First Selection Of Films For Sundance 2013 Unveiled
It's not even December yet but here it is, the first selection of films programmed in nextJanuary's Sundance Film Festival.
Some of these are going to becomebig deals that we hear a lot about; some are going to be really finefilms; some are going to be complete cobblers, I'm sure.
And one of them is Upstream Colour, the second film by Primer's Shane Carruth and that's going to cause a hell of a lot of fuss, good, bad or indifferent.
These 66 films are spread across five banded categories, but evenstill, this isn't the end. There's more to come. I wish I could bethere to see as many as possible but... well, I'm doing this instead.And I love it, so I shouldn't complain.
But still, some of these films do sound very interesting.
US DRAMATIC COMPETITION
Afternoon Delight / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jill Soloway) ?In this sexy, dark comedy, a lost L.A. housewife puts her idyllichipster life in jeopardy when she tries to rescue a stripper by takingher in as a live-in nanny.Cast: Kathryn Hahn, Juno Temple, JoshRadnor, Jane Lynch.
Ain't Them Bodies Saints / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: DavidLowery) ? The tale of an outlaw who escapes from prison and sets outacross the Texas hills to reunite with his wife and the daughter hehas never met. Cast: Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, NateParker, Keith Carradine.
Austenland / U.S.A., United Kingdom (Director: Jerusha Hess,Screenwriters: Jerusha Hess, Shannon Hale) ? Thirtysomething, singleJane is obsessed with Mr. Darcy, as played by Colin Firth in Pride andPrejudice. On a trip to an English resort, her fantasies of meetingthe perfect Regency-era gentleman become more real than she everimagined. Cast: Keri Russell, JJ Feild, Bret McKenzie, JenniferCoolidge, Georgia King, James Callis.
C.O.G. / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Kyle Patrick Alvarez) ? Inthe first ever film adaptation of David Sedaris' work, a cocky youngman travels to Oregon to work on an apple farm. Out of his element, hefinds his lifestyle and notions being picked apart by everyone whocrosses his path. Cast: Jonathan Groff, Denis O'Hare, Corey Stoll,Dean Stockwell, Casey Wilson, Troian Bellisario.
Concussion / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Stacie Passon) ? Aftera blow to the head, Abby decides she can't do it anymore. Her lifejust can't be only about the house, the kids and the wife. She needsmore: she needs to be Eleanor.Cast: Robin Weigert, Maggie Siff,Johnathan Tchaikovsky, Julie Fain Lawrence, Emily Kinney, LailaRobins.
Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes / U.S.A. (Director andscreenwriter: Francesca Gregorini) ? Emanuel, a troubled girl, becomespreoccupied with her mysterious, new neighbor, who bears a strikingresemblance to her dead mother. In offering to babysit her newborn,Emanuel unwittingly enters a fragile, fictional world, of which shebecomes the gatekeeper. Cast: Kaya Scodelario, Jessica Biel, AlfredMolina, Frances O'Connor, Jimmi Simpson, Aneurin Barnard.
Fruitvale / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Ryan Coogler) ? Thetrue story of Oscar, a 22-year-old Bay Area resident who crosses pathswith friends, enemies, family and strangers on the last day of 2008.Cast: Michael B. Jordan, Octavia Spencer, Melonie Diaz, Ahna O'Reilly,Kevin Durand, Chad Michael Murray.
In a World... / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Lake Bell) ? Anunderachieving vocal coach is motivated by her father, the king ofmovie-trailer voice-overs, to pursue her aspirations of becoming avoiceover star. Amidst pride, sexism and family dysfunction, she setsout to change the voice of a generation. Cast: Lake Bell, DemetriMartin, Rob Corddry, Michaela Watkins, Ken Marino, Fred Melamed.
Kill Your Darlings / U.S.A. (Director: John Krokidas, Screenwriters:Austin Bunn, John Krokidas) ? An untold story of murder that broughttogether a young Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs atColumbia University in 1944, providing the spark that led to the birthof an entire generation ? their Beat revolution. Cast: DanielRadcliffe, Dane DeHann, Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston,Elizabeth Olsen.
