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Film

Today at Sundance — Day 5 with Richard Linklater, Shia Lebouf and the secrets of WikiLeaks

Article: Today at Sundance — Day 5 with Richard Linklater, Shia Lebouf and the secrets of WikiLeaks

Today, we’ve got king of indie romance Richard Linklater’s latest entry in probably the longest-running rom-com series in history, the inside story on Julian Assange, and, well, Shia Lebouf. We hear he’s got some fans. All that and more below.

THE NECESSARY DEATH OF CHARLIE COUNTRYMAN 6:30P Eccles Theatre
Traveling abroad, Charlie Countryman falls for Gabi, a Romanian beauty whose unreachable heart has its origins in Nigel, her violent, charismatic ex. As the darkness of Gabi’s past increasingly envelops him, Charlie resolves to win her heart, or die trying. Shia Lebouf and Evan Rachel Wood headline the cast.

Today at Sundance — Day 4: Jane Campion’s TOP OF THE LAKE and Park Chan-Wook’s first English film

Article: Today at Sundance — Day 4: Jane Campion’s TOP OF THE LAKE and Park Chan-Wook’s first English film

Today in Park City, we’ve got the premiere of a Sundance Channel original that’s already generating plenty of buzz, plus Nicole Kidman in Chan-Wook Park’s first English language film. Check ‘em out, plus more premieres below!

TOP OF THE LAKE 9:00A Egyptian Theatre
12 years old and 5 months pregnant, Tui Mitcham walks into a freezing lake … then disappears. Detective Robin Griffin returns home to investigate, but it’s not a simple missing persons case. In this breathtaking but remote mountain town, there are evil forces as powerful as the land itself. Jane Campion (THE PIANO) directs Sundance Channel’s own TOP OF THE LAKE, an all-new original series premiering first at the Sundance Film Festival.

Today at Sundance — Day 2: Swim with THE LIFEGUARD and soar with The Eagles

Article: Today at Sundance — Day 2: Swim with THE LIFEGUARD and soar with The Eagles

It’s still below freezing out here, but the premieres are heating up. Today is one of the most packed days out here in Park City. And, no, we never thought we’d be talking about Anita Hill and Steve Coogan in the same sentence, but that’s what happens at Sundance. Hill is the subject of Academy Award-winner Frida Mock’s latest documentary. Coogan, on the other hand, finally got to complete his passion project…about England’s answer to Hugh Hefner. Read on for more of today’s most anticipated premieres.

Today at Sundance — Day 1 with Dave Grohl, Dick Cheney and Jane Austen

Article: Today at Sundance — Day 1 with Dave Grohl, Dick Cheney and Jane Austen

It’s pretty cold out here, but we’ve got some hot premieres to keep us toasty today. Step inside for a hot cup of lovely ladies sleeping with…their best friends’ sons. Or perhaps just a cup of coffee if you happen to be in Park City (we’re at 268 Main St., btw). Read on for tonight’s big premieres, including more than you ever wanted to know about Dick Cheney, an amusement park for the ladies and a doc from Foo Fighter’s frontman Dave Grohl that will blow out your ears.

Today at Sundance — We kick off the Festival with Michael Cera and Gael Garcia Bernal

Article: Today at Sundance — We kick off the Festival with Michael Cera and Gael Garcia Bernal

Welcome to the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. We’re beaming to you LIVE from Park City, Utah. Make sure to check back here every day. Each morning we’ll have the lowdown on the buzziest premieres and make sure you’re up-to-date on all of the biggest stories coming out of the festival. Tonight they’re kicking off the Festival with four kick-ass premieres. We’ve got a documentary “starring” Gael GarcĂ­a Bernal, a modern take on traditional marriage from a festival alum, Michael Cera tripping on some hallucinogenic cactus and a deep dive into the lives of backup singers.

