This morning, we have the first images from the documentaries Bobby Fischer Against the World, Magic Trip, and Rebirth. All three films will be playing at this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Bobby Fischer Against the World chronicles the life of the controversial chess geniuses. Magic Trip was co-directed by Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) and looks at author Ken Kesey and his psychedelic bus trip across America. Finally, Rebirth examines the lives of five people directly affected by the 9/11 attacks.
Hit the jump to check out the images and a synopsis for each film. The 2011 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 20 – 30th.
BOBBY FISCHER AGAINST THE WORLD
Considered by many to be the world’s greatest chess player, Bobby Fischer personified the link between genius and madness. His trajectory propelled him from child prodigy to world chess champion at age 29 and then into a nosedive of delusions and paranoia. Fischer was a recluse for decades before resurfacing for a bizarre final chapter as a fugitive.
As a loner with no familial support, Fischer had to defend his title while representing his country against the mighty Russians during the cold war. The center of media attention, Fischer was never equipped for a life in the spotlight.
From veteran filmmaker Liz Garbus, and the final project of late editor Karen Schmeer, Bobby Fischer Against the World exposes the disturbingly high price Fischer paid to achieve his legendary success and the resulting toll it took on his psyche. Rare archival footage and insightful interviews with those closest to him expand this captivating story of a mastermind’s tumultuous rise—and fall.
Ever wonder what it’s like to drop acid? Look no further. In 1964, Ken Kesey, celebrated author of One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest, took a mythic excursion across America from the West to the East Coast. Fueled by massive doses of LSD, Kesey and his band of Merry Pranksters embarked on the ultimate road trip. Their destination: Tomorrowland at the New York World’s Fair. Steered by Jack Kerouac’s infamous companion, Neal Cassady, Kesey and company rigged their psychedelic bus with cameras and a sound system and set out to chronicle a journey that took them through space, time, and the boundless landscape of the imagination.
Forty-plus years later, Academy Award–winning filmmaker Alex Gibney (Taxi to the Dark Side) and codirector Alison Ellwood unearthed Kesey’s footage, audio recordings, and photographs and created a fully immersive cinematic experience. This Magic Trip is guaranteed to blow your mind.
How does the journey of grieving and recovery unfold for individuals and a nation? Rebirth chronicles the lives of five people profoundly affected by the 9/11 attacks. As a decade passes, we witness the progress of a student whose mother perished, a widow of a first responder, a woman who survived above the impact zone, a man who oversees Ground Zero construction, and a firefighter who lost his closest friends. As they cope with the excruciating and evolving pain of loss, time helps them refashion the scaffolding of their lives.
Meanwhile, amazingly, 14 time-lapse cameras chart the entire multiyear rebuilding of 7 World Trade Center—the first structure to rise to completion after the tragedy. The site’s renewal becomes a stunning metaphor for the cycle of life while the film’s characters reflect the resilience of humanity and the possibility of transformation in the face of anguish. Inspiring a collective catharsis, this exquisitely moving documentary helps us process what is unimaginable.
And here are links to the first images from other films playing at Sundance:
- Another Earth (starring William Mapother, Brit Marling, and Jordan Baker)
- Becoming Chaz (directed by Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato)
- Benavides Born (starring Corina Calderon, Jeremy Ray Valdez, and Joseph Julian Soria)
- The Catechism Cataclysm (starring Steve Little, Robert Longstreet and Walter Dalton)
- Cedar Rapids (starring John C. Reilly, Ed Helms, and Sigourney Weaver)
- Circumstance (starring Nikohl Boosheri, Sarah Kazemy, and Reza Sixo Safai)
- Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same (starring Lisa Haas, Susan Ziegler and Jackie Monahan)
- The Convincer (starring Greg Kinnear, Billy Crudup, and Alan Arkin)
- Corman’s World (directed by Alex Stapleton)
- The Details (starring Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks, and Laura Linney)
- The Devil’s Double (starring Dominic Cooper, Ludivine Sagnier, and Mimoun Oaissa)
- Granito (directed by Pamela Yates)
- The Greatest Movie Ever Sold (directed by Morgan Spurlock)
- HERE (starring Ben Foster, Lubna Azabal and Narek Nersisyan)
- Higher Ground (starring Vera Farmiga, John Hawkes, and Dagmara Dominczyk)
- Hobo with a Shotgun (starring Rutger Hauer, Molly Dunsworth, and Gregory Smith)
- Homework (starring Freddie Highmore, Emma Roberts, and Michael Angarano)
- I Melt With You (starring Rob Lowe, Thomas Jane, and Jeremy Piven)
- The Interrupters (directed by Steve James)
- The Ledge (starring Charlie Hunnam, Liv Tyler, Patrick Wilson, Terrence Howard, Christopher Gorham)
- Life in a Day (directed by Kevin Macdonald, produced by Ridley Scott)
- Like Crazy (starring Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, Jennifer Lawrence, Charlie Bewley, Alex Kingston)
- Little Birds (starring Juno Temple, Kay Panabaker, Leslie Mann, Kate Bosworth, and Kyle Gallner)
- Margin Call (starring Kevin Spacey, Zachary Quinto, and Paul Bettany)
- Martha Marcy May Marlene (starring Elizabeth Olsen, Hugh Dancy, and John Hawkes)
- The Music Never Stopped (starring J.K. Simmons, Julia Ormond, and Cara Seymour)
- My Idiot Brother (starring Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, and Zooey Deschanel)
- On The Ice (starring Josiah Patkotak, Frank Qutuq Irelan, Teddy Kyle Smith, Adamina Kerr, and Sierra Jade Sampson)
- The Oregonian (starring Lindsay Pulsipher, Robert Longstreet, and Matt Olsen)
- Pariah (starring Adepero Oduye, Pernell Walker and Kim Wayans)
- Perfect Sense (starring Ewan McGregor, Eva Green, and Ewen Bremner)
- Reagan (directed by Eugene Jarecki)
- Red State (directed by Kevin Smith; Starring Michael Parks, John Goodman, and Melissa Leo)
- Salvation Boulevard (starring Pierce Brosnan, Jennifer Connelly, and Ed Harris)
- Septien (starring Robert Longstreet, Onur Tukel and Michael Tully)
- Take Shelter (starring Michael Shannon and Jessica Chastain)
- The Son of No One (starring Channing Tatum, Al Pacino, and Juliette Binoche)
- These Amazing Shadows (directed by Paul Mariano and Kurt Norton)
- Terri (starring Jacob Wysocki, John C. Reilly, and Creed Bratton)
- Troll Hunters (starring Otto Jespersen, Glenn Erland Tosterud, and Hans Morten Hansen)
- Win Win (starring Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, and Jeffrey Tambor)
- The Woman (starring Pollyanna McIntosh, Sean Bridgers and Angela Bettis)