The Lifeguard / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Liz W. Garcia) ? Aformer valedictorian quits her reporter job in New York and returns tothe place she last felt happy: her childhood home in Connecticut. Shegets work as a lifeguard and starts a dangerous relationship with atroubled teenager. Cast: Kristen Bell, Mamie Gummer, Martin Starr,Alex Shaffer, Amy Madigan, David Lambert.
May in the Summer / U.S.A., Qatar, Jordan (Director and screenwriter:Cherien Dabis) ? A bride-to-be is forced to reevaluate her life whenshe reunites with her family in Jordan and finds herself confrontedwith the aftermath of her parents? divorce. Cast: Cherien Dabis, HiamAbbass, Bill Pullman, Alia Shawkat, Nadine Malouf, AlexanderSiddig.DAY ONE FILM
Mother of George / U.S.A. (Director: Andrew Dosunmu, Screenwriterarci Picoult) ? A story about a woman willing to do anything and riskeverything for her marriage. Cast: Isaach De Bankolé, Danai Gurira,Anthony Okungbowa, Yaya Alafia, Bukky Ajayi.
The Spectacular Now / U.S.A. (Director: James Ponsoldt, Screenwriters: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber) ? Sutter is a high school seniorwho lives for the moment; Aimee is the introvert he attempts to"save." As their relationship deepens, the lines between right andwrong, friendship and love, and "saving" and corrupting becomeinextricably blurred. Cast: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, BrieLarson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kyle Chandler.
Touchy Feely / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Lynn Shelton) ? Amassage therapist is unable to do her job when stricken with amysterious and sudden aversion to bodily contact. Meanwhile, heruptight brother's foundering dental practice receives new life whenclients seek out his ?healing touch.? Cast: Rosemarie DeWitt, AllisonJanney, Ron Livingston, Scoot McNairy, Ellen Page, Josh Pais.
Toy's House / U.S.A. (Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts, Screenwriter:Chris Galletta) ? Three unhappy teenage boys flee to the wildernesswhere they build a makeshift house and live off the land as masters oftheir own destiny. Or at least that?s the plan. Cast: Nick Robinson,Gabriel Basso, Moises Arias, Nick Offerman, Megan Mullally, AlisonBrie.
Upstream Color / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Shane Carruth) ? Aman and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of anageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle toassemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives. Cast: Amy Seimetz,Shane Carruth, Andrew Sensenig, Thiago Martins.
US DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
99% - The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film (Directors: AudreyEwell, Aaron Aites, Lucian Read, Nina Kristic) ? The Occupy movementerupted in September 2011, propelling economic inequality into thespotlight. In an unprecedented collaboration, filmmakers acrossAmerica tell its story, digging into big picture issues as organizers,analysts, participants and critics reveal how it happened and why.
After Tiller (Directors: Martha Shane, Lana Wilson) ? Since theassassination of Dr. George Tiller in 2009, only four doctors in thecountry provide late-term abortions. With unprecedented access, AfterTiller goes inside the lives of these physicians working at the centerof the storm.
American Promise (Directors: Joe Brewster, Michčle Stephenson) ? Thisintimate documentary follows the 12-year journey of twoAfrican-American families pursuing the promise of opportunity throughthe education of their sons.
Blackfish (Director: Gabriela Cowperthwaite) ? Notorious killer whaleTilikum is responsible for the deaths of three individuals, includinga top killer whale trainer. Blackfish shows the sometimes devastatingconsequences of keeping such intelligent and sentient creatures incaptivity.
Blood Brother (Director: Steve Hoover) ? Rocky went to India as adisillusioned tourist. When he met a group of children with HIV, hedecided to stay. He never could have imagined the obstacles he wouldface, or the love he would find.
