THE COMEDY was one of the more highly anticipated films of this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Despite a mixed critical response, and one of most awkward Q&As I’ve ever seen, people are still talking about it and director Rick Alverson is getting kudos for drawing a stellar dramatic performance out of funnyman Tim Heidecker . Check out our gallery from the big night, featuring Alverson, LCD Soundsystem (ex-) frontman James Murphy, Eric Wareheim & Tim Heidecker.
Aamer Haleem interviews LUV director Sheldon Candis and newcomer Michael Rainey for Festival Insider. Click below for the full gallery!
Host Aamer Haleem interviews director Mark Webber of THE END OF LOVE for Festival Insider. Click below for the full gallery!
The original Z-Boy Stacy Peralta joined us to talk about BONES BRIGADE: AN AUTOBIOGRAPHY. Check out all of the photos and learn more about the film:
Aamer Haleem interviews Carol Kane, Cristin Milioti, Marc Moran and director Mike Birbiglia of SLEEPWALK WITH ME for Festival Insider. Check out our full gallery.
It’s possible that a movie like James Ponsoldt’s SMASHED takes on a special resonance at the Sundance Film Festival. It’s a film about a hard-partying married couple — Breaking Bad’s Aaron Paul and Scott Pilgrim Vs. the World’s Mary Elizabeth Winstead — whose lives are turned upside down when one of them decides to get sober. During Sundance, Park City is practically swimming in booze. Client dinners, cocktail parties, after-parties; there are working distilleries pouring less alcohol than this town right now. It’s probably safe to assume a hefty percentage of the people watching SMASHED were drunk when they watched it. Is it any wonder the critics dug it so much?
The 2012 Sundance Film Festival has had no shortage of well-received movies. BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, DETROPIA, THE RAID and more have drawn very strong, very positive reactions from both audiences and critics. But they all pale before the response to THE SURROGATE, whose reception in Park City has been nothing less than orgasmic.…
They must be shooting Shameless, because William H. Macy was rockin’ his Frank Gallagher look. It works for him, so much so that John Hawkes grew a moustache to match. The hirsute duo joined THE SURROGATE director Ben Lewin at Sundance Channel HQ to talk about the film and their $6 million sale. THE SURROGATE is one of the most buzzed about film in the festival this year, so catch up with our gallery a quick
The wackiest sci-fi flick at Sundance: Paul Giamatti and filmmaker Don Coscarelli on JOHN DIES AT THE END
JOHN DIES AT THE END, the latest bizarro sci-fi flick from genre filmmaker Don Coscarelli (of BUBBA HO-TEP fame), opens with a bang.
A designer drug called “soy sauce” grants users a paranormal, out-of-body experience, but also transforms them into disgusting, insect-filled zombie creatures. John (Rob Mayes) is frantic. He calls his best friend—and fellow slacker—Dave (Chase Williamson), who rushes over to his house. They soon encounter a cute, unassuming girl with a scar on her face. Before the two guys can say “soy sauce,” she explodes into hundreds of snakes that bite and tear at the two pals. John runs up the stairs to try and escape, but the door handle turns into a penis, which he refuses to turn. Then, various meats from the basement freezer—sausages, steaks, chickens, etc.—begin shooting across the floor, forming a “meat monster” with a turkey for a head who addresses the boys in a demonic voice.
One of the most exclusive events each year at the Sundance Film Festival is the director’s brunch. It’s an opportunity for all of the directors, from opening night hits to shorts, to kick back, relax and talk craft. There is no stress over sales or audience reactions, just bagels and a chance to mingle. It’s one of Sundance founder Robert Robert’s favorite festival events. And now you can get inside and see why.
Lots of folks were packing up and heading out this morning, but they were obviously out in force last night. And it’s not an indie festival if Vera Farmiga doesn’t show up looking understadedly amazing. That woman just looks awesome in a hood. I could go on, but I won’t. Check out all the party people on our gallery.
Timing is everything. It doesn’t seem to matter much that BACHELORETTE was first staged as an Off-Brodway play back in 2010. Every — and I mean every — review of BACHELORETTE compares it to BRIDESMAIDS, last year’s runaway smash hit (and now Oscar-nominated smash hit) about the wacky misadventures of a crazed bridal party. When you hear what it’s about — the wacky (and kinda druggy) misadventures of a crazed (and kinda mean) bridal party — the comparison makes sense. But that doesn’t necessarily make it any more fair.
Dogs love indie films. That’s a fact. My aunt has two labradors who are big Almodóvar fans. But, they’re not really snobby about it. They enjoy big budget Hollywood movies, too! They’ve never been to Park City, like the dogs in this gallery, but maybe one day.
