Have you ever seen a film that is so incredible, so extraordinary in every way, that when it's over you feel totally drunk on happiness, high on cinema, floating away with huge smile? That's how I felt walking out of the world premiere of Luca Guadagnino's Call Me By Your Name at the Sundance Film Festival. This film is a masterpiece. Everything about it is so wonderful and so moving and so unforgettable. Call Me By Your Name is the latest film by Luca Guadagnino, adapted from André Aciman's book of the same name, about the sexual awakening / coming-of-age of a young boy from Italy. It's a sweaty, sultry, seductive story infused with sensuality and intense intimacy. An utterly sublime cinematic experience that left me floored.
As a movie lover, I'm inherently aware of how important storytelling is to inspiring and invigorating all of us. It can bring us together, make us feel hopeful, and teach us that we should always keeping dreaming, and always be ourselves. Brigsby Bear, a Sundance film co-written by and starring Kyle Mooney, directed by Dave McCary and produced by the Lonely Island guys as well as Phil Lord & Chris Miller, is a wonderful ode to the power of storytelling and friendship. I wasn't expecting to enjoy this film as much as I did, but there is a genuinely sentimental side to it, on top of all the laugh-out-loud comedy, that elevates it from something fun to something truly memorable. You won't be able to forget the Brigsby Bear after seeing this.
I'm just going to come right out and say it here right at the beginning - Taylor Sheridan is one of the best screenwriters working today. It's not even debatable. And with Wind River, he shows that he is just as capable and talented at directing as well. Wind River is the feature directorial debut of screenwriter Taylor Sheridan (of Sicario and Hell or High Water previously) telling a riveting murder mystery in the snowy mountains of Wyoming. Sheridan's screenplay is brilliant, filled with metaphors and truthful characters and twists and turns and thrilling moments, all intertwined within themes of grief and vengeance and survival and good-vs-evil. It's topped off by fine performances from the entire cast, making this an invigorating film.
What would you do, how would you change your life, if there was definitive scientific proof that there is life after death? That is the pivotal question at the heart of The Discovery, the new film from writer/director Charlie McDowell (of The One I Love previously). McDowell is an immensely talented filmmaker proving with this new film that he is making cinema for intelligent minds. The kind of uber-intelligent films which challenge audiences to examine their own choices while also asking very big (often unanswerable) questions about the world around us. The Discovery is a deep, very deep, film that earns appropriate comparisons to Primer and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, and if that interests you, it is definitely worth your time.
Back to Sundance we go for another year of discovery. What's on the line-up this year? Out of the 120+ films showing at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival, I've chosen 10 that I'm looking forward to seeing the most. To keep things well balanced, I've chosen 5 feature films and 5 documentaries from the line-up. There are so many films playing at the fest, and so many I'll end up seeing (30+), that this is a quick list to get everyone acquainted with some of the work premiering in 2017 (and why I'm so excited for these). From docs about free speech and doping, to features about life after death. Nothing like watching movies in the mountains.
Every new year brings us another Sundance Film Festival and with 45 days left until Sundance 2016 kicks off on January 19th, it's time to find out what will be playing up in snowy Park City this January. Last week, Sundance revealed their line-up of in-competition films and documentaries from all over the world. Today, they've revealed the remainder of the line-up - including a fine selection of big Premieres (features and documentaries) as well as Midnight films, Kids films, special events, and Spotlight holdovers from other festivals. So many films to see! A new one from the director of The One I Love that sounds good (see The Discovery), as well as TIFF favorites like Raw, Colossal and Their Finest. Full list can be found below.
Every new year brings us another Sundance Film Festival and with 50 days left until Sundance 2017 kicks off on January 19th, it's time to find out what's playing this year. Sundance has revealed their 2017 selection of In-Competition films, including both documentaries and features, as well as films in the ultra low-budget NEXT category. Featured in five different categories are 66 individual films that will be showing at world's greatest, snowiest film festival in January. The rest of the major premieres will be revealed soon, including all the Midnight films and other big Premieres in January. Plenty of unique films to choose from here, including a documentary about the Gawker trial and a film about encountering a long-lost elephant.