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD and more Sundance faves earn Oscar nominations

Article: BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD and more Sundance faves earn Oscar nominations

Every year there’s one. A surprise, sometimes a long-shot, but a performance that’s so undeniably stunning it just can’t be ignored by audiences (or the Academy). And in this year’s Oscar nominations — announced today — that surprise was Sundance Film Festival favorite BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD’s QuvenzhanĂ© Wallis, who at 9 years old is the youngest Best Actress hopeful ever. (For the past decade, WHALE RIDER’s Keisha Castle-Hughes has owned that distinction, but she was a whopping 13 years old when nominated.)

BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD and more Sundance faves earn Oscar nominations

Article: BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD and more Sundance faves earn Oscar nominations

Every year there’s one. A surprise, sometimes a long-shot, but a performance that’s so undeniably stunning it just can’t be ignored by audiences (or the Academy). And in this year’s Oscar nominations — announced today — that surprise was Sundance Film Festival favorite BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD’s QuvenzhanĂ© Wallis, who at 9 years old is the youngest Best Actress hopeful ever. (For the past decade, WHALE RIDER’s Keisha Castle-Hughes has owned that distinction, but she was a whopping 13 years old when nominated.)

Now Playing: CONTROL, THE WAR OF THE ROSES, plus nymphomaniacs, Daniel Day-Lewis and more!

Article: Now Playing: CONTROL, THE WAR OF THE ROSES, plus nymphomaniacs, Daniel Day-Lewis and more!

This week’s theme is… nymphomania! Ok, so only two of our five featured films focus on characters who go beyond simple promiscuity, but that’s 50% more than a normal week. In addition, we’ve got Daniel Day-Lewis, Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and the story behind one of post-punk music’s biggest fallen icons. Unfortunately not all in the same film, but hey, you’ve got to pace yourself. We’ve got all week together.

Now Playing: THE TRUMAN SHOW, HAPPY-GO-LUCKY, and THE HOUSEMAID brighten your post-holiday week

Article: Now Playing: THE TRUMAN SHOW, HAPPY-GO-LUCKY, and THE HOUSEMAID brighten your post-holiday week

The presents have been opened, the ill-fitting or poorly-considered clothing gifts packed back up for return, the wrapping paper now sitting in a mess on the floor like the aftermath of your own living room ticker tape parade. While you get over the hangover left by the day before and look forward to the traditional week-long workplace goof-off period between now and January 1st (hey, you’ve earned it!), check out what we’ve got in store this week as you plan your New Year’s Eve party.

Sundance Film Festival 2013 Jury announced

Article: Sundance Film Festival 2013 Jury announced

Sundance Institute announced today 19 members of five juries awarding prizes at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, January 17-27 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah. Short Film Awards will be announced at a ceremony on January 22 at Park City’s Jupiter Bowl, with feature film awards announced at a separate ceremony on January 26.

Top 10 life lessons from John Cusack

Article: Top 10 life lessons from John Cusack

Photo Credit: Listal

John Cusack’s entire career is something of a life lesson: you don’t need to be conventionally macho to become a leading man. Even in the golden age of muscled-up testosterone, the eighties, Cusack found success in offbeat roles while seeding a career with far fewer rough patches than, say, Sylvester Stallone’s. This month, Sundance Channel is showing two of Cusack’s very best, SAY ANYTHING and HIGH FIDELITY; in those movies and others, Cusack has much to teach us.

Now Playing: THE QUIET AMERICAN, DEAD POETS SOCIETY, and THE EXTERMINATING ANGELS plus more Sundance Channel premieres

Article: Now Playing: THE QUIET AMERICAN, DEAD POETS SOCIETY, and THE EXTERMINATING ANGELS plus more Sundance Channel premieres

Leading up to the holidays this year, we’ve got the gift of five fantastic films for you this week including three novel adaptations and three Sundance Channel premieres. It’s a Festivus miracle! Hey, at least we didn’t give you a pink bunny suit like your Aunt Clara always does. Sit back, relax, and celebrate the season with these films and a nice highball of your favorite hard spirit mixed with a thimble of eggnog – what, that’s not how your family drinks it?

