Monday, January 25, 2021

Sundance Curtain Raiser

Days away from the start of this year's Sundance and I'm still trying to sort out what form my coverage will take. I've seen a bunch of films, most really good and I'm going to see a bunch more.

This is the first year I am officially credentialed. Its not that didn't want to be previously, but rather until this year you really had to be there. This year its largely a virtual fest so I could stay home and cover it. I was kind of hoping that I could wander in and see it all and then wander out, but the set up is different and I've had to put extra thought and consideration into what I'm doing because I can't see it all - though I'm still trying to make a stab at it.

So far I seem to be making good headway. At the same time so many films are still being worked on that they haven't been ready for anyone outside of the festival committee to see them. I'm still waiting for access to most of the films playing the festival.

While Sundance tends to be the first festival most films play at they do occasionally pick up films from elsewhere. To that end here are the films I have previously covered:

NIGHT OF THE KINGS is one of the best films I saw in 2020
YOU WOULDN'T UNDERSTAND is a loopy scifi short
IN THE AIR TONIGHT is a look at the Phil Collins classic
VIOLATION is a thriller that will curl your toes- just don't read anything about what happens

And what would a curtain raiser be without some must sees - here are the musts from the handful of films I've seen so far:

PLAYING WITH SHARKS-visually over powering film about Valerie Taylor who is singlehandedly responsible for our not seeing sharks as mindless killers. (I should hopefully be running an interview with the director and producer about the film)

SEEDS OF DECEIT  forget the HBO film BABY GOD, this 3 part series about a  fertility doctor who used his own sperm covers similar ground and way more. It will get your mind going and then some.

SOUVENIR SOUVENIR about director Bastien Dubois's effort to find out what happened to his grandfather in the Algerian war kicks up questions about what we know about our families and the secrets we keep.

HUMAN FACTORS is about the course of a marriage centered around a break in at a summer home, but it is much more. I highly recommend you see this film sooner than later because I suspect the talk about it will ruin the chance to see it blind.

ONE FOR THE ROAD- A dying young man asks his friend to return home and help him run some errands making amends. A killer soundtrack heightens one of the most moving films I've seen in years. 

REBEL HEARTS- the story of some nuns in the 1960's who challenged the church and society and did what they felt was right in the name of justice and the advancement of everyone. Look for this to be on the Oscar short list.

And with that I bid you a adieu as I go back to the darkness and try to catch up on all the great films playing at Sundance.

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