Well, looky here! Sundance fave SAFETY NOT GUARANTEED has an official trailer. And a peek at the film’s
In our last distribution round-up, we compared the acquisition market at Sundance ’12 to a domino rally. Now, on the last day of the festival, it looks like that scene in every apocalypse movie where a terrified mob raids a grocery store, with people in a desperate scramble to get whatever they can before the shop closes forever. In three days, at least eleven distribution deals closed, with several more reportedly almost finalized.
It’s indie film, man: when things go wrong, you roll with the punches and improvise. So when Parker Posey, the scheduled host for the Sundance ’12 Awards Show fell ill, the fest found a replacement — BLACK ROCK director and star Katie Aselton — who teamed up with Festival Director John Cooper to emcee the evening. Things chugged along without missing a beat. “I’ve always wanted to be Parker Posey,” quipped Aselton.
You see a lot of different genres at Sundance, but there’s one kind of movie — the most popular kind of movie, as far as the filmmaking establishment is concerned — that you almost never see in Park City: sequels. Julie Delpy’s 2 DAYS IN NEW YORK is a rare exception, and a follow-up to the actress’ critically acclaimed 2007 film 2 DAYS IN PARIS. In that film Delpy’s Marion and her boyfriend Jack (Adam Goldberg) travel to Paris for a vacation intended to rekindle their sputtering romance. In NEW YORK, the romance has officially sputtered out, and Marion now lives with a new boyfriend, a journalist and radio host named Mingus, played by Chris Rock. Marion’s crazy French family travels to Manhattan for a visit and sends the couple’s relatively carefree lives into chaos.
Critics are divided on FILLY BROWN, but they agree on Gina Rodriguez, the actress who plays Filly and is being hailed as one of the breakout stars of this year’s Sundance Film Festival. Response to FILLY — a drama about a young woman trying to navigate the morally murky waters of the hip-hop game — has been decidedly mixed, but response to Rodriguez has been decidedly positive, suggesting she is one to watch, even if the film itself might not be.
The cast of LIBERAL ARTS is like the independent film version of a rock and roll supergroup. You’ve got your road-tested veterans, Richard Jenkins and Allison Janney, and two of the hottest talents to come out of Sundance in recent years: Elizabeth Olsen from MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE and writer/director/star Josh Radnor, whose HAPPYTHANKYOUMOREPLEASE won the Sundance audience award back in 2010. And, yeah, Zac Efron’s in there too. Admittedly, he sabotages the theory just wee bit.
In the last couple years, technology has totally changed the world of film criticism. Affordable, easy-to-use editing software has empowered critics to become filmmakers themselves. You can see their work on YouTube, blogs like Press Play, and in movies like Sundance ’12 selection ROOM 237, a film entirely about another film, Stanley Kubrick’s THE SHINING.
Sundance Institute this evening announced the jury prizes and honorable mentions in short filmmaking at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. The awards were presented at a ceremony in Park City, Utah. These award recipients will also be honored at the Festival’s Awards Ceremony, hosted by Parker Posey on Saturday, January 28 at 7:00 p.m. MT and live streamed at www.sundance.org/live.
With the clock winding down on Sundance ’12, the market for distribution titles is starting to look like a domino course. Once the first couple titles fell, they all started to fall. We’ve got a lot of news since our last roundup, so let’s get to it.
The latest domino to drop is V/H/S, the found footage horror anthology from a whole mess of directors including Adam Wingard (YOU’RE NEXT), Joe Swanberg (SILVER BULLETS), and Ti West (THE INNKEEPERS). According to The Hollywood Reporter, Magnolia Pictures picked the film (which is supposedly so intense that it made several audience members pass out) for approximately $1 million. Their plans for V/H/S are said to include a video-on-demand preview and then a theatrical release and then, I imagine, a kitschy release on VHS.
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:
Director Joe Berlinger has covered the West Memphis Three, Metallica and the oil industry. For his latest film, UNDER AFRICAN SKIES, he teemed up with Paul Simon to revisit the iconic album GRACELAND. Don’t miss the photos in our gallery: UNDER AFRICAN SKIES
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.…
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.
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.
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.
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?
The independent film world lost one of its champions today. Bingham Ray, executive director of the San Francisco Film Society, died of complications following a stroke he suffered late last week while attending the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. He was 57.
Spike Lee’s best movies are always polarizing. DO THE RIGHT THING, MALCOLM X, BAMBOOZLED; Lee has built his reputation on provocative, controversial cinema. In that regard at least, Lee’s new film, RED HOOK SUMMER, finds the director in fine form. It divided the Park City crowd, and then Lee himself took the stage for a Q&A that got them really riled up.
30 Rock star Tracy Morgan was in Park City this week to promote his new film PREDISPOSED. Unfortunately, it seems like there are other things Morgan is predisposed to, like altitude sickness. According to various reports, the comedian collapsed at Sundance last night and was rushed to the hospital for treatment.
Indie directors looking to shoot a post-apocalyptic film on the cheap: head to Detroit. The reviews — mostly ecstatic reviews — are pouring in for Heidi Ewing and Rachel Grady’s DETROPIA, and they are awash with heartbreaking descriptions of the once-great city’s crumbling infrastructure. At Film Threat, Don R. Lewis describes Detroit as looking like something “from a parallel universe that was hit by an Armageddon.” Others describe how absurdly cheap real estate has become in the area; you can buy a downtown loft for $25,000 because demand is so incredibly low. A director needs to take advantage of this sort of free production value.
Some in the industry predicted Sundance ’12 would be a “wild” year for sales, but so far it hasn’t turned out that way. As of this morning (four days into the festival), just two films, both from opening night, had managed to secure distribution deals. Things do seem to be heating up a little today in the snowy climes of Park City, with a, ahem, flurry of acquisitions coming over the wire in just the last few hours.