Citizen Koch (Directors: Carl Deal, Tia Lessin) ? Wisconsin ?birthplace of the Republican Party, government unions, ?cheeseheads?and Paul Ryan ? becomes a test market in the campaign to buyDemocracy, and ground zero in the battle for the future of the GOP.
Cutie and the Boxer (Director: Zachary Heinzerling) ? This candid NewYork love story explores the chaotic 40-year marriage of famed boxingpainter Ushio Shinohara and his wife, Noriko. Anxious to shed her roleas her overbearing husband's assistant, Noriko finds an identity ofher own.
Dirty Wars (Director: Richard Rowley) ? Investigative journalistJeremy Scahill chases down the truth behind America?s covert wars.
Gideon's Army (Director: Dawn Porter) ? Gideon?s Army follows threeyoung, committed Public Defenders who are dedicated to working for thepeople society would rather forget. Long hours, low pay and staggeringcaseloads are so common that even the most committed often give up.
God Loves Uganda (Director: Roger Ross Williams) ? A powerfulexploration of the evangelical campaign to infuse African culture withvalues imported from America?s Christian Right. The film followsAmerican and Ugandan religious leaders fighting ?sexual immorality?and missionaries trying to convince Ugandans to follow biblical law.
The Good Life (Directors: Sean Fine, Andrea Nix Fine) ? Dr. LeslieGordon and Dr. Scott Berns fight to save their only son from Progeria,a rare and fatal disease for which there is no treatment or cure. Inless than a decade, their work has led to significant advances.
Inequality for All (Director: Jacob Kornbluth) ? In this timely andentertaining documentary, noted economic-policy expert Robert Reichdistills the topic of widening income inequality, and addresses thequestion of what effects this increasing gap has on our economy andour democracy.
Manhunt (Director: Greg Barker) ? This espionage tale goes inside theCIA?s long conflict against Al Qaeda, as revealed by the remarkablewomen and men whose secret war against Osama bin Laden started nearlya decade before most of us even knew his name.
Narco Cultura (Director: Shaul Schwarz) ? An examination of Mexicandrug cartels? influence in pop culture on both sides of the border asexperienced by an LA narcocorrido singer dreaming of stardom and aJuarez crime scene investigator on the front line of Mexico?s DrugWar.
Twenty Feet From Stardom (Director: Morgan Neville) ? Backup singerslive in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voicesbring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but we've had noidea who these singers are or what lives they lead ? until now.
Valentine Road (Director: Marta Cunningham) ? In 2008, eighth-graderBrandon McInerney shot classmate Larry King at point blank range.Unraveling this tragedy from point of impact, the film reveals theheartbreaking circumstances that led to the shocking crime as well asits startling aftermath.
WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITIONCircles / Serbia, Germany, France, Croatia, Slovenia (Director: SrdanGolubovic, Screenwriters: Srdjan Koljevic, Melina Pota Koljevic) ?Five people are affected by a tragic heroic act. Twenty years later,all of them will confront the past through their own crises. Will theyovercome guilt, frustration and their urge for revenge? Will they dothe right thing, at all costs? Cast: Aleksandar Bercek, Leon Lucev,Nebojsa Glogovac, Hristina Popovic, Nikola Rakocevic, Vuk Kostic.World Premiere
Crystal Fairy / Chile (Director & Screenwriter: Sebastián Silva) ?Jamie invites a stranger to join a road trip to Chile. The woman?sfree and esoteric nature clashes with Jamie?s acidic, self-absorbedpersonality as they head into the desert for a Mescaline-fueledpsychedelic trip. Cast: Michael Cera, Gabby Hoffmann, Juan AndrésSilva, José Miguel Silva, Agustín Silva. World Premiere.
