Like I did last year, I had a great time at the Sundance Film Festival. It’s tough to complain about weather conditions or getting around when you have the privilege to watch and discover new movies all day. Even better, plenty of Sundance 2012 films turned out to be pretty damn good. For me, there weren’t any quite as excellent as Martha Marcy May Marlene or Project Nim from last year, but those movies set an incredibly high bar. Many of my peers felt they saw something truly special with Beasts of the Southern Wild and I can understand the love even if it didn’t hit me with as much emotional impact. Most of my peers also loved Liberal Arts and Sleepwalk With Me, and I’m sorry I missed those. But all in all, the festival ran as smoothly as last year, the volunteers (especially those in the press tent) were awesome, and it’s always a joy to hang out with people from other movie websites.
Hit the jump for my festival scorecard where you can see an organized list of my ratings for the movies I saw (although I highly encourage you to read the full review rather than just glance at a letter). While this is my wrap-up, Steve will be posting his Sundance interviews throughout the week so keep an eye out for those.
The philosopher Jean-Jacques Rousseau said that a child should not be taught about religion until he or she asks about it independently. Sadly, Rousseau’s wisdom has rarely been taken to heart and parents ship their bored children to go through the motions of religious rights of passages via part-time schooling. With a little effort, one could craft a captivating tale involving a bored priest and an ineffective teacher failing to instill faith in a young girl who wants religion in her life, or at least wants to understand it. Corpo Celeste takes a passing glance at that tale and then meanders about in an inept, self-important manner where simple points are turned into filler, characters fail to develop, and every “big” moment is ruined by clumsy, heavy-handed direction. Instead of thinking about faith, our minds can only ponder “Why was the premise for a short film turned into a bloated, dull-witted feature?”
Yesterday, Sundance announced the line-ups for the in-competition categories. Today, we’re moving into the out-of-competition films and just because they’re not competing for an award, doesn’t mean they won’t be great. Sundance has announced their line-ups for the Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, Next <=>, and New Frontier categories. There are a lot of exciting films in these categories, but I’m over the moon that Sundance will be getting The Raid. The movie got massive love coming out of TIFF this year, Sony Pictures Classics picked up the distribution rights, and I’m going to make sure there’s a spot for it in my Sundance schedule. Other noteworthy movies include Monsieur Lazhar, Wuthering Heights, and Black Rock (a horror film from The Freebie director Katie Aselton and her husband/Cyrus co-writer-director Mark Duplass).
Hit the jump for the line-ups. The 2012 Sundance Film Festival runs from January 19 – 29th.
This year’s festival season continues to take shape as the full line-up for the 2011 New York Film Festival has been revealed. Roman Polanski’s Carnage will open the festival, Simon Curtis’ My Week with Marilyn will be the “Centerpiece Gala Section”, there will be special gala presentations of David Croneneberg’s A Dangerous Method and Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In, and Alexander Payne’s The Descendants will close out the festival. Other noteworthy films playing are the Cannes’ sensations The Artist and Melancholia, the hit Sundance films Marcy Martha May Marlene, Martin Scorsese’s documentary George Harrison: Living in the Material World, Abel Ferrara’s 4:44: Last Day on Earth, and Wim Wenders’ 3D film Pina.
Hit the jump for the full line up. The New York Film Festival runs from September 30 – October 16th.