Sundance Film Festival 2013 adds four films for 'From the Collection'

Article: Sundance Film Festival 2013 adds four films for 'From the Collection'

Sundance Institute today announced the addition of four films to the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, including MAGIC MAGIC (Director: Sebastián Silva), MUSCLE SHOALS (Director: Greg ‘Freddy’ Camalier) and WRONG COPS (Director: Quentin Dupieux) as well as EL MARIACHI (1993) for the From the Collection screening. The 2013 Festival will be January 17-27 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.

Now Playing: FISH TANK, FARGO, and SEX MAGIC, plus more great films this week

Article: Now Playing: FISH TANK, FARGO, and SEX MAGIC, plus more great films this week

This week we delve into our darkest fears and deepest desires with films about alienation, death, love, sex and… improper surgical techniques? Luckily, not all in the same film. Like this crazy month of December so far, our films are running hot and cold this week, from the blazing Arizona sun of SEX MAGIC to the North Dakota/Minnesota snow and ice of FARGO and points in between.

Now Playing: TINY FURNITURE and SAY ANYTHING, plus Stephen King, the first-ever NC-17 and more

Article: Now Playing: TINY FURNITURE and SAY ANYTHING, plus Stephen King, the first-ever NC-17 and more

Ever feel that twinge of nostalgia for those glory days of high school and college? Well, you may have forgotten the aimlessness and angst of post-graduation – but don’t worry, we’ve got two films to remind you of it this week. Also on tap, a sexy (but literary!) romp through Paris, one of the best Stephen King film adaptations ever, and Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason-Leigh at each other’s throats.

Sundance Film Festival 2013 announces Spotlight, Park City at Midnight and New Frontier films

Article: Sundance Film Festival 2013 announces Spotlight, Park City at Midnight and New Frontier films

Sundance Institute announced today the films selected to screen in the 2013 Sundance Film Festival out-of-competition sections Spotlight, Park City at Midnight and New Frontier, as well as the installations and performances to be featured in the Festival’s New Frontier venue. The Festival takes place January 17-27 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden and Sundance, Utah.

Trevor Groth, Director of Programming for the Sundance Film Festival, said, “I couldn’t be more pleased to announce the films selected for these sections because they illustrate the tremendous creativity and vibrancy of the independent film community. Spotlight features our favorite films that have premiered at other festivals and the Park City at Midnight and New Frontier sections are comprised of films that are bound to shock, intoxicate, derange or dazzle. Expect the unexpected when you venture down the path of these cinematic sensations.”

HIGH FIDELITY inspires our own desert island, all-time, top 5 cinematic sad sacks

Article: HIGH FIDELITY inspires our own desert island, all-time, top 5 cinematic sad sacks

The lovable losers in Stephen Frears’ HIGH FIDELITY waste their days sitting around the Chicago record store Championship Vinyl compiling Top 5 lists. Records to play on a Monday morning? Dream jobs? Songs about death? These elitist “experts” have got you covered.

As we prepare for Sundance Channel’s premiere of Frears’ relationship comedy — it airs Sunday, Dec. 2, at 10P, with encores throughout the month — we were inspired to create our own all-time, top 5, desert-island list of lovelorn, sad sack heroes of the heart. These guys have perfected the art of pining after the prettiest girls. In the best-case scenarios, they even win that girl’s heart.

And yes, we double-dipped on Cusack, because few in Hollywood are quite as masterful at the hangdog look of the broken-hearted, unfulfilled Romeo. It’s his calling card … as HIGH FIDELITY confirms.

Now Playing: MADE IN CHINA, BLOWN AWAY, BLIND DATE, ONE WEEK

Article: Now Playing: MADE IN CHINA, BLOWN AWAY, BLIND DATE, ONE WEEK

On tap this week, we’ve got three quirky, funny and yes, sad films for the independent minded, plus a bonus: an unlikely blockbuster thriller with an unusual stock of Oscar-winning talent. That’s four films for the price of three. Who doesn’t love a holiday season deal like that?

the uncanny web of David Cronenberg’s career

Article: the uncanny web of David Cronenberg’s career

In 2002, David Cronenberg’s Spider seemed like a departure for the director. He was known primarily as a genre expert – one who had taken standard horror and thriller motifs and turned them into very personal expressions of post-modern unease in films like his remake of The Fly and his adaptation of Stephen King’s The Dead Zone.

