Why We Go To The Sundance Film Festival

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

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 »

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The 2011 Sundance Film Festival is fast approaching and if you can’t make it to Utah yourself, the festival is bringing some of its highest profile films to a city near you.

The largest and most important U.S. film festival will take place from January 20-30 in and around Park City, Utah and the selection of films this year is nothing short of remarkable. In competition there are films like Michael Rapaport’s Tribe Called Quest documentary Beats, Rhymes and Life, and Vera Farmiga’s Higher Ground, out of competition there are films like Kevin Smith’s Red State and Morgan Spurlockā€™s documentary The Greatest Movie Ever Sold and even the short film selections have films with stars like Will Ferrell, Jack Black, Julia Stiles and Isabella Rossellini. And that’s not even beginning to scratch the surface. All in all, over 200 brand new movies will be screening at the festival and, if you are a film fan, you owe it to yourself to get up to Utah at some point for this momentous annual event.

If you can’t, though, there are two options. The first is to keep you browser locked onto /Film because we’ll have extensive coverage. Or, if you live in Ann Arbor, Michigan, Brookline, Massachusetts, Brooklyn, New York, Chicago, Illinois, Los Angeles, California, Madison, Wisconsin, Nashville, Tennessee, San Francisco, California or Seattle, Washington, just head to your local theater. On January 27, those cities are going to host special screenings of high profile films will be premiering at Sundance. It’s the Sundance Film Festival USA program. Get all the specifics after the break. Read More »

2011 Sundance Film Festival Short Films Announced

The 2011 Sundance Film Festival is shaping up quite nicely. The films in competition, and out of competition, have already been announced and each has some incredibly exciting entries. Monday brought the announcement of the 81 short films, chosen out of 6,467 entries, that will play in Park City, Utah this January. And while the majority of them are by currently unknown filmmakers, there are a few that jump out featuring names like Elijah Wood, Danny McBride, Seth Rogen, Will Ferrell, John C. Reilly and Jack Black. Actually, those guys are all in the same short. Other notables include Neil LaBute, Tim & Eric and Isabella Rossellini. After the jump, we’ll highlight those films and show you the full list. Read More »

Time Crimes to be Remade by United Artists

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“…and it’s really that easy.”

Chances are you haven’t yet seen the Spanish science-fiction film, Time Crimes (aka Timecrimes; Los Cronocrimenes), but if you check out the early reviews, prepare to flip on your monitor’s praise-wipers. Tom Cruise’s United Artists just purchased the remake rights, marking the studio’s first deal since cutting a deal with the WGA. Writer-Producer Steve Zallian (American Gangster) will produce the film. Time Crimes is currently at the Sundance Film Festival, where it continues to pick up a far amount of the aforementioned praise stuff.

The film, from writer-director Nacho Vigalondo, centers on a middle-aged man who views a naked lady in the woods one day, decides to investigate and soon finds himself in a time machine. And as you probably know from personal experience, this leads to a string of crimes.

If you are wondering about the fate of more adult, brainier sci-fi these days in lieu of action-filled PG-13 popcorn stuffers like Next and Jumper, the genre seems to be festering nicely on the indie circuit. Low budget flicks like Time Crimes, Primer, A Scanner Darkly and the granddaddy, Pi, continue to grow in frequency and popularity, replacing loud spectacle with thrilling internal dissonance, paranoia and eternal questions. Are there any other movies that fit into this promising niche that you’ve enjoyed or loathed?

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