The official awards for the 2010 Sundance Film Festival were announced tonight at a ceremony in Park City. The big winner this year is HappyThankYouMorePlease, taking home the coveted Audience Award, but there are plenty of other big winners as well. As expected, the juries made some odd choices, and this year no one thought Sympathy for Delicious or Obselidia should've won anything (but they did). Anyway, these awards always start to put the finishing touches on yet another Sundance, which means things are winding down. You can see the full list of winners below. Audience Award winners can be found at the bottom.
Earlier this week, Brandon reviewed Adam Green's Frozen from Sundance, giving it a measly 3 out of 10. Despite that negative review, I still stayed up tonight to catch a midnight screening of Frozen and I'm glad I did. For what it is, essentially a brutal B-horror movie, it's actually a lot of fun. I mean a lot of fun, especially if you've ever been on a ski lift in your life. I'm not sure why exactly Brandon disliked it so much because I enjoyed it, despite the ridiculous characters and numerous logic problems. But it's a horror-thriller with a crazy concept, so I expected them to bend the rules and make it entertaining, and that's exactly what it was.
Immediately after the end credits completed, I tweeted: "Catfish is mind-blowing. Seriously one of the most odd, funny, weird, terrifying, sad, unique films I've ever seen. Honestly speechless." I still kind of am. Good thing all of this is in writing. Catfish is a documentary from directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman about Ariel's brother, Nev, a New York-based photographer who becomes pen pals with an eight-year-old girl from Michigan who sends him paintings of his photos. It's a very contemporary feeling film as the filmmakers make copious use of Facebook, Google Earth, Gmail, Google Street View, and YouTube in their
Awkwardness makes me laugh. And if the awkwardness is so awkward that it kind of hurts, that it's shocking how awkward the situation has become, it makes me laugh even harder. Lovers of Hate, at times, is that awkward. And it's also hilarious. The film is, on the surface, about the rivalry between two brothers. Paul (Alex Karpovsky) is a successful young adult fantasy author and Rudy (Chris Doubek) is recently-homeless, having only just separated from his wife, Diane (Heather Kafka). When Paul sees his opportunity to seize Diane, Rudy must go to any length available to stop the germ of his brother's and ex-wife's relationship.
Howl was the opening night film at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Starring James Franco and Jon Hamm, written and directed by Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman, the film centers on Allen Ginsberg's poem Howl, the obscenity trial levied against the book publisher who published it, and the analysis of the poem at large. The film is more experimental fare, mixing animation, black and white live action, color live action, and a faux-talking head interview with Allen Ginsberg played by Franco. Along with the interview, the other three sections are Ginsberg reading his poem aloud to a crowded bar, the obscenity trial, and a
Un Prophete (or A Prophet in English) is on another plane of existence. Director Jacques Audiard's latest film since 2005's The Beat That My Heart Skipped is, simply, a tour de force. From its performances, including first-time actor Tahar Rahim's brilliant portrayal of Malik El Djebena, to its direction, to its writing, the film is wholly unique. In short, Un Prophete is a prison drama centering around new-inmate Malik and his six-year incarceration. But really, it's so much more. The film unfolds like a novel, not bound by any structure beyond Malik's experiences. The film is at its most powerful after it's ended and you're able
Get Low, starring Robert Duvall as Felix Bush, Bill Murray as Frank Quinn, and Lucas Black as Buddy, is powerful cinema. The film is set in the 1930s in a rural, southern town where Felix Bush resides, though on its outskirts. He's a hermit, a recluse; to the rest of the town, though, he's a devil. Or at least something close. For forty years, Felix has kept himself secluded. But now, as he feels death approaching, he ventures out of his cabin. And he wants to attend his own funeral. Get Low is the story of this man's legend as much as it is about his life. It's this subtle weaving of the town's exterior perspective and his internal turmoil
If ever there was film that was a perfect fit for this year's Sundance, it's The Runaways. This fest is all about rebellion, and not many people embody rebellion more than Joan Jett and The Runaways. Focusing on Joan Jett and Cherie Currie, over-sexualized teenage girls living the wild, reckless lifestyle of rock 'n' roll super stars, the film chronicles the band's conception, its rise to stardom, and its fall. Under the abusive management of Kim Fowley (played by Michael Shannon), the girls struggle with their budding sexuality, drugs, and the pressures of being stars.
It's currently Day 8 here at Sundance (although technically I'm writing this the morning of Day 9). That means we've got two more full days of the festival left (or maybe three including Sunday?), and hopefully some more good films, but I don't know. The festival is starting to wind down, lots of people are already heading home, and the crowds are starting to dissipate. While there are still films premiering (tomorrow I'm seeing Joel Schumacher's Twelve), at this point it's starting to feel like the festival is already over. It feels like I've been here for month and I'm ready to go home. But, of course, we'll have more coverage for you.
And we're back. It's time for part two of my documentary round-up (read part one here). When I attend a film fest, I often gravitate towards the documentaries being screened rather than narrative features. Of course, I see tons of narratives, but I do my best to keep a high ratio of docs on my schedule for the reason that I already see tons of narrative stories during the year anyway. It's very rare for any documentary to see a wide release. For some really spectacular docs, they never even get a limited release. At film festivals, though, there are always a good amount of docs to choose from. This is especially true for at Sundance.
So far at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, there have only been roughly five big sales. Before the fest began, Paramount picked up the documentary Waiting for Superman. Earlier this week we reported that Lionsgate had bought Ryan Reynold's Buried. And earlier today, three more films were officially sold. While there are many great films at Sundance worthy of theatrical distribution, this year's early sales seem a bit odd, to say the least. These are the three sales today: Newmarket Films picked up Hesher, Focus Features picked up The Kids Are All Right, and Hannover House picked up Joel Schumacher's new film Twelve.
I've been trying to start this review for three days. When I started the first time, I opened with how much I love this film, Blue Valentine (I do) and how much it made me feel and confront after seeing it (tons, on both charges). I've began by comparing the film to the lot of my relationships and how honest, real, and passionate a depiction of love the film is. (It's certainly that, too.) I even began a draft where I attempted to remove all of my connections and emotions. The next time, I wrote about the lush cinematography, brilliant performances, truthful writing, and sublime direction. While all of the previous is true, it was impossible to