Sundance 2013: 10 Films to Watch Before The Fest - Best of the Rest

Festivals Editor; Los Angeles, California (@RylandAldrich)
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Sundance 2013: 10 Films to Watch Before The Fest - Best of the Rest

The Sundance Film Festival kicks off one week from today and we've got 10 more movies for you to cram in before heading out to Park City. You may have already caught the first two parts of our series where we shined a light on some of the films from directors with films in this year's US and World Dramatic Competitions and various documentary programs. We'll finish things off with past films by directors with films in this year's Premieres, Midnight, Next, Spotlight, and New Frontiers sections.

As we mentioned previously, we're including links to each of the films CanIStream.It profiles. This seems to be a good way to quickly find out exactly how you can watch a film, but should not be taken as an endorsement for any of these services. Speak up! You guys like this feature or should we let it rest?

Calvin Reeder has directed plenty of shorts and acted in a number of notable indies from the past few years, but his debut feature was this Sundance 2011 midnighter. His follow-up, again in Park City at Midnight, is the feature adaptation of one of those shorts, The Rambler.

One of the most interesting directors to emerge from Sundance in 2011 was Zal Batmanglij who directed this LA-set cult indie (about cults, not like "cult classic"). While this film was mostly overshadowed at the fest by star Brit Marling's other co-written film Another Earth, Batmanglij did eventually ink a deal with Fox Searchlight that led to the company funding his latest film, The East, which is making its premiere back at Sundance this year.

The check-in-every-few-years docu subgenre has found success in Michael Apted's Up Series (now up to 56 Up!). The dramatic version of this idea is Richard Linklater's "Before..." series which will check in with Ethan Hawke's Jesse and Julie Delpy's Celine in Before Midnight as they cross paths again some 18 years after their first meeting. This opening chapter kicked off the Sundance Film Fest way back in 1995 while the middle chapter, Before Sunset, opened at Berlin in 2004. Given his penchant for revisitation, maybe there is some truth to the rumor Matthew McConaughey started that Linklater is eyeing a similar treatment for his beloved Dazed and Confused world.

Not many filmmakers have had as interesting a career as David Gordon Green from uber-indie George Washington to stoner blockbuster Pineapple Express to this year's interesting looking indie comedy(?) Prince Avalanche. DGG made his Sundance debut in 2003 with this Zooey Deschanel/Paul Schneider romance that also featured Danny McBride in his first onscreen role.

Michael Polish may be best known for working with brother Mark on his directorial debut My Own Private Idaho. A few years and a few films later, the duo made this oddly brilliant little film that premiered at Sundance 2003 and was then mostly ignored. It's a weird one, but it's worth a watch for Polish Brothers' DP M. David Mullen's beautiful cinematography, if nothing else. Michael (and DP Mullen) return to Park City this year to premiere Kerouac-daptation Big Sur.

It's reunion time for Michael Winterbottom and funnyman/muse Steve Coogan who return to Sundance with their latest collaboration, The Look of Love. Before The Trip and before Tristram Shandy, this was the fourth-wall-destroying Manchester-music scene farce that started it all.

There has been plenty of buzz over Ben Wheatley's 2011/2012 film Kill List, but if any of you haven't seen this debut feature of his, correct that oversight post haste. His latest, Sightseers, playing in Sundance's Spotlight section, is also not to be missed.

The protagonist is a TIRE!! It's worth a watch just to see how Quentin Dupieux is able to pull this one off. QD brings his latest, a compilation webshort-turned-feature titled Wrong Cops and starring Marilyn Manson to Park City. I guess no one should be surprised it is programmed in the art-centric New Frontiers program (which, don't forget, brought us Rodney Ascher's Room 237 last year).

Jim Mickle has turned his attention from the Vampires in this 2011 TIFF midnighter to cannibals with his latest, We Are What We Are.

Andrew Bujalski has directed four features and has been called the "Godfather of Mumblecore," (yet somehow his latest, Computer Chess, finds itself in Sundance's Next section). This second feature about a musician and his troubles with love is a pretty good representation of the filmmaker and subgenre.

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