by Geralyn Dreyfous
Sundance 2010 promises to be an amazing line-up for new Sundance Festival Director John Cooper.
Long admired for his talent as a programmer who discovers new voices and tracks new distribution models, Cooper has already made his mark with a great new B-side website and calendar, an ical Sundance app and more shorts and trailers on line. Sundancing never looked so virtual and so easy to navigate. Also look for entries in THE NEXT CATEGORY, a new offering designed by Cooper to cordon off space for low and no-budget filmmaking. Eight “younger and fresher” American filmmakers will be showcased.
Sundance 2010 promises to be an amazing line-up for new Sundance Festival Director John Cooper. Long admired for his talent as a programmer who discovers new voices and tracks new distribution models, Cooper has already made his mark with a great new B-side website and calendar, an ical Sundance app and more shorts and trailers on line. Sundancing never looked so virtual and so easy to navigate. Also look for entries in THE NEXT CATEGORY, a new offering designed by Cooper to cordon off space for low and no-budget filmmaking. Eight “younger and fresher” American filmmakers will be showcased.
On the celebrity and Sundance veteran front Look for Lady GaGa, 50 cents, Kristen Stewart and Catherine Keener, Kevin Kline, John C Reilly, James Franco and Michael Winterbottom and Mark Ruffalo who all have two films in the festival. Comedians Joan Rivers, Louis C.K and NBA star Reggie Miller will all make appearances in biopics that have their world premieres.
Salt Lake City is still the best-kept secret of Sundance. Most venues do not sell out and nearly all screenings admit 90% of the waitlist lines—Below is a cheat sheet of films not to be missed organized by category and when then perform in Salt Lake. Happy Sundancing!
Jack Goes Boating (Phillip Seymour Hoffman –from the producers of LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE comes a comedy that Hoffman directs!
Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 9:30 PM Mon, Jan 25
Cane Toads (from the same crazy team that did the Natural History of the Chicken) — second Sundance 3-D!
NOWHERE Boy (The John Lennon story)
Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 3:30 PM Sun, Jan 31
The Company Men — great cast: Tommy Lee Jones, Ben Affleck, Kevin Costner, Chris Cooper Sunday,
January 24, 3:00 PM / Location: Rose Wagner, Salt Lake City
The Shock Doctrine – second Michael Winterbottom film (KILLER WITHIN also a premiere) — based on Naomi Klein non-fiction best-seller on capitalism in third world countries)
6:00 PM Friday Saturday Jan 30th TOWERTHEATER
THE RUNAWAYS – hardest ticket at the festival Kristen Stewart of Twilight fame Dakota Fanning and Tatum O’Neal — girls rock and roll band makes it big – based on a true story of an all girls band called THE RUNAWAYS
SPOT LIGHT/ These are all films that are incendiary or crowd pleasers
8: The Mormon Proposition –Reed Cowan directs starring local activists
6:00 PM Wed, Jan 27, Tower Theatre
Countdown to Zero: An alarm call for global disarmament —terrifying
6:00 PM Thu, Jan 28, Broadway Centre Cinemas VI
Climate Refugees: Michael Nash directs 25 million displaced environmental refugees — will open Copenhagen Climate Change talks — also directed FUEL)
6:30 PM Mon, Jan 25, Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center
TO CATCH A DOLLAR: Muhammed Yunus Banks on America –Nobel Laureate brings micro-credit to the poorest of the poor in the richest county in the world. Saturday January 23rd at the Swaner Eco Center, American Express, Grameen Bank and The SLC Film Center present a fundraiser for Grameen America with Dr. Muhammed Yunus and Queen Latifah. 8pm Tickets are $200, proceeds will fund a business plan for a Grameen Bank to explore a Utah Chapter. For more details call 801-746-7000
6:45 PM Fri, Jan 29, Broadway Centre Cinemas V
I AM LOVE: a masterpiece from Italy about wealth and power and Tilda Swinton at her best
9:30 PM Sat, Jan 30 Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center
Women Without Men: Two amazing Iranian filmmakers Shirin Neshat and Shoja Azari dissect Iranian Society at the time of the 1953 CIA backed coup and installation of the Shah.
10:30 PM Mon, Jan Broadway Centre Cinemas IV
Winning Time: Reggie Miller versus the New York Knicks – Dan Klores directs – and he only knows how to do crowd pleasers and stranger than fiction
12:30 PM Sat, Jan 30 Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center
LOURDES – a woman in her wheel chair travels to Lourdes to assert her independence and escape her isolation
9:00 PM Sat, Jan 23 Tower Theatre
US Dramatic Competition (my pics of 16 feature films)
Blue Valentine – Director: Derek Cianfrance) the evolution of an American marriage. Cast: Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams.
9:30 PM Tue, Jan 26 Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center
The Dry Land – (Director: Ryan Piers William) A US soldier struggles on returning home from war. Cast: America Ferrera, Wilmer Valderrama, Ethan Suplee, Melissa Leo.