I’ll admit it. I don’t like that song one bit, but seeing Richard Jenkins (LIBERAL ARTS, Six Feet Under) sing along to Jason Mraz at his premiere party the other night certainly warmed my cockels. Celebrities, they’re just like us! They record their favorite acoustic performances on their iPhones!
Sundance Film Festival veteran, and Iconoclasts producer/director, Joe Berlinger stopped by Sundance Channel HQ right after he found out his film about the West Memphis Three, PARADISE LOST, had been nominated for an Oscar. Lucky us! Check out what Berlinger has say about some of the controversy surrounding the film, why the fight for justice isn’t over yet and how the Oscar nomination might help:
Josh Radnor on LIBERAL ARTS, his film’s TWILIGHT aversion, and how much longer How I Met Your Mother will air
Two years ago, a tiny movie from a first-time filmmaker about a group of young, attractive New Yorkers struggling to balance their various romantic entanglements and impending adulthood, surprised festivalgoers by winning the coveted Audience Award at Sundance. Written and directed by Josh Radnor, best known as the lead on the hit CBS sitcom How I Met Your Mother, HAPPYTHANKYOUMOREPLEASE won over audiences in Park City, Utah. And his sophomore feature, LIBERAL ARTS, elicited a standing ovation at the press and industry screening I attended.
Washed up rockstars seem to be a theme at Sundance this year (paging Sean Penn), but perhaps the most soulful portrayal of an over-the-hill musician belongs to Robert Carlyle in CALIFORNIA SOLO. The cast joined writer-director Marshall Lewy in the HQ studio. Check it out.
The market at Sundance ’12 was predicted to be “wild,” but started out “cautiously.” Now it looks to be heating up. After just a handful of acquisitions in the first few days of the festival, we’ve gotten a handful of acquisitions in the last few hours. Here’s a few more films that should be coming soon to an arthouse theater near you.
SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED photos: Aubrey Plaza, Mark Duplass and Jake Johnson stop by Sundance Channel HQ
If there is one person everyone at Sundance Channel HQ has been excited to see come through the studio, it has to be Aubrey Plaza. The Parks and Recreation star joined castmates Mark Duplass, Jake Johnson, Jaran Soni and director Colin Trevorrow to talk about their film SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED. Check out all of the photos from their visit.
Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Chris Rock were all out partying in Park City last night. But, they were not alone. See who is still out at Sundance in our gallery.
They say third time is a charm, but director Michael Mohan was still pretty nervous on the way to the premiere of SAVE THE DATE. Mohan has had two shorts in the festival (EX-SEX and CASUAL ENCOUNTERS–I sense a theme), but this was his forst foray into features at the festival and Sundance Channel was happy to tag along. When we caught up with Mohan, he was still putting together his remarks to introduce the film. Then it was off to the Library Theatre for the big show. Cast members Lizzy Caplan, Allison Brie, Martin Starr, Mark Webber and Geoffrey Arend were on hand to keep Mohan calm.
Nothing in this world is guaranteed, especially not a positive response at the Sundance Film Festival. SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED came to Sundance with a great premise and a better cast, but films with more impressive pedigrees riding bigger waves of buzz have crashed and burned in Park City.
Documentary filmmaker Joe Berlinger (CRUDE, SOME KIND OF MONSTER) woke up in Park City this morning to the news his film PARADISE LOST: PURGATORY got an Oscar nomination. Berlinger stopped by the Sundance Channel HQ to talk about the honor and the twenty years he spent documenting the West Memphis Three. For those of you not familiar with the story, The West Memphis Three were teenagers convicted of murdering three young children back in 1994. Berlinger’s trilogy of films followed the young men’s trial, appeals and eventual release. Many people credit Berlinger’s films (co-directed with Bruce Sinofsky) with playing a role in securing the men’s release after 18 years in prison.
The Oscar nominations are in and, frankly, it was not Sundance’s best year at the Academy Awards. Though independent films made a very strong showing across the board, capturing some 60 total nominations, by and large Sundance alumni got lost in the shuffle. Films from the 2011 festival scored just four nominations. Et tu, Academy?
SHUT UP AND PLAY THE HITS: James Murphy on retiring his band LCD Soundsystem and almost writing for Seinfeld
“It’s better to burn out than to fade away,” Nirvana front man Kurt Cobain wrote in his suicide letter. The New York-based, electro-dance band LCD Soundsystem, which formed in 2001 and released three critically-acclaimed albums, took Cobain’s—by way of Neil Young’s—advice, choosing to abruptly retire at the height of their fame.