I was at Sundance in 2004 when Morgan Spurlock took over the festival with his documentary Super Size Me. Four years later, Spurlock returns to Park City with Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden?, a film documenting the director’s search for the most wanted man on the planet. The Weinstein Co quickly snapped up the documentary, after seeing only 15 minutes at the Berlin Film Festival. Distributors who saw the footage were asked to sign draconian nondisclosure agreements.
Many people are speculating that Spurlock may have done what the U.S. government has been unable to do, and actually found Bin Laden. The film’s director of photography, Daniel Marricone added fuel to the fire, telling the press that Spurlock “definitely got the holy grail.” Not much information has leaked about the film, and even the director is keeping quiet. When asked if the rumors, Spurlock would only say “Until there’s something to see, why talk about it?”
“I wanted to make a film about a subject that we all want to know the answer to,” he recently told the LA Times.
The photo above is the first thing to be released from the production. Spurlock shot nearly 800 hours of digital footage while exploring “every nook and cranny of the Middle East” on a quest. I found a video clip on YouTube of Spurlock talking about the film at the 2007 South By Southwest Film Festival. Watch that clip below.
Where In The World Is Osama Bin Laden? is tentatively scheduled for release in theaters in the spring.
Yesterday Sundance announced the competition films for the 2008 Sundance Film Festival. Today the Institute has released the rest of the line-up, which will play out-of-competition sections of Premieres, Spectrum, New Frontier, and Park City at Midnight. Highlights include:
- The previously announced opening night film In Bruges starring Ralph Fiennes and Colin Farrell.
- The Great Buck Howard starring Colin Hanks as a law school dropout who answers an advertisement to be a a washed up illusionist’s (played by John Malkovich) personal assistant. Emily Blunt and Tom Hanks also star.
- Visionary director Michel Gondry’s Be Kind Rewind, about a man (Jack Black) whose body accidentally becomes magnetized unintentionally erases every tape in his friend’s (Mos Def) video store. The pair set out to remake the lost films in a film about the magic of movies and filmmaking.
- Bill Maher’s directorial debut, Sleepwalking, about a young man who is faced with the prospect of losing his abandoned young niece to a foster home. Nick Stahl, AnnaSophia Robb, Charlize Theron, Dennis Hopper, and Woody Harrelson, star.
- Morgan Spurlock’s follow-up to 2004’s Super Size Me, Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? follows Spurlock’s quest to fint the world’s most wanted man.
- Smart People, a romantic dramedy about a a widowed professor who gets an unexpected visit from his adopted brother. Dennis Quaid, Sarah Jessica Parker, Thomas Haden Church, and Ellen Page star.
- American Beauty screenwriter Alan Ball’s directorial debut, an adaptation of Towel Head. The film follows the life of a 13-year-old Arab-American girl who is forced to live with her father. I saw this film at Toronto and it has the same underlying energy of American Beauty. Aaron Eckhart, Maria Bello, Toni Collette, and Summer Bishil star.
- U2 3D: A 3-D presentation of U2’s global “Vertigo” tour.
- Barry Levinson’s adaptation of What Just Happened? stars Robert DeNiro, Bruce Willis, Sean Penn, Catherine Keener, Stanley Tucci, John Turturro, Kristen Stewart, and Robin Wright Penn. The movie follows two weeks in the life of a fading Hollywood producer (De Niro) who’s having a rough time trying to get his new picture made.
- XX/XY director Austin Chick’s new film August, about two brothers fighting to keep their start-up company afloat on Wall Street during August 2001, a month before the 9/11 terrorist attack. Josh Hartnett and Adam Scott star.
- The Duplass Brothers return to Sundance following their acclaimed 2005 low budget indie film The Puffy Chair. Baghead explores “the minutiae of relationship dynamics in this in-depth study of a group of desperate actor friends. And a bag. And a head.”
- Cashback director Sean Ellis’s horror thriller The BrÃ¸ken starring Lena Headey (300) as a woman who sees herself driving by in her own car on a busy London street. Stunned, she trails the mystery woman as events take an eerie turn into a living nightmare.
- Michael Haneke’s American remake of Funny Games starring Naomi Watts, Tim Roth, and Michael Pitt..
- Quentin Tarantino presents Larry Bishop’s Hell Ride, a “bloody, sexy tale of motorcycle revenge” starring Larry Bishop, Dennis Hopper, and Michael Madsen
- Otto; or Up With Dead People, a movie about a lonely gay zombie searches for love and meaning in contemporary Berlin.
- Spainish writer/director Nacho Vigalondo’s Timecrimes follows a man accidentally travels back to the past, only to meet himself there and encounters a series of mysteries that all lead to an unthinkable crime. I’m a sucker for Time Travel.
Check out the full announcement/line-up after the jump.
Read More »