6:00 PM Tue, Jan 26 Broadway Centre Cinemas VI
Howl – (Directors: Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman) A nonfiction drama about the young Allen Ginsberg, his key poem HOWL, and landmark obscenity trial. Cast: James Franco, David Strathairn, Jon Hamm, Mary-Louise Parker, Jeff Daniels. A MUST SEE
6:00 PM Wed, Jan 27 Broadway Centre Cinemas VI
Sympathy for Delicious – (Director: Mark Ruffalo) A paralyzed DJ seeks out the world of faith healing. Cast: Orlando Bloom, Mark Ruffalo, Juliette Lewis, Laura Linney.
Night Catches Us – great cast – 1978 a young man returns to race torn Philadelphia after being part of the Black Panther movement
9:00 PM Thu, Jan 28 Broadway Centre Cinemas VI
Winter’s Bone (Director: Debra Granik; Screenwriters: Debra Granik and Anne Rosellini)—An unflinching Ozark Mountain girl hacks through dangerous social terrain as she hunts down her missing father while trying to keep her family intact. Cast: Jennifer Lawrence, John Hawkes, Dale Dickey, Garret Dillahunt, Kevin Breznahan. Directed by Debra Granik, who gave us DONE TO THE BONE and launched Vera Farmiga’s career)?
3:30 PM Sat, Jan 30 Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center
World Cinema Documentary Competition (my choice of 16)
A Film Unfinished, Germany/Israel (Director: Yael Hersonski) – Film reels uncovered in Nazi archives reveals the mechanisms used to stage Warsaw Ghetto life in a famous Nazi propaganda film.
Enemies of the People, Cambodia/UK (Directors: Rob Lemkin, Thet Sambath) – A journalist whose family was killed by the Khmer Rouge befriends the perpetrators.
9:45 PM Wed, Jan 27 Broadway Centre Cinemas V
His & Hers, Ireland (Director: Ken Wardrop) – Seventy Irish women offer insights into relationships between women and men.
1:30 PM Sat, Jan 23, Broadway Centre Cinemas IV
Kick in Iran, Germany (Director: Fatima Geza Abdollahyan) – First female professional Taekwondo fighter from Iran to qualify for the Olympic Games struggles for recognition.
7:30 PM Thu, Jan 28 Broadway Centre Cinemas IV
Last Train Home, Canada (Director: Lixin Fan) – CHINA The ordeal of a migrant worker family on a journey with 200 million other peasants, to reunite with family.
4:30 PM Sat, Jan 30 Broadway Centre Cinemas IV
The Red Chapel, Denmark (Director: Mads Brügger) – An unscrupulous journalist, self-proclaimed spastic, and comedian travel to North Korea under a guise. Think the YES MEN and Borat go to North Korea
9:00 PM Fri, Jan 22 Broadway Centre Cinemas VI
WASTELAND — Brazil — stunningly beautiful. Garbage becomes art.
7:30 PM Mon, Jan 25 Broadway Centre Cinemas IV
Sins of My Father ( Pablo Escaobar story and a crowd pleaser)
9:00 PM Sat, Jan 239:00 PM Sat, Jan 23 Broadway Centre Cinemas VI
Russian Lessons, Georgia/Germany/Norway (Directors: Olga Konskaya and Andrei Nekrasov) – An investigation into the ‘08 Georgia war, revealing ethnic cleansing and journalism destined to be award winning.
10:30 PM Thu, Jan 28, Broadway Centre Cinemas IV
Secrets of the Tribe, Brazil (Director: José Padilha) – Can anthropologists among the indigenous uncover knowledge about mankind amidst scandals and infighting. An indictment on academia. Think Capturing the Friedman’s meets anthropology.
7:30 PM Tue, Jan 26 Broadway Centre Cinemas IV
World Cinema Narrative Competition (my choice of 16)
Four Lions, UK (Director: Chris Morris, screenwriters: Chris Morris, Jesse Armstrong and Sam Bain) British humor on Jihadists — very sacrilegious.
9:45 PM Thu, Jan 28, Broadway Centre Cinemas V
Me Too (Yo, También), Spain (Directors/writers: Álvaro Pastor, Antonio Naharro) — A Downs syndrome college student finds love.
