Swiss Army Man

About five minutes into Swiss Army Man, you’re faced with a choice. By this point in the film, you’ll have seen Hank (Paul Dano), a man stranded alone on a desert island, try to hang himself. His suicide attempt is interrupted by the arrival of a corpse (Daniel Radcliffe) that proves to be a prolific farter. Hank opts not to kill himself, and instead rides “Manny” like a flatulence-powered jet ski in the direction of civilization.

The scene is weird, and absurd, and crude, and dark, but kind of beautiful, too, and it’s at this point you have to make a decision: Either you’re willing to go with a movie that delights in all of those unsavory qualities, or you’re not. If you decide you’re not, know that Swiss Army Man will only get stranger and ruder, and you’re probably better off putting it back on the shelf until you’re in the mood for it. If you decide you are, however, you’ll discover a unique, oddly gorgeous adventure anchored by a superb performance from Radcliffe as a dead body (no, really).  Read More »

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Sleight

Sleight is like Doug Liman’s Go crossed with Now You See Me, with a side of Chronicle. Smart, fun, and thrilling, JD Dillard‘s feature film debut will likely be a fast sale at Sundance as it provides some great high concept ideas at a micro budget.

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Other People

On paper, Other People sounds like the most stereotypical of Sundance movies: it’s a semi-autobiographical indie dramedy (check) about a gay New York writer (check, check, check) who returns to his hometown (check) to care for his dying mother (bingo!). But in practice, every element is so well executed that the film itself feels like something special.

Said gay New York writer is David, played by Jesse Plemons in his first feature lead role, and the film makes a strong case for giving him more such parts. His performance isn’t especially showy, but he’s got an unassuming everyman charisma that makes him effortlessly watchable.  Read More »

Imperial Dreams Trailer

It’s been two years since the indie drama Imperial Dreams debuted at the Sundance Film Festival, and that was just before star John Boyega landed what will likely be the biggest role of his career in Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

Sadly, the film, which isn’t about Finn having dreams of joining the Empire, still doesn’t have distribution despite the fact that it’s deserving of an audience. That’s why the Imperial Dreams trailer has made its away online in an effort to get some more buzz and interest on the film again. Check it out below! Read More »

The Best Movies Of Sundance Film Festival History

Yesterday I posted part one of my two-part look at the best movies of Sundance Film Festival history. Today I return with the second installment, which takes a look at the best movies from the last 16 years of the festival as Park City became not only the mecca of American independent film but the launching pad for hundred million dollar award contenders.

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The Best Movies Of Sundance Film Festival History

The Sundance Film Festival isn’t just a film festival, but a look into the future of cinema. As we travel to Park City Utah this year, I thought it would be nice to take a look back at the last 30 years of the festival. Today I begin part one of my two-day, two-part look at the best movies of Sundance Film Festival history. In part one I will focus on the first 15 years of the festival* as the small independent film festival grew into the launching pad for new filmmakers and ground zero for the independent movie boom of the 1990’s.

 

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Director's Cut trailer

With Slamdance and Sundance happening concurrently, Park City is going to be the place to be for fans of indie cinema for the next two weeks. One of the most intriguing titles set to debut at the former is Director’s CutAdam Rifkin‘s very meta horror movie starring Penn Jillette.

A crowdsourced movie about a crowdsourced movie gone awry, Director’s Cut centers on Herbert Blount (Jillette), an unhinged cineaste who decides to take over control of a film project he helped fund. He kidnaps the lead actress (Missi Pyle) and forces her to act out the scenes he’s written, while her co-stars (Harry Hamlin and Hayes MacArthur) wonder about her disappearance. The entire film takes the form of a director’s cut of Blout’s finished masterpiece. Like I said, it’s very meta. Watch the Director’s Cut trailer after the jump.  Read More »

Tumbledown trailer

Jason Sudeikis got his start on Saturday Night Live, and he still does his fair share of goofy comedies — he’ll be voicing one of the angry birds in Angry Birds, for example. But recently, he’s also started to emerge as a viable romcom leading man. He did excellent work opposite Alison Brie in last year’s Sleeping With Other People, and now he’s following it up with the indie dramedy Tumbledown.

His leading lady here is Rebecca Hall, the still-grieving widow of a musician. When Sudeikis’ Andrew, a pop culture scholar, arrives to conduct some research on her late husband, she treats him with hostility at first, but… well, if you’ve ever seen a romcom before, you can probably guess where this is going. Watch the Tumbledown trailer after the jump.  Read More »

Lo and Behold Trailer

We’re just a little over a couple weeks away from attending the 2016 Sundance Film Festival kicking off on January 21st, unveiling a slew of independent films that we’ll hopefully be talking about throughout the entire year. The entire line-up has already been revealed with some of the movies are getting teased before their debut in the mountains of Park City, Utah. And one of them is coming from a master filmmaker.

Werner Herzog will be heading to Sundance with his first non-fiction film in five years, a documentary called Lo and Behold, Reveries of the Connected World. This time Herzog is taking a look at the internet and its effects on culture and how we connect to each other as people. I can’t imagine a more fascinating filmmaking to tackle this subject material than Herzog, and the first Lo and Behold trailer promises something extremely intriguing. Watch it below! Read More »