The Future / Chile, Germany, Italy, Spain (Director & Screenwriter:Alicia Scherson) ? When their parents die, Bianca starts to smoke andTomas is still a virgin. The orphans explore the dangerous streets ofadulthood until Bianca finds Maciste, a retired Mr. Universe, andenters his dark mansion in search of a future. Cast: Manuela Martelli,Rutger Hauer, Luigi Ciardo, Nicolas Vaporidis, Alessandro Giallocosta.World Premiere
Houston / Germany (Director & Screenwriter: Bastian Günther) ? ClemensTrunschka is a corporate headhunter and an alcoholic. Drinkingincreasingly isolates him from his life and leads him away fromreality. While searching for a CEO candidate in Houston, his addictionsubmerges him into his own darkness. Cast: Ulrich Tukur, GarretDillahunt, Wolfram Koch, Jenny Schily, Jason Douglas, Jens Münchow.World Premiere
Jiseul / South Korea (Director & Screenwriter: Muel O) ? In 1948, asthe Korean government ordered the Communists? eviction to Jeju Island,the military invaded a calm and peaceful village. Townsfolk tooksanctuary in a cave and debated moving to a higher mountain. Cast:Min-chul SUNG, Jung-won YANG, Young-soon OH, Soon-dong PARK, Suk-bumMOON, Kyung-sub JANG. International Premiere
Lasting / Poland, Spain (Director & Screenwriter: Jacek Borcuch) ? Anemotional love story about two Polish students who fall in love witheach other while working summer jobs in Spain. An unexpected nightmareinterrupts their carefree time in the heavenly landscape and throwstheir lives into chaos. Cast: Jakub Gierszal, Magdalena Berus, AngelaMolina. World Premiere
Metro Manila / United Kingdom, Philippines (Director: Sean Ellis,Screenwriters: Sean Ellis, Frank E. Flowers) ? Seeking a better life,Oscar and his family move from the poverty-stricken rice fields to thebig city of Manila, where they fall victim to various inhabitantswhose manipulative ways are a daily part of city survival. Cast: JakeMacapagal, John Arcilla, Althea Vega. World Premiere
Shopping / New Zealand (Directors: Mark Albiston, Louis Sutherland,Screenwriters: Louis Sutherland, Mark Albiston) ? New Zealand, 1981:Seduced by a charismatic career criminal, teenager Willie must choosewhere his loyalty lies ? with a family of shoplifters or his ownblood. Cast: Kevin Paulo, Julian Dennison, Jacek Koman, AlistairBrowning. World Premiere
Soldate Jeannette / Austria (Director: Daniel Hoesl) ? Fanni has hadenough of money and leaves to buy a tent. Anna has had enough of pigsand leaves a needle in the hay. Cars crash and money burns to shapetheir mutual journey toward a rising liberty. Cast: JohannaOrsini-Rosenberg, Christina Reichsthaler, Josef Kleindienst, AureliaBurckhardt, Julia Schranz, Ines Rössl. World Premiere
There Will Come a Day / Italy, France (Director: Giorgio Diritti,Screenwriters: Giorgio Diritti, Fredo Valla, Tania Pedroni) ? Painfulissues push Augusta, a young Italian woman, to doubt the certaintieson which she has built her existence. On a small boat in the immensityof the Amazon rain forest, she faces the adventure of searching forherself. Cast: Jasmine Trinca, Anne Alvaro, Pia Engleberth. WorldPremiere
Wajma (An Afghan Love Story) / Afghanistan (Director & Screenwriter:Barmak Akram) ? A young man in Kabul seduces a girl. When she tellshim she?s pregnant, he questions having taken her virginity. Then herfather arrives, and a timeless, archaic violence erupts ? possiblyleading to a crime, and even a sacrifice. Cast: Wajma Bahar, MustafaAbdulsatar, Haji Gul, Breshna Bahar. World Premiere
What They Don't Talk About When They Talk About Love / Indonesia(Director & Screenwriter: Mouly Surya) ? Mouly Surya?s film exploresthe odds of love and deception among the blind, the deaf and theunlucky sighted people at a high school for the visually impaired.Cast: Nicholas Saputra, Ayushita Nugraha, Karina Salim, AnggunPriambodo, Lupita Jennifer. World Premiere