12:00 PM Sat, Jan 30th Broadway Centre Cinemas VI
Nuummioq, Greenland (Directors: Otto Rosing, Torben Bech; Screenwriter: Torben Bech) — first film out of GREENLAND – that is also co-produced by Inuits —beautiful and environmentally transcendent
9:45 PM Mon, Jan 25 Broadway Centre Cinemas V
Son of Babylon, Iraq (Director/screenwriter: Mohamed Al Daradji) — first film out of IRAQ —co-produced by Kurdish and Iraqi filmmakers
6:45 PM Sat, Jan 30 Broadway Centre Cinemas V
Southern District (Zona Sur), Bolivia (Director/screenwriter: Juan Carlos Valdivia) — Bolivian look at class and the rise of indigenous peoples
3:45 PM Sat, Jan 30 Broadway Centre Cinemas V
US Documentary Competition
This year’s 16 films were selected from 862 submissions. Each film is a world premiere and you cannot go wrong with any of them
CASINO JACK & The United States of Money (Director: Alex Gibney)—A probing investigation into the lies, greed and corruption surrounding D.C. super-lobbyist Jack Abramoff and his cronies. Very funny.
Monday Jan 25th 6pm Broadway Centre Cinemas VI
Family Affair (Director: Chico Colvard)— An uncompromising documentary that examines resilience, survival and the capacity to accommodate a parent’s past crimes in order to satisfy the longing for family.
3:00 PM Sun, Jan 24, Broadway Centre
Freedom Riders (Director: Stanley Nelson)—The story behind a courageous band of civil rights activists called the Freedom Riders who in 1961 creatively challenged segregation in the American South.
6:30 PM Wed, Jan 27, Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center
Gas Land (Director: Josh Fox)—A cross-country odyssey uncovers toxic streams, dying livestock, flammable sinks and weakening health among rural citizens on the front lines of the natural gas drilling craze.
6:00 PM Tue, Jan 26, Broadway Centre
I’m Pat _______ Tillman (Director: Amir Bar-Lev)—The story of professional football star and decorated U.S. soldier Pat Tillman, whose family takes on the U.S. government when their beloved son dies in a “friendly fire” incident in Afghanistan in 2004.
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work (Directors: Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg)—A rare, brutally honest glimpse into the comedic process and private dramas of legendary comedian and pop icon Joan Rivers as she fights tooth and nail to keep her American dream alive. World Premiere — BY THE TEAM THAT DID THE DEVIL CAME IN ON HORSEBACK — At 75 this film looks at Joan’s OBSESSION/ neurosis to still stay famous
Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 6:30 PM Fri, Jan 29
Lucky (Director: Jeffrey Blitz)—The story of what happens when ordinary people hit the lottery jackpot. By the team that did SPELLOUND
Broadway Centre Cinemas VI, 9:00 PM Tue, Jan 26
My Perestroika (Director: Robin Hessman)—My Perestroika follows five ordinary Russians living in extraordinary times — from their sheltered Soviet childhood, to the collapse of the Soviet Union during their teenage years, to the constantly shifting political landscape of post-Soviet Russia. Together, these childhood classmates paint a complex picture of the dreams and disillusionments of those raised behind the Iron Curtain. Wonderful music and archival
Broadway Centre Cinemas IV, 10:30 PM Tue, Jan 26
The Oath (Director: Laura Poitras)— Filmed in Yemen, The Oath tells the story of two men whose fateful encounter in 1996 set them on a course of events that led them to Afghanistan, Osama bin Laden, 9/11, Guantanamo, and the U.S. Supreme Court. – my prediction for
Grand Jury Prize winner
Restrepo (Directors: Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington)—Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington’s year dug in with the Second Platoon in one of Afghanistan’s most strategically crucial valleys reveals extraordinary insight into the surreal combination of back breaking labor, deadly firefights, and camaraderie as the soldiers painfully push back the Taliban. Visceral — and extremely humane looks at our soldiers
Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 3:30 PM Sat, Jan 23
A Small Act (Director: Jennifer Arnold)—A young Kenyan’s life changes dramatically when a Swedish stranger sponsors his education. Years later, he founds his own scholarship program to replicate the kindness he once received. My prediction for Audience Award
Broadway Centre Cinemas V, 12:45 PM Sat, Jan 30
Smash His Camera (Director: Leon Gast)—Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis sued him, and Marlon Brando broke his jaw. The story of notorious, reviled paparazzo Ron Galella opens a Pandora’s Box of issues from right to privacy, freedom of the press and the ever-growing vortex of celebrity worship. Another look at celebrity culture — young and up and coming director (also TEENAGE PAPPARAZZI and Joan Rivers)
Broadway Centre Cinemas V, 9:45 PM Sat, Jan 23
12th & Delaware (Directors: Rachel Grady and Heidi Ewing)—The abortion battle continues to rage in unexpected ways on an unassuming corner in America. THESE LADIES DID JESUS CAMP
Broadway Centre Cinemas VI, 9:00 PM Wed, Jan 27
Waiting for Superman (Director: Davis Guggenheim)—Waiting for Superman examines the crisis of public education in the United States through multiple interlocking stories—from a handful of students and their families whose futures hang in the balance, to the educators and reformers trying to find real and lasting solutions within a dysfunctional system. FROM THE DIRECTOR of AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH
Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, 9:30 PM Fri, Jan 29