Now Playing: STARGATE, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and TAZZA: THE HIGH ROLLERS

Article: Now Playing: STARGATE, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER and TAZZA: THE HIGH ROLLERS

This week, let’s be thankful for Asian cinema and some sleeper films that spawned monster hit TV series. If it wasn’t for the risks taken by Asian filmmakers like Takashi Miike, Johnnie To and Park Chan-wook, where would western directors like Quentin Tarantino and RZA get their inspiration? And if it wasn’t for films like STARGATE and BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, we probably would never have had… well, Stargate or Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the TV shows, that is). But even if you believe a life without Stargate or Buffy on TV wouldn’t be such a bad thing (or maybe even especially if you do), you’ll want to check out the original films – they are very different from the series they spawned.

Anatomy of a Monster: LITTLE CHILDREN's Jackie Earle Haley

Article: Anatomy of a Monster: LITTLE CHILDREN's Jackie Earle Haley

The title of LITTLE CHILDREN (airing November 24 at 8P and throughout the month)—cowriter-director Todd Field’s chilling 2006 adaptation of Tom Perrotta’s tale of love, lust and lies in suburbia—works on many levels. It describes the type of people who would commit selfish, impulsive actions like the pair of unhappily married people (Kate Winslet and Patrick Wilson) at the heart of the story who engage in a passionate but ultimately destructive affair with no regard for how it will affect others, especially their own, yes, little children. It also applies to those innocent young residents of a sleepy New Jersey burg whose parents feel they need to protect them from a convicted sex offender, Ronald “Ronnie” James McGorvey (THE BAD NEWS BEARS grad Jackie Earle Haley, in a career-redefining performance), who’s moved back into their neighborhood. And it also encapsulates the personality of Ronnie, who’s infantilized by his smothering mother (the heartbreakingly good Phyllis Somerville) and terrorized into believing he could never survive without her, leaving him in a state of perpetually arrested adolescence and unable to express his sexual longings in a mature manner—and with his peers.

Top 10 ultimate alternate universe films

Article: Top 10 ultimate alternate universe films

Feeling a bit overwhelmed by the real world, are we? Sundance Channel has the perfect escape on offer: Some really unreal worlds, alternative universes where hauntings, vampires, time travel, spontaneous combustion and the like are commonplace. However bad things may look right now, they can’t possibly compete with discovering that your kid is the spawn of Satan, can it? Here are 10 of our favorite alternate universes on film, of course, airing on Sundance Channel this month.

Tinseltown and the American Dream in STAR MAPS

Article: Tinseltown and the American Dream in STAR MAPS

As long as they’ve been making movies in Hollywood, Tinseltown has represented the American Dream, where anything can happen for those who reach high enough. Scores of nobodies arrive in Southern California each year hoping for their lucky break, inspired by the stories of those who built multimillion dollar careers from nothing. In STAR MAPS, premiering on Wednesday at 8P and airing throughout the month, our hero travels to Hollywood in search of a new life, only to find something very different.

LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN and other cases of mistaken identity

Article: LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN and other cases of mistaken identity

It’s one of the oldest entertainment tropes there is, dating right back to ancient Greek and Roman times. Whether the audience is in on the trick or not, there are dozens of ways to play with identity confusion from rom-coms to thrillers. Some of them can leave you wondering if anyone is who you think they are! LUCKY NUMBER SLEVIN — which airs on Friday at 10P and throughout the month — takes us deep into the heart of tangled identities, the mob, and more, but it’s not the only thriller relying on this trope to keep audiences tingling with anticipation…

Sean Connery: 5 great scifi/fantasy roles

Article: Sean Connery: 5 great scifi/fantasy roles

Sure, he’s Bond (arguably the best), in GOLDFINGER and FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (among others). Yeah, he won an Oscar for playing a grizzled Chicago lawman in THE UNTOUCHABLES. And of course, he’s a professor-adventurer in INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE. But, wow — has Sean Connery been in a lot of scifi and fantasy movies! Here are five of our favorites: