The cinematic door gets kicked in this week as Slamdance, Sundance’s loud and rowdy sibling starts. If you want to really have your mind blown cinematically you need to abandon Sundance and head over to Slamdance because the more interesting films are going to be at the Slam.
Clearly I’m not going to get invited back to Sundance any time, but to be honest I don’t really care because Slamdance is going to be showing me – and you—the films that you will be talking about at years end. I’m serious, I’ve already seen a good number of the titles and I’ve already seen the first truly great film of the year, DOWNWIND, and I’m still pondering a few others like CASH COW.
Slamdance is a rough around the edges festival where everyone from film makers to programmers fully engage with you. This is the kind of festival that I love, the one where you are among friends, hanging out eating popcorn and drinking what ever you’re drinking. This is a festival that I got into because the programmers reached out to me and asked me to come along. This was soon followed by numerous filmmakers emailing me to talk about their films.
Slamdance is the perfect example of why I love the movies- it maybe two hours of sitting alone in the dark but it’s followed by hours of discussion with good friends.
Best of all the films they show kick ass. These are not always the Oscar bait we see at other festival, but instead they are a steady stream of really interesting films with unique points of view and something to say. The films frequently don’t fit into any typical box except the big one that has “That was awesome share this” written on it. This is the festival that always has the films that get excited for what is going to follow in the rest of the year.
This is one of my absolute favorite film festivals.
As we’ve done the last couple of years I’m going to be sharing coverage of the festival with Liz Whittemore and Reel News Daily. It looks like now we should have most of the festival covered before it’s all over… but you don’t really need us to tell you what’s good since no matter what they program odds are you are going to either like it or be glad you saw it.
Before I go back to the darkness I do want to point you toward a couple of absolute must see films"
DOWNWIND is a look at the effect of fallout to those downwind of the explosions. It will rock your world.
CASH COW is a wonderful film about waiting out the pandemic while being an actor waiting for your commercial to run. This is an absolute one of a kind gem.
OUR MALES AND FEMALES is a crushing short with some of the best performances you'll see this decade.
WAITING FOR THE LIGHT TO CHANGE is a look at the life of five friends which is less a movie and more like hanging out
WITH PETER BRADLEY is a masterful look at an artist and his work.
If you can see ONLOOKERS on a big screen with a great sound system it will be a trip to Laos without leaving the theater
UNDERBUG is a politically tinged horror film whose images will make your skin crawl
WHO'S ANNIE? is a pilot that should go to series if only to let us see more of its main character
MAD CATS is the perfect Slamdance film. A slow burn "horror"comedy about cats looking to get revenge on the people who exploited them. If you click with this it will be on your best of the year list, and if not...not.
While my coverage is restricted by embargoes of the new reviews things will start in the next day or so when I am going to repost reviews of four films I saw previously.
For more information and tickets go here.