I’ll be missing the first few days of Sundance this time around (because of a little thing called Obama’s Inauguration), but even just three days at the first big film fest of the year is enough to start the slate rolling, so to speak.
So many of the films that became the most talked about last year – throughout the whole year – I saw at Sundance for the first time, with the exception of Beasts of the Southern Wild, which I somehow kept missing, at Sundance, Cannes, Toronto… I’ll never forget watching the audience react to Rodriguez walking onstage after Searching for Sugar Man, one of the documentary features up for an Oscar and among my best films of 2012, premiered there last year.
With that in mind, here are some of the films I’m looking forward to seeing, or at least keeping an eye on for this year’s event, when I do get there next week:
Dave Grohl’s Sound City – this documentary about the famed Van Nuys Studios (where Nirvana’s Nevermind was recorded) debuts on the opening night, but I hope to catch this at a screening towards the end of the fest.
Don John’s Addiction – Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut, starring Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza. Interest definitely piqued.
Austenland – anything that has to do with Mr Darcy has my attention. Add in Felicity star Keri Russell and I’m part of the typical target audience. Keri plays a 30-something single woman obsessed with Pride & Prejudice‘s leading man.
Before Midnight – the final installment in Richard Linklater’s train-ride-of-love-and-friendship wraps up Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke’s relationship.
Fruitvale – this stars Oscar-winning actress Octavia Spencer, Michael B Jordan (not THAT Jordan) and One Tree Hill’s Chad Michael Murry and is based on a true story about a 22-year old man on the last day of his life.
Mother of George – starring The Walking Dead‘s Michonne, aka Danai Gurira as a fertility challenged African immigrant trying to save her marriage in Nigerian-born director Andrew Dosunmu’s US drama submission.
Stoker – Nicole Kidman plays Mia Wasikowska’s mother, who may or may not be a murderess, from Oldboy‘s Korean director Chan-Wook Park.
History of the Eagles – in spite of this uneventful title, I do love music documentaries, although following on from Searching for Sugar Man and Under African Skies will be hard to do. Nonetheless, this one says it features never-before-seen home movies, archival footage and new interviews with all current and former members of the Eagles.
jOBS – The true story of one of the greatest entrepreneurs in American history, played by Ashton Kutcher, will close the festival. What kind of Jobs will Kutcher make?
The World According to Dick Cheney – through interviews with the former US Vice President, this one sets out to ask how Dick Cheney become the single-most-powerful non-presidential figure in American history.
Which Way is the Front Line from Here? The Life and Time of Tim Hetherington – Shortly after the release of his documentary Restrepo, photographer Tim Hetherington was killed in Libya. This is his colleague Sebastian Junger’s testimony to the late photographer’s work.
That’s just some of the 119-odd films screening during the fest. I’ll only have 3 days.
Wish me good coffee and good luck!
[Pics: Sundance Institute]