Sundance 2016: Wrap It Up

Editor, Festivals; Los Angeles, California (@RylandAldrich)
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Sundance is all wrapped up and we've links to all of our reviews and features below plus some wrap up style questions. Check it out below.

As many of you know, the Sundance 2016 experience will be remembered by the ScreenAnarchy family because of an event that took place after the fest. While driving home, Ben Umstead, Zach Gayne, and Jeremy Harris were in a car accident. All were sent to hospital but all are expected to make a full recovery. ScreenAnarchy founder Todd Brown started a GoFundMe campaign to help with their expenses. Thanks to all who have contributed and sent their well wishes. You are all a part of our ScreenAnarchy family.

Previews
Preview 1: The Narrative Competitions by Ryland Aldrich
Preview 2: The Documentaries by Ryland Aldrich
Preview 3: Every Movie at Midnight by Ryland Aldrich
Preview 4: Premieres, Spotlight & More by Ryland Aldrich

Reviews
Brahman Naman Review by Alex Koehne
Christine Review by Ben Umstead
Dark Night Review by Ben Umstead
Eat that Question: Frank Zappa In His Own Words Review by Jason Gorber
The Fits Review by Jeremy O. Harris
Gleason Review by Ryland Aldrich
The Greasy Strangler Review by Ryland Aldrich
Hunt for the Wilderpeople Review by Ryland Aldrich
Newtown Review by Jason Gorber
Norman Lear: Just Another Version of You Review by Jason Gorber
Operation Avalanche Review by Ben Umstead
Sky Ladder: The Art of Cai Guo-Qiang Review by Jason Gorber
Spa Night Review by Jeremy O. Harris
Swiss Army Man Review by Jason Gorber
We Are X Review by Alex Koehne

Features & Interviews
New Frontier VR Round-Up by Ryland Aldrich
Morris From America Essay by Jeremy O. Harris
Brahman Naman's Q & Team Interview by Alex Koehne
31's Rob & Sheri Moon Zombie Interview by Zach Gayne
Dark Night's Tim Sutton Interview by Zach Gayne
Dream Is Destiny's Lewis Black, Karen Bernstein & Richard Linklater Interview by Zach Gayne
Other People's Adam Scott Interview by Zach Gayne
We Are X's Stephen Kijak Interview by Alex Koehne


Zach Gayne, , Jeremy O. Harris, Benjamin Umstead and Shelagh Rowan-Legg contributed to this story.

What was your favorite film of the festival?

Ryland Aldrich: Plenty of great films on display at Sundance 2016 but the movie I'm going home raving the most about is Operation Avalanche. With just an incredible execution of vision, Matt Johnson has really knocked me out.

Zach Gayne:As tempting as it is to give this honor to Swiss Army Man, a film that taught me the perils of repressing my feelings and flatulence (much to the disgust of my fellow Sundancers), I am still blown away by Matt Johnson’s NASA-abusing mockumentary, Operation Avalanche. I know I’m not the only filmgoer growing increasingly sick of the found footage genre, but nobody is using the platform with as much originality and meta-intelligent justification as Johnson. He has managed to find a golden line between uproarious lampooning and rich substance resulting in a piece of historical fiction that evokes the era’s best aspects of cinematic satire and paranoia.

Jason Gorber: I spent almost two weeks evangelizing about the dead-body-that-farts movie. I turned dozens of people around to see Swiss Army Man after its debut, making it a kind of mission to rescue the work from the doldrums of doubt. I claim a small, humble victory in reading the reviews of some I practically begged to give the work a fair shot.

Ben Umstead: Without a doubt, the best film of the festival and the first great film of 2016 was Tim Sutton's third feature Dark Night. It is a beautiful and somber look at the way we live now in America, how we cope with the shadow of gun violence in this country, how youth grow up in an excessive culture of dissonance and isolation. I’ll also mention the beguiling Christine, from Antonio Campos, and a shout out to Matt Johnson and his Toronto crew for returning to Park City with the supreme love letter to cinema that is Operation Avalanche. And one cannot leave Sundance without showing some love for Swiss Army Man. It is an astoundingly absurd and wholly heartfelt look self-worth and self-love.

Jeremy O. Harris: For me it’s a tie between Manchester by the Sea and Southside With You. Both films are deeply honest with some of the most impressive acting and writing of the festival. Tika Sumpter and Parker Sawyers are astounding as Barack and Michelle Obama, while Casey Affleck proves his star quality and Michelle Williams hits it out of the park with a small but visceral performance as his ex-wife.

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