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Tag Archives: Sundance

Sundance 2015: Blythe Danner is outstanding in charming ‘I’ll See You in My Dreams’


I’ll See You in My Dreams Written by Marc Basch and Brett Haley Directed by Brett Haley USA, 2015 There’s an intriguing fakeout near the beginning of I’ll See You In My Dreams if you’ve read the plot synopsis of Brett Haley’s film, which reads: “A sudden loss disrupts Carol’s orderly ...

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Sundance 2015: ”71′ is a tense and well constructed thriller


’71 Written by Gregory Burke Directed by Yann Demange United Kingdom, 2014 The time is 1971, and the place is Belfast – both caught up in the fire of The Troubles. Each block in these streets is littered with warfare; cars are on fire and each person carries the weariness ...

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Obsessed with Pop Culture: Best of the Week


Sundance 2015 Our crew is hard at work covering the Sundance Film Festival. Here is the first batch of review with more to come. ‘The D Train’ promises a fun, twisty ride Sundance 2015: ‘A Walk in the Woods’ will have you running for the exits Sundance 2015: ‘Slow West’ ...

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Sundance 2015: ‘Slow West’ is a tense and thoughtful revisionist western


After the film finished, writer and director John Maclean acknowledged how surreal it felt to be premiering a western at Sundance of all places. After all, John Ford filmed many of his classics in the state of Utah, making it a sort of mecca of westerns. This however is very different from the traditional western as it is seen through a foreign lens and with a postmodern knowledge. It calls to mind other revisionist westerns from this century such as The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, The Proposition and Red Hill. The plot takes place in 1870 and follows 16-year-old Jay Cavendish (Kodi Smit-McPhee), who has traveled from Scotland to the American west to find his love, Rose (Caren Pistorius). Accompanying him is a mysterious and formidable drifter, Silas Selleck (Michael Fassbender).

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Sundance 2015: Ben Mendelsohn is the jackpot in otherwise middling ‘Mississippi Grind’


The first shot of the film is a rainbow: The rainbow becomes a sort of plot device for Gerry (Ben Mendelsohn), a down and out gambler who strikes up a friendship with drifter Curtis (Ryan Reynolds) and the two head out on a road trip through the South to win back Gerry’s losses in writers/directors Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck’s character driven road trip. For them the rainbow is a symbol of their friendship, a sign of good luck for bets, and ultimately what both are searching for – the beauty after the rainy storm both of them are experiencing.

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Sundance 2015: ‘Dope’ is actually pretty dope


The first image in the film is a breakdown of the various meanings and uses of the word “dope” – drugs, stupid person, and slang for something being very cool. This is a pre-cursor to the overall theme of the film, that any one label is never representative of just one thing. Each of the central characters are dealing with labels being thrown at them, and through them a running dialogue throughout the film unearths what it means to be true to yourself. Director Rich Famuyiwa’s film follows Malcolm (Shameik Moore), a high school geek in Inglewood, CA, who with his friends Diggy (Kiersey Clemons) and Jib (Tony Revolori) – who are all obsessed with 90s hip hop culture – end up with a bag of dope from a local drug dealer, and must figure out how to unload it all before things go from bad to worse.

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Sundance 2015: ‘Me & Earl & the Dying Girl’ an emotional, honest and hilarious experience


Alfonso Gomez-Rejon’s Me & Earl & the Dying Girl is a film that has perhaps garnered the most hype this year at Sundance, and you should believe every word of it. By the end of the screening, there was hardly a dry eye in the entire theater. Following a teenage outsider, Greg (Thomas Mann), who makes cheap and funny remakes of classic films with his friend Earl (RJ Cyler), as he befriends a classmate, Rachel (Olivia Cooke), who has just developed leukemia. With a logline like that, it’s hard to not understand where all the tears are coming from. It sometimes feels cheap for filmmakers to use cancer as a way to garner emotion from the audience, but trust that when the tears do come, every single one has been earned.

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Sundance 2015: ‘Cop Car’ is an instant Americana genre film classic


The first impression we get about the film is the landscape – multiple shots cover the empty Midwestern landscape, the environment shaping the lives for our central characters. The next impression we get is one of youth, as a long and impressively non-intrusive tracking shot follows two young boys, practicing their swearing with each other. This is a film that you fall in love with immediately, as it’s hard to not find yourself in these two. The plot of Jon Watts’s stellar film revolves around two ten-year-old boys, Harrison (Hays Wellford) and Travis (James Freedson-Jackson), who steal an abandoned cop car. To explain much further would be to ruin the surprises, wonder and fun that this film has in store.

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Sundance 2015: How the hell did ‘Reversal’ get into Sundance?


Reversal Written by Rock Shaink Jr. Directed by José Manuel Cravioto USA, 2015 It seems that every year there is at least one film that makes you wonder, “what got passed over in favor of this film?” It’s simple logic that not every film at Sundance is going to change ...

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Sundance 2015: ‘Chorus’ is a bold and somber study of grief

Screen shot 2015-01-26 at 1.11.58 AM

It’s clear from the opening shot that director François Delisle is confident in this film. The opening shot doesn’t cut for minutes, the black and white cinematography sets the mood immediately as a pedophile confesses in detail a murder of an 8 year old boy he committed a decade ago. The child’s name is Hugo, and his parents are Irene (Fanny Mallette) and Christophe (Sébastian Ricard). They have been separated for about the as long as their son has been missing, and each has found small but significant respite from their grief in certain activities.

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Sundance 2015: ‘The Bronze’ sticks the landing with some R-rated mettle


The Bronze is a wickedly funny comedy that re-affirms the value of R-rated movies. With a voice like sandpaper across your eardrums, Melissa Rauch delivers an unrelentingly vulgar performance that will have the “adults” rolling their eyes and the “immature” rolling with laughter. You know which camp you occupy, so there’s no excuse for misjudging this modest comedy that aims squarely below the belt and hits its mark with impressive regularity.

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The Place Beyond the Mines: Writer-director Sara Colangelo on ‘Little Accidents’


The feature debut of writer-director Sara Colangelo, Little Accidents is an intense small town drama that premiered to positive notices at the 2014 installment of the Sundance Film Festival, and is now seeing a release one year on. Starring Elizabeth Banks, Boyd Holbrook, Jacob Lofland, Josh Lucas and Chloë Sevigny, it ...

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