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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quentin tarantino movies ranked

I’ve spent the past few weeks immersing myself in the world of Quentin Tarantino. To prepare for the release of his latest film, The Hateful Eight, I ranked each and every one of his characters. Then I wrote about The Hateful Eight itself, which I saw in its glorious “roadshow” version. Now, it’s time to close the book on this subject for a little while… or until Mr. Tarantino decides to get around to making another movie. It’s time to rank all of his movies. Because this is the internet and ranking things is what we do.

So how do you rank the work of a filmmaker whose worst movie is still an exceptional piece of cinema? With great difficulty. This kind of thing isn’t science. This isn’t definitive by any means. Consider this an opportunity to talk about Tarantino’s work, to debate and discuss his movies. You will most certainly disagree with this ranking and that’s kind of the point.

Now, let’s dive in.

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Here we are: the grand finale of the ridiculous endeavor to rank all 122 significant characters in Quentin Tarantino‘s filmography. In case you missed them, you can find Part One and Part Two of every Quentin Tarantino character rankedby clicking on those links. And now it’s time to end this.

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every quentin tarantino character ranked

Welcome back. In part one of this series, we began counting down each and every single one of director Quentin Tarantino‘s 122 significant characters to celebrate the impending release of the The Hateful Eight. In today’s edition, the next batch of scoundrels and soldiers and thieves and the occasional innocent-caught-in-the-crossfire. Follow me after the jump…

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every quentin tarantino character ranked

Every single Quentin Tarantino character is full of life. Look to the fringes of his films and you’ll find supporting characters with more personality and spark than leading characters in other movies. Minor characters, who appear for a single scene and vanish forever, are given lines of dialogue that would be the highlight of other films. Few living filmmakers stack their films with so many memorable names and faces.

And with his new movie, The Hateful Eight, about to hit theaters, it’s time to something really, really dumb: rank every single Quentin Tarantino character of any significance from worst to best. Bear with me. This is going to take awhile.

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board games for movie fans

Welcome to Cardboard Cinema, the monthly column where we pair great tabletop games with great movies. In today’s edition: games that capture the spirit of films from Quentin Tarantino, Rob Reiner, Duncan Jones, John Carpenter, George Miller, and the Marx brothers. From light party games that will loosen you up and get you laughing to complex adventures that demand some serious commitment, we’re offering “game and a movie” double features for all tastes.

Foam pistols, ludicrous fantasy adventures, and great heaping barrels of paranoia and distrust, right after the jump.

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Quentin Tarantio cinematography

If you’re an observant love of cinema, aside from likely knowing each and every film directed by Quentin Tarantino, you know that it’s fairly easily to recognize his work. This isn’t just because of the extensive dialogue and endless homages to classic, obscure films, but simply by the way he shoots his movies. From dancing scenes to trunk shots to sprawling overhead God’s eye sequences, Tarantino has a very distinct style.

Now a new supercut takes a tributary look at the cinemtography of all of Tarantino’s films, from Reservoir Dogs to his most recent Django Unchained. This slick video highlighting some of the best Quentin Tarantino cinematography will make you want to have a Tarantino marathon very soon. Read More »

Quentin Tarantino Steals

It’s no secret that Quentin Tarantino steals from other movies in order to make the films that everyone loves to see him make. This isn’t really an insult to Tarantino as the filmmaker has said previously, “I steal from every single movie ever made. If my work has anything, it’s that I’m taking this from this and that from that and mixing them together.”

And if you’ve ever wondered what movies Tarantino is stealing from, a great visual guide has surfaced online to show you. See what movies Quentin Tarantino steals from after the jump! Read More »

Eli Roth Restaurant Dogs Short Film

I first discovered filmmaker Eli Roth at the Boston Film Festival in 2003. Its not that his debut Cabin Fever was incredible, but it demonstrated a new and interesting voice. And for whatever the film lacked, Roth made up with his hour-long question and answer session that followed the screening. Roth, like Kevin Smith and Robert Rodriguez, is full of interesting and funny stories about the making of his films and his discovery of movies.

One of the stories Roth told that night involved his college thesis short film, a Reservoir Dogs homage/parody titled Restaurant Dogs starring a cast of fast food characters doing things so wrong that would never be seen again. Or so I thought. The film was nominated for a Student Academy Award in 1995, and won its division, but has remained one of those talked-about shorts that has never showed up online. Until now. Watch the Eli Roth Restaurant Dogs short film after the jump now.
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Why We Go To The Sundance Film Festival

Sundance Marquee

NOTE: We ran this article in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and have updated it for 2015.

The Sundance Film Festival is the best known film festival in the United States. Say the word “Sundance” to anyone, film lover or not, and chances are they’ve heard of the festival. As a movie blog though, the problem with covering Sundance is that virtually all of the movies are brand new. We haven’t heard of them, you haven’t heard of them, so why would you even care about them?

More than any of the casting news, trailers or film stills that we post on a daily basis, what happens in that small corner of Utah for a little over a week in January is probably the most important movie event of the year. Even so, talk to the most seasoned movie fan and they don’t spend half as much time focusing on what’s going on at Sundance as they do bitching about movies that came out three years ago. Plain and simple, the best films that you will see in theaters for the next 12 months are being shown at Sundance over the next week and a half. And while you probably haven’t heard of them in January, you’ll definitely have heard of them by December. Don’t you want in on the ground floor?

For the next 7 days myself, Russ Fischer and Peter Sciretta will be in Park City, Utah at the Sundance Film Festival. And while you might not be eager to click and read about a movie you haven’t heard of yet, we urge you to do so. Some of the films that people hadn’t heard of when they played Sundance in the past are films like Saw, The Blair Witch Project, Donnie Darko, 28 Days Later, Napoleon Dynamite, Memento, Bottle Rocket, Clerks, Reservoir Dogs and The Usual Suspects. Think of all the movies that have been made since because filmmakers like Christopher Nolan, Wes Anderson, Kevin Smith, Quentin Tarantino and Bryan Singer broke out at the Sundance Film Festival. Who is the breakout star this year? You’ll have to follow our coverage to find out.

Still not convinced? We’ve compiled even more films that you know and love that got their start at Sundance after the jump. Read More »