So, what films from this year’s festival should we be keeping an eye out for? Below are the films from this year’s Sundance film festival that caught my attention.
Writer & Director: Joseph Gordon-Levitt
Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore
IMDB: The journey of a contemporary, porn-addicted Don Juan-type as he attempts to become less selfish.
Joseph Gordon-Levitt is my favourite actor and so of course I am excited for Don Jon’s Addiction, his directorial debut. In the film, Gordon-Levitt plays a man addicted to pornography who attempts to overcome objectification and find love. A unique twist on the romantic-comedy that sounds like a lighter version of Shame, this is a film which was met favourably upon its Sundance premiere. With a cast that also includes the likes of Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore, this is a film which is sure to break free of the ‘hipster indie’ Sundance constraints and has the potential to be a mainstream hit.
Writer & Director: Randy Moore
Starring: Roy Abramsohn, Elena Schuber and Katelynn Rodriguez
IMDB: In a world of fake castles and anthropomorphic rodents, an epic battle begins when an unemployed father's sanity is challenged by a chance encounter with two underage girls on holiday.
This film was shot entirely in Disneyland, without their permission and reportedly has a plot point where the princesses in the park are undercover prostitiutes. Shot in black and white, the film is said to be about one man’s mental breakdown on the last day of his family holiday, upon hearing that he has lost his job. The fact that an entire feature film was made in Disneyland without their permission is fascinating and inspirational to me, the fact that it also appears to have a risky and original story is an added bonus. Due to the legal fire that will accompany this film, it is doubtful a studio will pick it up and it may be the internet where this film finds its ultimate home. However this is probably one of the most fascinating and potentially controversial films to come out of Sundance in years and I have a feeling this is one I’ll be searching for and interested in for a long time.
Writers: Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber
Director: James Ponsoldt
Starring: Shailene Woodley, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Brie Larson, Bob Odenkirk and Kyle Chandler
From the same writing duo behind my favourite romance film, (500) Days of Summer, this film appears to be the teen dramadey of choice at this year’s Sundance. Starring the likes of Shailene Woodley (The Descendants), Mary Elizabeth Winstead (Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World) and Kyle Chandler (Super 8, Zero Dark Thirty) this is a film which due to the scribes, stars and reviews has me anticipating it.
Writers: John Krokidas and Austin Bunn
Director: John Krokidas
Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHaan, Elizabeth Olsen, Ben Foster and Michael C. Hall
IMDB: A murder in 1944 draws together the great poets of the beat generation: Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs.
Dane DeHaan (Chronicle), Elizabeth Olsen (Martha Marcy May Marlene), Michael C. Hall (Dexter) and Daniel Radcliffe (Don’t think he’s been in anything of note...probably some independent stuff, hopefully this will get him in the public eye) Need I say more?
Writer & Director: Shane Carruth
Starring: Andrew Sensenig, Shane Carruth and Amy Seimetz
IMDB: A man and woman are drawn together, entangled in the life cycle of an ageless organism. Identity becomes an illusion as they struggle to assemble the loose fragments of wrecked lives.
The next film from Shane Carruth (Primer) I have no idea what this film is about and I cannot wait for Carruth to fry my mind once again. Reviews coming out of Sundance have been strong and this appears to be a significant step-up visually from Carruth’s previous effort.
Writers: Simon Barrett, John Davies, Jason Eisener, Gareth Evans, Jamie Nash and Timo Tjahjanto
Directors: Simon Barrett, Jason Eisener, Greg Hale, Eduardo Sanchez and Adam Wingard
IMDB: Searching for a missing student, two private investigators break into his house and find collection of VHS tapes. Viewing the horrific contents of each cassette, they realize there may be dark motives behind the student's disappearance.
I never saw V/H/S, however i’m told you don’t need to in order to appreciate it’s supposedly superior sequel. I like horror films, I like anthology films and I like found footage films, so this film as well as its predecessor sound like ones I need to check out. An added bonus in regards to this sequel is that Gareth Evans, the director of one of my favourite films of last year (The Raid), directed one of the stories.
Writers: Brit Marling and Zat Balmanglij
Director: Zat Balmanglij
Starring: Brit Marling, Ellen Page and Alexander Skarsgard
IMDB: An operative for an elite private intelligence firm finds her priorities irrevocably changed after she is tasked with infiltrating an anarchist group known for executing covert attacks upon major corporations.
Ellen Page and Brit Marling star in a film that appears to be essentially ‘Project Mayhem’ the movie. Need I say more?
Writers: Ben Karlin and Stu Zicherman
Starring: Adam Scott, Amy Poehler, Jessica Alba and Mary Elizabeth Winstead
IMDB: A grown man is still caught in the crossfire of his parents 15 year divorce. He discovers he was unknowingly part of a study on divorced children and is enlisted in a follow-up years later, which wreaks new havoc on his family.
Adam Scott and Amy Poheler, two stars from one of my favourite TV shows currently, Parks and Recreation, star in this very well received comedy. Those are literally, the only reasons I am looking forward to this film.
What titles from this year's Sundance are you most looking forward to? Were you at this year's Sundance? If so what did you think of these films? Which titles should and shouldn't be on this list? Give us all your thoughts in the comments below.
By Movie Parliament Prime Minister,