Content Official Users 01/18/2013
15 Most Interesting Films Premiering at Sundance 2013
The Sundance Film Festival kicked off January 17th in Park City, Utah. The first major festival of the New Year — and preeminent independent film festival in the United States — has served as a launchpad for a number of cult classics and indie darlings that won over mainstream audiences like Blair Witch Project, Memento, Clerks, Reservoir Dogs, and Sex, Lies, and Videotape. Last year, Beasts of the Southern Wild won over audiences and is now nominated for a handful of Oscars. Sleepwalk With Me, The Sessions, The Queen of Versailles, Safety Not Guaranteed, and Chasing Ice were among the titles that went on to receive recognition and praise. So, which flicks can you expect to be talking about a year from now? Here are our top choices:
Cast: Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Lukas Haas, J. K. Simmons, Matthew Modine
In 1976, college dropout Steve Jobs heralded a revolution within the confines of his parents’ garage. Jobs, along with friend and technical wizard Steve Wozniak, unleashed the “homebrew” Apple 1 personal computer kit onto an unsuspecting public, producing 200 units by hand and shipping each one themselves (monitor and keyboard not included). Apple Inc. was born, and the world would never be the same.
This could either be Kutcher’s breakout dramatic role or something along the lines of LiLo’s portrayal in Liz & Dick.
Sound City became rock ’n’ roll hallowed ground where music’s megastars captured their magic on analog tape for three decades. Multitalented musician Dave Grohl cobbles together a troupe of iconic musicians and singers who once called the studio home to create a brand-new album on that revered soundboard.
This is Grohl’s filmmaking debut (like he needs something else to do — chill out, Dave).
Cast: Amanda Seyfried, Peter Sarsgaard, Hank Azaria, Adam Brody, James Franco, Sharon Stone
Deep Throat was the first pornographic feature film to be embraced by mainstream audiences and featured an unknown and unlikely star named Linda Lovelace. This film tells the story behind the charming girl next door who skyrockets to international sensation with her uncanny capacity for fellatio. After becoming a spokesperson for sexual freedom and hedonism, she reveals the dark secrets of her own life story.
Directors Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s first directorial collaboration, Common Threads: Stories from the Quilt, won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature in 1989.
Narrator: Daniel Dae Kim
We all know the story now, but last year at this time, Jeremy Lin was just a backup point guard riding the Knicks bench. He got his opportunity to start and went on to score more points in his first five NBA starts than any other player in the modern era, and created a legitimate public frenzy in the process. Not only does this doc capture the legendary run but also the adversity leading up to it.
Director Evan Jackson Leong worked with director Justin Lin on Better Luck Tomorrow, which screened at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, and The Fast and the Furious. He also served as coproducer of Lin’s Finishing the Game, which screened at the 2007 Sundance Film Festival.
Cast: Amy Seimetz, Shane Carruth, Andrew Sensenig, Thiago Martins
This mythic, romantic thriller follows a woman who is drugged by a small-time thief and ends up meeting a man equally consumed by “the larger force”. They struggle to assemble the loose fragments of their wrecked lives.
Director Shane Carruth’s first film, Primer, premiered at the 2004 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize in the U.S. Dramatic Competition. This is his second feature film.
Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, Elizabeth Olsen
This is the riveting true story of Allen Ginsburg’s life while at Columbia University in 1944. It details how he met Lucien Carr, who introduces him to William Burroughs and Jack Kerouac and leads to the birth of the Beat movement.
This is director John Krokidas’ feature debut. He wrote and directed two short films while at NYU. The first, Shame No More (1999), played at more than 70 film festivals, and the second, Slo-Mo, screened at the Telluride Film Festival and the 2002 Sundance Film Festival.
Cast: Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins, Catherine O’Hara, Amy Poehler, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clark Duke
Adam Scott plays a guy who wants to get his divorced parents back together after his younger brother gets engaged, but finds out he was the subject of his child therapist’s self-help book.
Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza
JGL writes, directs, and stars in this dramatic comedy about a porn-addicted ladies man who wants to find a more gratifying sex life, but ends up learning larger lessons of life and love through relationships with two very different women. This is his directorial debut and it hopes to debunk New Jersey stereotypes. As a (mostly) Jersey kid, I can get behind that. And thrust. Ba-zing!
Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Evan Rachel Wood
Obeying the last wish of his deceased mother, a young American (played by Shia LaBeouf) travels to Eastern Europe where he pursues a mysterious Romanian woman (played by Evan Rachel Wood) unable to shake her dark, violent past.
This is the first feature for award-winning Swedish-born commercial director Fredrik Bond.
