Love & Basketball. The 2000 Sundance Film Festival selection tracks a pair of young basketball players from their nascent years as childhood sweethearts in Los Angeles to their seminal years as students at USC, and finally as the two arrive separately at the pinnacle of their careers. Prince-Bythewood crafts an elegant portrait of a romantic relationship built on the foundation of friendship, with Monica (Omar Epps) and Quincy’s (Sanaa Lathan) shared love of basketball acting as the ironic barrier between their love for one another.

Before Sunrise and Before Midnight

Richard Linklater’s Before trifecta (Before Sunrise, Before Sunset, and Before Midnight) feels incongruent among the rest of his prolific oeuvre. Of course, that’s not such a bad thing. For one, the Before series represents a persistent departure from his other highly regarded work (Slacker, Dazed and Confused, A Scanner Darkly) and displays Linklater’s tenacity and flair for character development. Additionally, it’s arguably the most ambitious love story portrayed in cinema in decades, chronicling Celine (Julie Delpy) and Jesse’s (Ethan Hawke) nearly 20-year on-and-off relationship.

Before Sunrise premiered at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival and immediately endeared audiences to the youthful couple, who meet on a train en route to Vienna. What appears initially to be nothing more than a glib encounter quickly progresses into a night of candid conversation and visceral connection between Jessie and Celine. Before Sunset reunites the pair nine years later in Paris, and Before Midnight sets the couple in Greece nearly two decades after their initial encounter. And while each film in the series is marked by Linklater’s nuanced character development and meticulous dialogue, there is a beauty in the transformation of Hawke’s and Delpy’s characters despite the significant gaps in both narrative and real time.

Cutie and the Boxer

Whether intentional or not, director Zachary Heinzerling’s debut feature documentary presents the most pleasant of paradoxes. Cutie and the Boxer follows Ushio and Noriko Shinohara, two Japanese artists who meet in New York in the ‘70s and carry on a 40-year relationship that straddles the lines between personal and professional, pleasure and duty. Heinzerling captures their relationship with an authenticity only found in the raw emotions between lovers.

The Spectacular Now

James Ponsoldt’s third Sundance Film Festival selection eschews the gloomy tone of his prior work, but offers another testament to his ability to gently guide the performances in a film. Miles Teller took home a Special Jury Prize last month for his performance, and Shailene Woodley is no slouch as his co-star. Senior Programmer John Nein offers his take:

“Adapted from Tim Tharp’s novel, The Spectacular Now captures the insecurity and confusion of adolescence without looking for tidy truths. Young actors rarely portray teens with the maturity that Miles Teller and Shailene Woodley display, and they are phenomenal together. Funny, compassionate, and poignant, James Ponsoldt’s third feature again demonstrates his ability to lay bare the souls of his characters.”


written by nate von zumwalt for sundance.org


‘Fruitvale,’ ‘Blood Brothers’ Lead 2013 Sundance Film Festival Awards

Ryan Coogler of “Fruitvale” up on stage at the Sundance Awards.

The 2013 Sundance Film Festival has announcing its juried and audience awards at a ceremony in Park City, Utah tonight.

Complete list of winners below:

Grand Jury Prize, Dramatic:
“Fruitvale,” directed by Ryan Coogler

Grand Jury Prize, Documentary:
“Blood Brother,” directed by Steve Hoover

World Cinema Jury Prize, Dramatic:
“Jiseul,” directed by Muel O

World Cinema Jury Prize, Documentary:
“A River Changes Course,” directed Kalyanee Mam

Dramatic Audience Award:
“Fruitvale,” directed by Ryan Coogler

Documentary Audience Award:
“Blood Brother,” directed by Steve Hoover

Joseph Gordon-Levitt hosting the Sundance awards ceremony.NIGEL M. SMITH

World Cinema Dramatic Audience Award:
“Metro Manila,” directed by Sean Ellis

World Cinema Documentary Audience Award:
“The Square,” directed by Jehane Noujaim

The Best of NEXT Audience Award:
“This Is Martin Bonner,” directed by Chad Hartigan

Directing Award, Dramatic:
Jill Solloway, “Afternoon Delight”

Directing Award, Documentary:
Zachary Heinzerling, “Cutie and the Boxer

World Cinema Directing Award, Dramatic:
Sebastián Silva, “Crystal Fairy”

World Cinema Directing Award, Documentary:
Tinatin Gurchiani, “The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear”

Waldo Scott Screenwriting Award:
Lake Bell, “In a World”

World Cinema Screenwriting Award:
Barmak Akram, “Wajma (An Afghan Love Story)”

Documentary Editing Award:
Matthew Hamachek, “Gideon’s Army”

World Cinema Documentary Editing Award:
Ben Stark, “The Summit”

Excellence in Cinematography Award, Dramatic:
Bradford Young, “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” and “Mother of George”

Excellence in Cinematography Award, Documentary:
Richard Rowley“Dirty Wars”

World Cinema Cinematography Award, Dramatic:
Michal Englert, “Lasting”

World Cinema Cinematography Award, Documentary:
Marc Silver & Pau Esteve Birba, “Who Is Dayani Cristal?”

Special Jury Prize: Dramatic (Acting):
Miles Teller & Shailene Woodley, “The Spectacular Now”

Special Jury Prize: Dramatic (For Sound Design)
Shane Carruth & Johnny Marshal, “Upstream Color”

Special Jury Prizes: Documentary:
“Inequality For All,” directed by Jacob Kornbluth
“American Promise” directed by Joe Brewster & Michèle Stephenson

World Cinema Special Jury Prize: Documentary
“Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer,” directed by Mike Lerner & Maxim Pozdorovkin

World Cinema Special Jury Prize: Dramatic
“Circus” directed by Srdan Golubovic

Alfred P. Sloan Prize
“Computer Chess,” directed by Andrew Bujalsi

The Short Film Audience Award
“Catnip: Egress to Oblivion,” directed by Jason Willis

The Short Film Grand Jury Prize:
“The Whistle,” directed by Grzegorz Zariczny

The Short Film Jury Award: U.S. Fiction:
“Whiplash,” directed by Damien Chazelle

The Short Film Jury Award: International Fiction:
“The Date,” directed by Jenni Toivoniemi

The Short Film Jury Award: Non-fiction:
“Skinningrove,” directed by Michael Almereyda

The Short Film Jury Award: Animation:
“Irish Folk Furniture,” directed by Tony Donoghue

A Short Film Special Jury Award for Acting:
Joel Naglein in “Palimpsest”

A Short Film Special Jury Award:
“Until the Quiet Comes,” directed by Kahlil Joseph


read more about Sundance at http://bit.ly/Y7STn2


Corey Taylor On Performing With Sound City Players: ‘Talk About A Fanboy-gasm!’

Corey Taylor photographed by Michael N. Todaro/Getty Images

This past Friday night (January 18), Corey Taylor made the following announcement from the stage at Park City Live in Utah: “This is the craziest f***in’ night of my life.”

That’s quite a statement from a guy known for dressing up in a boiler suit, donning a mask that looks like horror film character Leatherface and bellowing vocals on songs titled “The Heretic Anthem” and “Pulse Of The Maggots.”

But the Slipknot and Stone Sour frontman was, for sure, in unusual surroundings Friday, performing Cheap Trick covers, accompanied by Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen, along with Nirvana alumni Krist Novoselic (bass), Dave Grohl (drums) and Pat Smear (guitar). The show was part of the celebration around the Grohl-directed documentary, Sound City, following its debut at the Sundance Film Festival 

Taylor tells Radio.com that he’s still digesting the experience. Watch the interview here http://bit.ly/XynIyq

“How did that happen? Somebody please explain that to me! That was awesome though. Being able to get up with Rick Nielsen — and basically Nirvana. Talk about a fanboy-gasm! I was just up there going, ‘What am I doing here?’ But we had a great time. It re-introduced my love for Cheap Trick. I really went deep in the catalog. I thought, ‘This band, they don’t get enough credit.’”


Sundance Review: ‘Lovelace’ doesn’t go deep enough despite Amanda Seyfried‘s efforts

<p>Amanda Seyfried of "Lovelace"</p>

Amanda Seyfried of “Lovelace” Credit: Sundance

Under the name Linda Lovelace, Linda Boreman starred in “Deep Throat,” the most successful hard-core sex film ever made, as well as a handful of less successful and less legitimate adult ventures. For a brief period in the 1970s, Lovelace was a public figure with a high degree of fame and notoriety.
In less than a decade, she had become an aggressive anti-porn advocate, writing multiple books about the evils of the industry that quite literally gave her her name.
For years, Hollywood has tried to tell Lovelace’s story, with numerous writers and directors and stars circling and abandoning different projects, perhaps recognizing the difficulties of adequately depicting a woman mostly famous for her aptitude with blowjobs and then her subsequent disgust at said aptitude.
It’s a tale that finally had its premiere on Tuesday (January 22) night at the Sundance Film Festival with Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman‘s “Lovelace.”
Screenwriter Andy Bellin has solved many of the contradictions in Lovelace’s life by ignoring them entirely. “Lovelace” is a flat and superficially arced film that relies on a little linear trickery to create the illusion of complexities that are sorely lacking. The resulting film is superficial and flat and wastes a transformative, gung-ho performance by leading lady Amanda Seyfried and an amusing supporting cast that seems to be appearing in four or five different movies.
When Stanley Kubrick‘s “Lolita” was released in 1962, it drummed up curiosity with the tagline “How did they ever make a movie of ‘Lolita’?” I suspect a similar tactic could be used to generate initial interest in “Lovelace” before audiences discover the answer to the question “How did they ever make a movie about Linda Lovelace?” is “As blandly as possible.”
Bellin’s “Lovelace” script is all about compression. One second, Linda is a nervous prude sunning in the backyard with her more adventurous bestie (Juno Temple, whose life destiny seems to starring in small movies and vanishing from bigger movies at the half-way point), the next minute she’s meeting Peter Sarsgaard‘s Chuck Traynor, who teaches her everything she needs to know about oral sex, and then she’s appearing in “Deep Throat” and becoming a sensation. Then, “Six years later,” she’s submitting to a polygraph test and decrying her former life, prompting the story to circle back on itself to show a darker underbelly we didn’t know about.
Except that we pretty much did know about it. While Sarsgaard’s performance has slightly varying shades of “wacko,” it’s all still wacko nonetheless. That Linda Lovelace fell for the wrong man who made her do bad things and that she eventually regretted them is the simplest and least interesting interpretation of her story, but it’s the only version Bellin and Epstein & Friedman seem to have been able to bring to the screen.
Read more about the review here http://bit.ly/UWemP4


Acclaimed Indonesian director Mouly Surya makes an appearance in the Sundance World Competition selection with What They Don’t Talk About When They Talk About Love, a romantic drama set in a school for the visually impaired.

