Festivals: Sundance Reviews

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Sundance 2016: The Best Of The Shorts Programs

Jeremy and I didn't get to see as many short films as we would have liked to, but of the short programs we were fortunate to catch, the following films resonated as our favorites....

Sundance 2016 Review: WE ARE X, The Not-Rock Doc

From director Stephen Kijak, best known for his documentary about the Rolling Stones, Stones in Exile comes We Are X which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year. It is an excellent record of the history of X Japan,...

Sundance 2016 Review: BRAHMAN NAMAN Is A Fantastic Farce

One does not typically see raunchy, teen sex comedies coming out of India, which is precisely why acclaimed director Qaushiq Mukherjee, known simply as "Q" set out to make such a movie. After his acclaimed film Gandu became controversial in...

Sundance 2016: New Frontier VR Round-Up

There is no doubt that we are right on the doorstep of the era of Virtual Reality. But VR has been a mainstay of the Sundance Film Festival for a number of years now. In particular, the New Frontier section...

Sundance 2016 Review: SPA NIGHT, A Quietly Striking And Mature Debut

Much like its lead, articulation has failed me in the days since watching and processing Andrew Ahn's glorious Spa Night. The film presents itself with such ease and confidence that its easy to miss its complexities at first glance. A...

Sundance 2016 Review: THE FITS, Or Maybe All Girls Are Magic

What makes a black girl fly? Is it her magic-- the frightful inheritance of her sex? Or is it illusory? (the shape of their hips in blue and gold sequins...) What makes a black girl fly? Is it her fear...

Sundance 2016 Review: GLEASON Is An Emotional Triumph

Clay Tweel has been involved in some of the most entertaining documentaries in recent years including his producing role in The King of Kong, right up through his directing turn on both Print the Legend and last year's brilliantly witty...

Sundance 2016 Review: DARK NIGHT, Scenes From The New American Apocalypse

Close your eyes. Picture the scenes:

 You gotta keep your head down. She runs her hands through your hair; it's so short it must feel like walking barefoot on freshly cut grass. The burnt orange dye bleeds into your scalp....

Sundance 2016 Review: HUNT FOR THE WILDERPEOPLE, An Adventure Worth Taking

Taika Waititi can do no wrong. From his wonderful short films to his features, and through his work on the hilarious TV show Flight of the Conchords, all of his efforts have been pitch perfect. Yet because of his last...

Sundance 2016 Review: NEWTOWN, A Simple Tale Of Universal Grief

The horror of what took place on December 14, 2012 at Sandy Hook elementary school captured the world's attention. A young man, armed with an assault rifle, handgun and plenty of ammunition, walked through his old school and butchered...

Sundance 2016 Review: CHRISTINE, A Report On The Art Of Self-Destruction

Performance>Perfection>Breakdown.

No. That's not right. Run the film again. What do we see: A woman in her late twenties, dark hair, big eyes, tall; walking down the halls of a TV station. Take the splicer to the footage. Chop it in...

Sundance 2016 Review: EAT THAT QUESTION: FRANK ZAPPA IN HIS OWN WORDS, A Highly Entertaining Look

It was somewhat startling to me when I lived in Europe several decades ago that the catchy, upbeat tune "Bobby Brown" would be played regularly on radio. Sure, it's got a good beat and you can dance to it,...

Sundance 2016 Review: THE GREASY STRANGLER, Absolutely Disgusting, Yet Strangely Funny

The weird and disgusting genre has always had a home in the midnight film lineup. Enter Jim Hosking and his go at taking over the throne as weirdest and most disgusting midnighter with The Greasy Strangler. Well, good work, Mr....

Sundance 2016 Review: SWISS ARMY MAN Is Surprisingly Glorious

What do you want from the world of independent cinema? Well, ideally you'd like a story told without the overt constraints of market, where filmmakers can tell a tale to a wide enough audience that appreciates without sacrificing to...

Sundance 2016 Review: OPERATION AVALANCHE, For The Love Of Cinema

There is a lure to the film camera that is almost primal. It draws you in, ever closer, a potent combo of machine and magic. Pressed against your ear, your cheek, the click-whir miracle of celluloid is god calling you...

Sundance 2016 Review: NORMAN LEAR: JUST ANOTHER VERSION OF YOU, No Better Tribute

Few people have changed popular culture more than Norman Lear. When Television was at its height he provided a much needed jolt, giving audiences not what they asked for but what they required. His comedies were dramatic, crafting more...

Sundance 2016 Review: SKY LADDER: THE ART OF CAI GUO-QIANG Enthralls

Ever since I was a kid I was enthralled with fireworks. There's something completely primal about seeing fire at the best of times, but the kinetic, colourful explosions of a firework show tickles me on a deep and fundamental...

Sundance Hong Kong 2015 Review: Only A Mother Could Love JAMES WHITE

The debut feature from Josh Mond, producer of Simon Killer and Martha Marcy May Marlene, is a tough coming-of-age tale featuring a couple of top-notch showboating performances. However, the desperate circumstances alone do not make for an engaging drama, and...

Sundance Hong Kong 2015 Review: SONGS MY BROTHERS TAUGHT ME, Good With Reservations

The debut feature from Beijing-born Chloe Zhao focuses on the unlikely subject matter of adolescent Lakota indians in South Dakota. Beautifully photographed and confidently directed, Songs My Brothers Taught Me is a notable first film, marred only by a rather...

Sundance Hong Kong 2015 Review: THE STANFORD PRISON EXPERIMENT Wields Significant Power

The events that went down at Jordan Hall in August 1971 have been recounted numerous times and inspired at least two films already - Oliver Hirschbiegel's excellent Das Experiment (2001) starring Moritz Bleibtreu and Paul Scheuring's American remake from 2010, starring...