Festivals: Sundance

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CENSOR: Magnolia Picks up North American Rights For Buzz Title From Sundance's Midnighter Section

Magnolia Pictures acquired the North American rights for Prano Bailey-Bond's video nasty horror flick Censor yesterday. Baily-Bond's debut film had its world premiere in the Midnight Section of the Sundance Film Festival and generated immediate buzz afterwards.    When film...

VIOLATION: Canadian Trailer For Drama/Horror, in Digital Cinemas This March

Last week we announced the digital-cinema dates for Madeleine Sims-Fewer and Dusty Mancinelli's drama/horror Violation here at home through TIFF and VIFF's online platforms. The rollout begins on March 19th through TIFF then the week following on the 26th through...

Sundance 2021 Review: THE WORLD TO COME, Understated, Literary Period Romance

Along with the recently released Ammonite and 2019's Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Mona Fastvold’s (The Sleepwalker) enthralling, mesmerizing second, feature-length film, The World to Come, falls broadly into the burgeoning lesbian period romance sub-genre. As an addition to...

Sundance 2021 Review: MASS, An Unflinching, Uncompromising Examination of Loss and Mourning

It might be one of the deepest and most abiding ironies of the last year that it took the emergence of one pandemic (COVID-19) to temporarily end another pandemic (school shootings). With the majority of elementary and high school students...

Sundance 2021 Review: CENSOR, The Danger Of Confusing Fiction With Reality

One of the most popular arguments to despise horror films and related genres – in their most violent and explicit incarnations – is that they can inspire atrocities in real life. It's a thought as old as the films with...

Sundance 2021 Review: PASSING, Stunning, Provocative Debut

In writer-director Rebecca Hall’s (Christine, The Town, Vicky Cristina Barcelona) evocative, provocative adaptation of Nella Larsen’s richly textured, multi-layered 1929 novel, Passing, two women, one-time high-school friends, now in their thirties, inadvertently cross paths in the tea room of an...

Sundance 2021 Review: LAND, Buried in an Avalanche of Cliches

Buried in an avalanche of painfully obvious cliches, surface-deep characterizations, and unexamined privilege, Land, Robin Wright’s feature-length, filmmaking debut is about as far from auspicious as any feature-length debut can be. Elevated by Wright's impressively committed performance as a grief-haunted...

Sundance 2021 Review: COMING HOME IN THE DARK, The Bleak Past That Never Goes Away

The New Zealand film Coming Home in the Dark, James Ashcroft's first feature, starts off intensely: a well-off family (father, mother and two teenage sons) enjoy a road trip in the countryside. During a picnic, they are interrupted by a...

Sundance 2021 Review: KNOCKING, Genre Cinema With Social Subtext

All filmmakers introduced their works before each Sundance 2021 virtual screening. Swedish director Frida Kempff, responsible of Knocking, spoke about her film background. Until now she had developed her career in the documentary genre, always interested in social issues. She...

Sundance 2021 Review: CODA, A Crowd-Pleaser By Any Other Name

Deservedly or not, the word “crowd-pleaser” tends to have a negative connotation, situating a film’s potential popularity with broad demographic appeal, simple, easy-to-understand narratives, and emotionally cathartic endings. But in the second year of a global pandemic, a Before Times...

Sundance 2021 Review: HUMAN FACTORS, Home Invasion Drama Illuminates a Family's Dissolution

The home invasion sub-genre, with its approximation to the real world beyond the screen and the absence of the distancing effects typical of other horror sub-genres (e.g., supernatural, slashers, undead), can be a vehicle for examining interrelated social, cultural, and...

Sundance 2021 Review: MOTHER SCHMUCKERS, An Absurd And Very Dark Comedy

The absurd/dark comedy Mother Schmuckers, the first feature film by Belgian brothers Harpo and Lenny Guit, opens with some idiots cooking in a frying pan what appears to be a piece of shit. Although these young brothers, Issachar (Maxi Delmelle)...

Sundance 2021 Review: PRISONERS OF THE GHOSTLAND, Sono's Insane Film About Redemption

More than 30 years after his first film, Sono Sion has established himself as a brilliant, prolific and chameleonic director. In the past decade alone, you can find some of his best work: a hilarious tribute to guerrilla filmmaking and...

Sundance 2021 Review: IN THE EARTH, Mother Nature Gets Super Freaky

While everyone was still working on perfecting their sourdough mix or tightening their glutei during the first five or six months of a still ongoing pandemic, writer-director Ben Wheatley (High Rise, A Field in England, The Kill List), no slouch...

Sundance 2021 Review: MAYDAY, A Feminist Fable, Firearms Not Optional

In writer-director Karen Cinorre’s visually enthralling, stunning debut, Mayday, it’s a semi-Hobbesian “war of all against all,” except the first “all” and the second “all” fall strictly along gender lines, pitting semi-suspecting men, some all-too-eager to play the heroes in...

Sundance 2021 Review: THE PINK CLOUD, Greek Weird Wave Gone Brazilian in Dystopic Cabin Fever Drama

The Apocalypse gets put on hold in a surreal drama from Brazil about mankind's struggle to adapt to a new normal.

Sundance 2021 Review: EIGHT FOR SILVER, A Werewolf Story Retold

From A Werewolf of London to An American Werewolf in London, from The Wolfman (1941) to The Wolfman (2010), and The Curse of the Werewolf and Ginger Snaps in between, lycanthropy has held a peculiarly long-lasting fascination in the popular imagination...

Sundance 2021 Review: HOW IT ENDS, Not With a Bang, But With a Walkabout

The end of the world never looked more unbearably sunny or cheerily welcome than it does in writer-director duo (and real-world couple) Zoe Lister-Jones and Daryl Wein’s How It Ends, a light, breezy neighborhood walkabout through one woman’s last day...

Rodney Ascher's New Doc A GLITCH IN THE MATRIX, Watch The Official Trailer. Out Now... Virtually

Rodney Ascher's latest docutmentary A Glitch in the Matrix was quickly nabbed by Magnolia Pictures long before it premiered at Sundance last week. And now that the documentary about the simulation hypothesis is out today an official trailer has been...

Sundance 2021 Review: PLEASURE, A Triumphant Tour de Force Behind the Scenes of the Porn Industry

The standout film of 2021 Sundance demystifies the porn industry through a female lens.