Check out the trailer and see new images in the gallery for Mouly Surya‘s What They Don’t Talk About When They Talk About Love which is competing in the World Cinema Dramatic category at the Sundance Film Festival on Friday 19th.

The Indonesian film starring Nicholas Saputra, Ayushita and Karina Salim is already being eyed as Indonesia’s foreign film entry for next year’s Academy Awards.

Read preview about the movie here: http://www.upcoming-movies.com/new/sundance-2013-what-they-don-t-talk-about-when-they-talk-about-love-trailer-and-images/

The film’s produced by Rama Adi, Fauzan Zidni and Tia Hasibuan. Support the movie and check out the Sundance Film Festival’s official page for it.


–sources and images from twitchfilm.com and upcoming-movies.com 


Sundance Review: ‘S-VHS‘ Is An Uneven, Occasionally Thrilling Sequel To The Horror Anthology

Last year, the indie horror anthology “V/H/S” was released and promised to be chock full of truly in-your-face terror – these were fearless directors, given complete creative freedom, and squeezed together under a tight, blood-soaked package. Of course, the promise of “V/H/S” and the actual movie itself were quite different, and while there were certainly some gems (including entries by Ti West and Joe Swanberg that blurred the line between mumblecore and horror even further), most of them were overlong and uninvolving and (worse yet) reinforced some of the worst traits in the horror genre, including an undercurrent of ugly misogyny that was knotted through almost every section.Well, the conceit seemed too irresistible to leave alone and this year we have “S-VHS” making its grand debut at the Sundance Film Festival, which follows the original in structure and form. Thankfully, there are some segments that play around with the format and tease where this series could be headed. So, section-by-section, let’s take a look.
Read more about “S-VHS” movie here: Sundance Review: ‘S-VHS’ Is An Uneven, Occasionally Thrilling Sequel To The Horror Anthology | The Playlist.Overall: “S-VHS” is a whole lot of fun. We can imagine midnight audiences at Sundance (and wherever else it plays – SXSW seems likely) shrieking with delight at some of the sections, and “Safe Haven” is, by our estimation, a bold piece of original horror that will widely be revered, applauded and (like any good piece of balls-out horror) widely derided. We’d love to see the series, if it does in fact continue, continue to diversify the types of stories and the locations where those stories (and filmmakers) are based. But an anthology has to be graded on an average; it is, after all, only as good as the sum of its bloody body parts. [B]

review by drew taylor images from blogs.indiewire.com

According to RollingStone.com, HBO has purchased the rights to Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin’s new documentary about Russian feminist collective Pussy Riot.

Premiered over the weekend at Sundance Film FestivalPussy Riot – A Punk Prayerchronicles the arrest and trial of three members, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova, Maria Alekhina, and Yekaterina Samutsevich. The women were sentenced to two years in prison after being found guilty of “hooliganism motivated by religious hatred or hostility” stemming from a “punk prayer” protest at Moscow’s Christ the Saviour Cathedral. Read more here: http://bit.ly/WcCUVE


image from consequenceofsound.net



Black Metal will be available to screen from today, January 17th, until January 27th at Sundance Music Festival

Read more stories about the movie at http://www.metalinjection.net/latest-news/watch-the-short-film-black-metal-before-it-premieres-at-sundance

Black Metal is for you, by you, and because of you. We hope you will enjoy it.



Speaking at the film’s premiere about the ‘Sound City’documentary, Grohl told the audience, “I consider this to be the most important thing I’ve ever done, artistically, of all the albums I’ve made, of all the bands I’ve had the pleasure of being in. I really feel like the ‘Sound City’ movie, its intention is to inspire the next generation of kids to fall in love with music as much as I did.” As to whether or not directing is an experience he would like to repeat, the musician coyly responded, “I started the Foo Fighters as a hobby, and that was 20 years ago.”

Read more about Dave Grohl‘s Sound City Movie at Sundance Film Festival here: Dave Grohl’s Sound City Players Rock the Sundance Film Festival.



Lovelace is a 2013 American biographical film about Linda Boreman, better known as Linda Lovelace. It covers the part of her life when she was “20 to 32”. Directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, written by Andy Bellin and starring Amanda SeyfriedPeter SarsgaardSharon StoneAdam Brody and Juno Temple. It will premiere on January 22, 2013 at the Sundance Film Festival.

image taken from blogs.indiwire.com

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