Sundance 2014: ScreenAnarchy Wraps It Up With Our Reviews and Top Picks

Festivals Editor; Los Angeles, California (@RylandAldrich)
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Perhaps one of the less headline-grabbing festivals of recent years, this year's Sundance Film Fest certainly had some stand out premieres from The Raid 2 to Boyhood. This year's festival will likely be remembered as the year of first and second time filmmakers breaking out. We've got it all broken down for you in our festival wrap up below with links to our previews, reviews, and interviews and some of our thoughts on the festival's offerings from all of those who attended.

Previews
Sundance 2014 Preview: US Dramatic, World Dramatic, & NEXT Competitions
Sundance 2014 Preview - Documentary Sections
Sundance 2014 Preview - Midnight, Premieres, & Spotlight by
Sundance 2014: ScreenAnarchy Raises The Curtain With 13 Must-Sees

Reviews
THE BABADOOK Is A Promising Debut From An Obvious New Talent by Todd Brown
BOYHOOD Is An Extraordinary Chronicle Of Growing Up In America by Ben Umstead
CALVARY Is A Tragic, Devastating Masterpiece by Todd Brown
CAMP X-RAY, A Work Of Moral Ambivalence by Jason Gorber
COLD IN JULY Is Dank And Sweaty And Fabulous by Todd Brown
COOTIES Delivers Bloody Laughs by Todd Brown
THE DISOBEDIENT Is A Marvelously Absurdest Abstraction Of Young Adulthood by Ben Umstead
DRUNKTOWN'S FINEST, A Compelling Snapshot Of Contemporary Navajo Life by Jaime Grijalba Gomez
FISHING WITHOUT NETS Expertly Expands the Somali Pirate Story by Ryland Aldrich
FRANK, A Fun Musical Mashup That Doesn't Quite Mesh by Jason Gorber
Farsi Vampire Western A GIRL WALKS HOME ALONE AT NIGHT Barely Gets By On Novelty by Ben Umstead
Wingard's THE GUEST is More Magnificent Midnight Madness by Ryland Aldrich
KILLERS Is A Brilliant Rumination On Our Violent Ways by Jason Gorber
LIAR'S DICE Gives A Rising Star Another Chance To Shine by J Hurtado
Thumbs Up For Roger Ebert Doc LIFE ITSELF by Jason Gorber
LILTING Gets Lost In Translation by Ben Umstead
LISTEN UP PHILIP Asks For Sympathy For The Asshole by Ben Umstead
MEMPHIS Is A Truly Mesmerizing Meditation On The American South by Ben Umstead
NO NO: A DOCKUMENTARY With Soul Power by Eric Ortiz Garcia
The U.S. vs THE NOTORIOUS MR. BOUT Examines A "Merchant Of Death" by Eric Ortiz Garcia
THE OVERNIGHTERS Packs A Powerful Punch by Jason Gorber
THE RAID 2 Sets a New High Point for Violent Action Cinema by Ryland Aldrich
First Impression: THE RAID 2 Is More Epic Than We Ever Imagined by Ryland Aldrich
RICH HILL Is A Striking Look At Poverty In America by Sean Smithson
In THE SKELETON TWINS Bill Hader Elevates An Otherwise Pedestrian American Dramedy by Ben Umstead
Though Still Very Funny, THE TRIP TO ITALY Is A Pale Imitation Of The First by Todd Brown
WAR STORY, A Devastating Study Of Conflict, From Within by Ben Umstead
WEB JUNKIE Presents A Balanced Case by Jaime Grijalba Gomez
WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS Will Make You Laugh 'Til You Bleed by Ryland Aldrich
WHIPLASH Confidently Marches To A Different Beat by Ryland Aldrich
WHITEY Presents Criminal Ethics As A Spectrum Of Grey by Jason Gorber

Interviews and Features
Sundance Speed Dating with... COLD IN JULY Director Jim Mickle by Valentina I. Valentini
Sundance Speed Dating with... FISHING WITHOUT NETS Director Cutter Hodierne and Lead Abdikani Muktar by Valentina I. Valentini
Sundance Speed Dating with... HELLION Writer/Director Kat Candler by Valentina I. Valentini
IMPERIAL DREAMS Is A Taut, Effective Social Drama by Jason Gorber
Sundance Speed Dating with... LAGGIES Writer/Director Lynn Shelton and Cinematographer Ben Kasulke by Valentina I. Valentini
Sundance Speed Dating with... LAND HO! Cast and Crew by Valentina I. Valentini
Sundance Speed Dating with... LOVE IS STRANGE Writer/Director Ira Sachs by Valentina I. Valentini
Sundance Speed Dating With... WHAT WE DO IN THE SHADOWS Filmmakers Taika Waititi And Jemaine Clement by Valentina I. Valentini
Sundance 2014 Award Winners by Ben Umstead
Twitchvision: Jason Gorber Talks Sundance 2014
Jason Gorber's Cineplex Diaries
Sundance 2014 Dispatch: GREEN PRINCE and A MOST WANTED MAN by Jason Gorber


Todd Brown, Ben Umstead, Jason Gorber and Valentina I. Valentini contributed to this story.

What was your overall favorite film?

Todd Brown - Calvary. I went in with very high expectations and it exceeded every one of them.

Valentina I. Valentini - Land Ho! - and not because of the brilliant and improvised one-liners from first-time actor Earl Lynn Nelson, but because there's this moment in the third act that brought me to tears after all the laughing. It'll spoil it if I tell you anymore...

Ben Umstead - I could say Boyhood. So I guess I will say Boyhood, but honestly I gotta show some love to a few titles that didn't get the same sized spotlight that Richard Linklater's latest marvel did. That'd be Tim Sutton's Memphis, a curious little experiment of a film that skews a near invisible line between doc and fiction. Musician Willis Earl Beal plays a version of himself, wandering the worn down streets of that titular southern city, like a prophet, a ghost, a wizard. It's observational, meditative, quirky, beautiful, and has some wildly good tunes from Beal himself. I Also must mention Serbian director Mina Djukic's The Disobedient. The description in the program made it sound like your basic euro drama-romance between two pretty people, but Djukic's film is as far as you can get from that. It is silly and weird and reminds me more than a little of early Milos Foreman.

Jason Gorber - The Raid 2, The Guest, Whiplash... all extraordinary experiences and films, but my top pick is likely The Overnighters. It's one of those festival delights, a film you have no (or low) expectations, only to be bowled away. But since we're talking feature films, I'll say The Raid 2, because, well, what the hell...

Ryland Aldrich - The most remarkable film I saw was Richard Linklater's Boyhood. This was a truly special film with incredible editing that took the incredibly audacious feat of filming over 12 years and made it feel like a traditionally scripted film. It's a brilliant exploration of life and a film-going experience I'll remember for a long time. Very honorable mentions go to The Raid 2 and Whiplash.

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