I thought I'd let everyone know that I'm doing a Sundance recap live on the /Filmcast tonight. I'll be joining Peter Sciretta of SlashFilm, Neil Miller of Film School Rejects, and Laremy Legel of Film.com to chat about all things Sundance, including the best and worst films we saw and our favorite memories and so much more. The podcast will air live starting at 4PM PST / 7PM EST over on SlashFilm's live page (also via Ustream.TV). Be sure to tune in if you want to hear all about what went down at Sundance this year, what it was like living in a condo with Bob Stencil for a week, or just more about our favorite films.
There are always a handful of films at Sundance that I go into with low expectations and walk out of loving. Paper Heart was one of them. By the time I had heard about its mockumentary style, I had pretty much lost all interest. But what I discovered in the end was an original, entertaining, and above all, very charming film about discovering love. But I've got some problems with it, especially its conclusion. As for quirky romantic comedies though, if I can even call this one, Paper Heart is one of the better films from Sundance this year with that label. And if you're a fan of Michael Cera or Charlyne Yi, it's certainly worth checking out.
One of my favorite films coming out of Sundance is Moon, the sci-fi flick starring Sam Rockwell. The man behind it all, Duncan Jones, made both his writing and directing debut with Moon and proved that he's definitely a filmmaker to keep an eye on in the coming years. Immediately after screening the film, I frantically confirmed that I had an interview with Duncan, because there was so much I wanted to ask him. So here is my rather fascinating interview with him. Lastly, I should mention a big spoiler warning for this video, since we talk about some of the big plot elements that a few of you might not want to know.
How fitting is it that on the very last day of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival, it finally starts to snow. It was unusually warm this year in Park City, but I'd rather have it be cold. Whenever it snows during Sundance, it really completes the experience. And it just so happened that it finally snowed on Sunday, Day 10, as I wrapped up the fest with all my good friends. The night before I spent the evening at the closing night party as well as a party at the Stanfield Gallery on Main Street. So all that was left to do was finish up on Sunday with our tradition of a final end of Sundance meal at Main Street Pizza & Noodle.
As of today, Sundance may be officially over, but Bob Stencil's video coverage isn't! He's got just a few more hilarious videos to share and today he's bringing us a gem of an interview. Bob sits down for a chat with actor Jon Foster from such films as Thirteen Days, Stay Alive, Mysteries of Pittsburgh, and most recently, The Informers. As everyone knows, with Bob Stencil at the helm, this isn't your standard one-on-one interview. No, this is a full on beer-in-hand conversation with Foster, with flying bottle caps, foul language, and so much more. So with that, dive right in to one of the last Bob Stencil video updates.
The official awards for the 2009 Sundance Film Festival have been announced tonight. The big winners are We Live in Public for the Documentary Grand Jury Prize and Lee Daniels' Push for the Dramatic Grand Jury Prize. Additionally, The Cove won the Documentary Audience Award and Push won the Dramatic Audience Award yet again. Definitely some solid winners this year, as always. These awards always start to put the finishing touches on yet another Sundance, which means things are certainly winding down. You can see the full list of winners below. Audience award winners can be found at the bottom.
Tonight I caught a midnight screening of Dead Snow at the world famous Egyptian theater. After 7 days of seeing romantic dramas and quirky comedies, I was really in the mood for some gory zombie mayhem. Dead Snow is that Norwegian film about Nazi zombies. It's a simple enough story - a group of people head out to remote cabin in the mountains only to discover a party of undead Nazis terrorizing the area. To be honest, I didn't really care about how great the story was (or wasn't), because in the end, I had a great time watching this, and when it comes to cult zombie movies, that experience is what counts the most.
How do you follow up the hilarious Bob Stencil video from yesterday with Billy Bob Thornton? How about interviews with Kyle MacLachlan and Sam Rockwell and a wandering nomad / healing shaman hippie? Yep, Bob Stencil is back yet again, quickly after his last Day 6 video, and he's got even more hilarious red carpet Sundance interviews. And if you've been curious to see what the life is like for Bob up here in Park City, the intro to this today shows us just how much waiting is involved to pull off this kind of coverage. There's not much more to say, so let's get right into this latest Stencil recap. Enjoy!
Before Sundance had even begun, Sony Pictures had already picked up the sci-fi film Moon, but not as the distributor. Instead, they operated as the sales rep for the film, giving it the extra edge it needed to eventually find the right buyer. It was announced today that Sony Pictures Classics, the independent arm of Sony, has decided to pick it up for distribution. The indie studio is planning to debut Moon in theaters starting in late June. "I have always hoped for the opportunity to work with Sony Pictures Classics on the distribution of our film, even before arriving at Sundance," director Duncan Jones told Variety.
Last night I finally saw my 25th film of the festival, which means I've still got 6 to go until I hit my annual minimum of 31 (by Sunday). As much as I've talked previously about how much I love everything about Sundance, there are some negatives. No, they're not associated with the festival itself, but more with my own struggles. For example, after 7 days in, I'm exhausted. I can't wake up in the mornings anymore and end up missing screenings so that I can actually sleep and/or finish work. I get frustrated every time that happens, but I have to suck it up and deal with it. But there's also something else I want to mention.
This video recap today may be the pinnacle of Bob Stencil's Sundance coverage. Not only does he talk to Rob Corddry and pay homage to The Shining, but Billy Bob Thornton himself personally hooks Bob up with another female reporter on the Sundance red carpet. As promised, these have been getting better and better as Sundance has continued. We're reaching the end, but Bob's still got some videos up his sleeve, and this is one of them we've been waiting to share with all of you. If there is any one of these Bob Stencil videos you watch, let it be this one. Because there's nothing better than seeing Bob make an ass of himself.
One Sundance film that already has quite a bit of buzz is Adventureland, primarily because we've already seen a trailer for it and also because it's director Greg Mottola's follow-up to Superbad. I sat down with Greg Mottola up at his condo the other day to chat about his film and this is the interview. Mottola and I talked about his inspiration for Adventureland, which is based on his own experiences, as well as casting choices and simply putting together a story like this. I've also already reviewed the film, so this is is just the final compliment and last bit we have on Adventureland from Sundance. Check it out below!
I thought it couldn't get any better than 500 Days of Summer here at Sundance. I loved that film so much, that hardly anything could even compare to it. But then I saw Adam, a wonderfully charming and beautiful story about falling in love. While it doesn't necessarily reach the same heights as 500 Days, it's the next best thing, and easily one of my very favorite films from the fest. Adam begins by showing us the stars in the sky while Rose Byrne explains in a voice over that she thought she knew everything about love, but it wasn't until she met Adam (Hugh Dancy) that she realized she had so much more to learn. As did I.
When it comes to coming of age comedies, Superbad still remains one of my all-time favorites. So going into Adventureland, which is Greg Mottola's follow-up to Superbad, I had set some very high expectations. Right off the bat, I'll say that it doesn't exactly come close to matching Superbad, but it's not supposed to. Adventureland, while still a comedy, is much more of a story about love. Thus I had to change my expectations midway through, and as a result, I still came out thoroughly enjoying the film. It's not exactly a hilarious romp through the quirky antics of an amusement park, but it is a story about growing up.