WORLD CINEMA DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION
Fallen City / China (Director: Qi Zhao) ? Fallen City spans four yearsto reveal how three families who survived the 2008 Sichuan earthquaketo embark on a journey searching for hope, purpose, identity, and torebuild their lives in a new China torn between tradition andmodernity. North American Premiere
Fire in the Blood / India (Director: Dylan Mohan Gray) ? In the late1990s and early 2000s, Western governments and pharmaceuticalcompanies blocked low-cost antiretroviral drugs from reachingAIDS-stricken Africa, causing 10 million or more unnecessary deaths.An improbable group of people decided to fight back. North AmericanPremiere
Google and the World Brain / Spain, United Kingdom (Director: BenLewis) ? In the most ambitious project ever conceived on the Internet,Google has been scanning the world's books for 10 years. They said theintention was to build a giant digital library, but that involvedscanning millions of copyrighted works. World Premiere
The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear / Georgia, Germany(Director: Tinatin Gurchiani) ? A film director casting a15-23-year-old protagonist visits villages and cities to meet peoplewho answer her call. She follows those who prove to be interestingenough through various dramatic and funny situations. North AmericanPremiere
The Moo Man / United Kingdom (Directors: Andy Heathcote, HeikeBachelier) ? A year in the life of heroic farmer Steve, scene stealingIda (queen of the herd), and a supporting cast of 55 cows. When Idafalls ill, Steve?s optimism is challenged and their whole way of lifeis at stake. World Premiere
Pussy Riot ? A Punk Prayer / Russian Federation, United Kingdom(Directors: Mike Lerner, Maxim Pozdorovkin) ? Three young women faceseven years in a Russian prison for a satirical performance in aMoscow cathedral. But who is really on trial: the three young artistsor the society they live in? World Premiere
A River Changes Course / Cambodia, U.S.A. (Director: Kalyanee Mam) ?Three young Cambodians struggle to overcome the crushing effects ofdeforestation, overfishing, and overwhelming debt in thisdevastatingly beautiful story of a country reeling from the tragediesof war and rushing to keep pace with a rapidly expanding world. WorldPremiere
Salma / United Kingdom, India (Director: Kim Longinotto) ? When Salma,a young girl in South India, reached puberty, her parents locked heraway. Millions of girls all over the world share the same fate.Twenty-five years later, Salma has fought her way back to the outsideworld. World Premiere
The Square (El Midan) / Egypt, U.S.A. (Director: Jehane Noujaim) ?What does it mean to risk your life for your ideals? How far will fiverevolutionaries go in defending their beliefs in the fight for theirnation? World Premiere
The Stuart Hall Project / United Kingdom (Director: John Akomfrah) ?Antinuclear campaigner, New Left activist and founding father ofCultural Studies, this documentary interweaves 70 years of StuartHall?s film, radio and television appearances, and material from hisprivate archive to document a memorable life and construct a portraitof Britain?s foremost radical intellectual. World Premiere
The Summit / Ireland, United Kingdom (Director: Nick Ryan) ?Twenty-four climbers converged at the last stop before summiting themost dangerous mountain on Earth. Forty-eight hours later, 11 had beenkilled or simply vanished. Had one, Ger McDonnell, stuck to theclimbers' code, he might still be alive. International Premiere
Who is Dayani Cristal? / United Kingdom (Director: Marc Silver) ? Ananonymous body in the Arizona desert sparks the beginning of areal-life human drama. The search for its identity leads us across acontinent to seek out the people left behind and the meaning of amysterious tattoo. World Premiere.
THE "NEXT" SELECTION
These are so-called "bold" works.
