To quote Broken Lizard’s 2001 stoner comedy Super Troopers, “desperation is a stinky cologne,” – and Kurt Kunkle (Joe Keery) is absolutely drenched in it. After runing the gamut on Stranger Things from a despicable jock to an affable cool kid, Keery takes a hard left turn in a new techno-horror thriller called Spree as Kurt, aka KurtsWorld96, a pathetic loser who’s thirsty for social media attention. Kurt is a socially awkward outcast with no friends who spends his days trying to build awareness for his brand, Kurt’s World. But his videos barely crack double digits, and even though he’s studied the steps to build a following and follows that the playbook step by step, it’s not clicking. That’s when he comes up with #TheLesson, a live-streamed event from his rideshare vehicle in which he cruises through Los Angeles and kills all of his passengers. Read More »
It’s easy to look at a Sundance lineup with rose-colored glasses and think that there’s going to be some major breakout hits. We do it every year because, after all, hope springs eternal! 2020’s edition looks like the rare slate to premiere in Park City that will truly earn all of the pre-festival drooling.
A glance at the directors unveiling their new films at the first Sundance of the new decade looks like a veritable “who’s who” of filmmakers who were just on the cusp of breakthrough in the 2010s: Eliza Hittman, Josephine Decker, Janicza Bravo, and countless others. It’s also a welcome return for many directors who have been dormant for far too long: Miranda July, Julie Taymor, Benh Zeitlin. Many other names that, unfortunately, barely register upon scanning the lineup may leave Utah with a million-dollar distribution deal for their film and a star on the rise.
But none of them came from nowhere. Even if their feature directing debut nabbed a spot in the Sundance lineup, they all have some prior work that portends – or at least contextualizes – their ascendancy. If you’re not attending the festival, here’s how you can get in on the ground floor of some of these directors on the rise without even leaving the comfort of your home cinema.
Read More »