Cast: Paul Rudd, Emile Hirsch
Adapted from the Icelandic film ‘Either Way’, this odd-couple comedy follows a meditative and stern man (Paul Rudd) and his girlfriend’s dopey, insecure brother (Emile Hirsch) who spend the summer repainting traffic lines down the center of a country highway ravaged by wildfire.
The film has a soundtrack by Explosions in the Sky and David Wingo. It’s written and directed by David Gordon Green who helmed All the Real Girls, which received two jury awards at the 2003 Sundance Film Festival, Pineapple Express, Your Highness, The Sitter and multiple episodes of HBO’s Eastbound and Down.
Cast: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph
The film tells the story of a 14-year-old’s awkward, funny, and sometimes painful summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and his daughter. The teen finds an unlikely ally and mentor in a carefree employee at the local water park where he gets a job.
Directors Jim Rash and Nat Faxon are the writers of The Descendants, for which they received the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay in 2011. Rash currently stars as The Dean on NBC’s Community, and Faxon plays the titular character in Fox’s Ben and Kate.
Cast: Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård, Ellen Page, Shiloh Fernandez, Patricia Clarkson
An elite private intelligence firm is called into action after a series of big corporate CEOs were forced to consume harmful products they manufactured. They contract an ex-FBI agent to infiltrate a mysterious anarchist collective suspected to be responsible.
Director Zal Batmanglij returns to the Sundance Film Festival with this stunning sophomore effort, which marks his second collaboration with the irresistibly alluring, multitalented Brit Marling. In 2012, Variety ranked Zal as one of its “10 Directors to Watch”.
Cast: Steve Coogan, Anna Friel, Imogen Poots, Tamsin Egerton
This film dives into the scandalous world of an entrepreneur, impresario, and the “king of Soho.” He unveiled his first “gentlemen’s club” in 1958 and gradually built an empire of clubs and erotic magazines that brought him vast wealth but also a litany of obscenity charges, a failed marriage, troubled children, and personal tragedy.
Michael Winterbottom’s films include 24 Hour Party People, In This World (winner of the Golden Bear at the 2003 Berlin International Film Festival), Road to Guantanamo (winner of the Silver Bear at the 2006 Berlin International Film Festival), A Summer in Genoa (winner of the Silver Seashell award at the 2008 San Sebastián International Film Festival), and Everyday, which received the coveted FIPRESCI Prize at the 2012 Stockholm International Film Festival.
Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz, Ahna O’Reilly, Kevin Durand, Chad Michael Murray
The film tells the tale of a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who was shot in cold blood at the Fruitvale subway stop on New Year’s Day in 2009.
Director Ryan Coogler is a graduate of the MFA program at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts where he made several short films, including Locks, Gap, and Fig, which won the 2011 HBO Short Film Award at the American Black Film Festival. His feature script for Fruitvale was selected for the 2012 Sundance Screenwriters Lab.
Cast: June Diane Raphael, Casey Wilson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Alicia Silverstone, Jon Cryer
Lifelong best friends who once tied for dead last in their hometown’s beauty pageant receive an invitation to the pageant’s milestone anniversary celebration. The unpleasant memories come flooding back, but they decide to redeem themselves by winning the elusive crown.
This is director Chris Nelson’s first feature length film. He started his career directing commercials for HBO, Budweiser, Reebok, MTV, and ESPN. The HBO Voyeur Project that he codirected with Jake Scott won the 2008 Promotion Grand Prix award at the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity.
Cast: Lake Bell, Demetri Martin, Rob Corddry, Michaela Watkins, Ken Marino
This comedy follows a struggling vocal coach (Lake Bell) whose father is the reigning king of movie-trailer voice-over artists. She tries to pursue her secret aspiration to be a voice-over star but after she nabs a top job from the industry bad boy, she becomes entangled in a web of dysfunction, sexism, unmitigated ego, and pride.
Writer/director Lake Bell’s short film Worst Enemy premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival. Since then, Bell has directed several episodes of adultswim.com’s Emmy-winning Children’s Hospital, in which she is a series regular. Bell also co-starred in Black Rock, which premiered at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival in the Park City at Midnight program.
Cast: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kyle Chandler
Adapted from Tim Tharp’s novel, this is the story of a charming, self-possessed, alcoholic high school senior who’s drawn to a “nice girl” who reads science fiction after she finds him passed out on the front lawn of a party house.
Director James Ponsoldt’s first feature, Off the Black, premiered at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival, and his second feature, Smashed, won a Special Jury Prize for its producers at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Ponsoldt is an alumnus of the Sundance Screenwriters Lab and also coauthored the award-winning graphic novel Refresh, Refresh.
WRITTEN BY: Neal – Editor & Content Manager for Dailymotion’s Sports, Comedy, Viral, News, and Geek Out Channels.
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