Blue Caprice (Director: Alexandre Moors, Screenwriters: R.F.I Porto,Alexandre Moors) ? An abandoned boy is lured to America and drawn intothe shadow of a dangerous father figure in this film inspired by thereal life events that led to the 2002 Beltway sniper attacks. Cast:Isaiah Washington, Tequan Richmond, Joey Lauren Adams, Tim BlakeNelson, Cassandra Freeman, Leo Fitzpatrick.
Computer Chess (Director & Screenwriter: Andrew Bujalski) ? Anexistential comedy about the brilliant men who taught machines to playchess ? back when the machines seemed clumsy and we seemed smart.Cast: Patrick Riester, Myles Paige, James Curry, Robin Schwartz,Gerald Peary, Wiley Wiggins.
Escape from Tomorrow (Director & Screenwriter: Randy Moore) ? Apostmodern, surreal voyage into the bowels of "family" entertainment;an epic battle begins when an unemployed, middle-aged father loses hissanity during a close encounter with two teenage girls on holiday.Cast: Roy Abramsohn, Elena Schuber, Katelynn Rodriguez, AnnetMahendru, Danielle Safady, Alison Lees-Taylor.
I Used to Be Darker (Director: Matthew Porterfield, Screenwriters: AmyBelk, Matthew Porterfield) ? A runaway seeks refuge with her aunt anduncle in Baltimore, only to find their marriage ending and her cousinin crisis. In the days that follow, the family struggles to let gowhile searching for things to sustain them. Cast: Deragh Campbell,Hannah Gross, Kim Taylor, Ned Oldham, Geoff Grace, Nick Petr.
It Felt Like Love (Director & Screenwriter: Eliza Hittman) ? On theoutskirts of Brooklyn, a 14-year-old girl?s sexual quest takes adangerous turn when she pursues an older guy and tests the boundariesbetween obsession and love. Cast: Gina Piersanti, Giovanna Salimeni,Ronen Rubinstein, Jesse Cordasco, Nick Rosen, Case Prime.
Milkshake (Director: David Andalman, Screenwriters: David Andalman,Mariko Munro) ? In mid-1990's America, we follow the tragic sex lifeof Jolie Jolson, a wannabe thug (and great-great-grandson of legendaryvaudevillian Al Jolson) in suburban DC as he strives to becomesomething he can never be ? black. Cast: Tyler Ross, Shareeka Epps,Georgia Ford, Eshan Bay, Leo Fitzpatrick, Danny Burstein.
Newlyweeds (Director & Screenwriter: Shaka King) ? A Brooklyn repo manand his globetrotting girlfriend forge an unlikely romance. But whatshould be a match made in stoner heaven turns into a love trianglegone awry in this dark coming-of-age comedy about dependency. Cast:Amari Cheatom, Trae Harris, Tone Tank, Colman Domingo, Isiah WhitlockJr., Adrian Martinez.
Pit Stop (Director: Yen Tan, Screenwriters: Yen Tan, David Lowery) ?Two working-class gay men in a small Texas town and a love that isn'tquite out of reach. Cast: Bill Heck, Marcus DeAnda, Amy Seimetz, JohnMerriman, Alfredo Maduro, Corby Sullivan.
A Teacher (Director & Screenwriter: Hannah Fidell) ? A popular youngteacher in a wealthy suburban Texas high school has an affair with oneof her students. Her life begins to unravel as the relationship comesto an end. Cast: Lindsay Burdge, Will Brittain, Jennifer Prediger,Jonny Mars, Julie Phillips, Chris Dubeck.
This is Martin Bonner (Director & Screenwriter: Chad Hartigan) ?Martin Bonner has just moved to Reno for a new job in prisonrehabilitation. Starting over at age 58, he struggles to adapt untilan unlikely friendship with an ex-con blossoms, helping him confrontthe problems he left behind. Cast: Paul Eenhoorn, Richmond Arquette,Sam Buchanan, Robert Longstreet, Demetrius Grosse.
Some of those films will be skimmed off and brought over to SundanceLondon in April, most won't. Score one to America.