IndieWire and Chase Team for the Sundance Lounge: See Photos From Day One of Kristen Stewart and More
IndieWire and Chase Sapphire have teamed at the Sundance Film Festival for the third year in a row, celebrating the festival with our portrait studio shot by Daniel Bergeron and a series of chats that feature talent from the year’s hottest films. Check out our pictures of the Day One goings-on, below.
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- Indiewire Staff
‘God’s Own Country’ Is A Sexy And Muddy Tale Of A Gay Man Finding Love [Sundance Review]
Park City – There is something inherently familiar about Francis Lee’s feature directorial debut “God’s Own Country” which screened for the press at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival on Saturday morning. We’ve seen stories about young gay men struggling with coming out in a conservative community before. We’ve seen the young man be afraid of parents who may or may not be accepting of his sexual orientation. We’ve seen the young man then find that special guy who makes him realize he can truly be himself and come out to his family.
Continue reading ‘God’s Own Country’ Is A Sexy And Muddy Tale Of A Gay Man Finding Love [Sundance Review] at The Playlist. »
- Gregory Ellwood
‘What Lies Upstream’ Clip: Slamdance Documentary Warns of a Chilling Effect on Regulation and Science Under Trump
Cullen Hoback’s investigative documentary “What Lies Upstream,” which premiered on Inauguration Day at the Slamdance Film Festival, couldn’t be more timely. The detective story takes a look at the largest chemical drinking water contamination in a generation and the failed regulatory framework that created a loss of clean water for hundreds of thousands of Americans.
But while the drinking water element is important, the film goes further and investigates the alarming implications for the future of science and reason in America under Donald Trump. A clip from the doc shows how Trump has appointed Myron Ebell, a top climate skeptic and lobbyist who made his fortune from ExxonMobil, Dow Chemical and the tobacco industry, to shape the entire future of the Environmental Protection Agency.
Read More: Slamdance Film Festival Announces 2017 Lineup: ‘Aerotropolis,’ ‘The Children Send Their Regards’ and More
With “What Lies Upstream,” Hoback hopes to show the »
- Liz Calvario
‘xXx: The Return of Xander Cage’ Review: Vin Diesel’s Action Reboot Bulks up on Cheap Thrills and Lean Plot
It’s pronounced “triple x,” in case you didn’t see the first movie that introduced Xander Cage, the extreme sportsman turned top secret government agent, which premiered in 2002. Hoping to manufacture the success of his “Fast and the Furious” franchise, Diesel has resurrected that summer blockbuster for a limp January imitation that loosely strings together high-octane thrills to threadbare effect.
The movie opens with Augustus Gibbons (Samuel L. Jackson, with face scar) imploring Brazilian soccer star Neymar to join the xXx program, a (top secret) super spy program run by the U.S. government. His pitch is “we are not at war, we are at peril,” as if those are two different things. Then, just as Gibbons inexplicably finishes explaining the plot of “Dogtown and Z Boys,” a fiery satellite careens out of the sky and presumably kills them both.
- Jude Dry
‘Dina’ Review: An Asperger’s Doc That Dares To Find Sex On The Spectrum — Sundance 2017
“I’m nervous of the unexpected,” Dina Buno says to no one in particular as she sits in a dentist’s chair and waits for the drilling to start, but the film that bears her name — a sporadically engaging but hugely empathetic non-fiction portrait — is nothing if not unexpected. For Dina, a suburban Philadelphia resident who lives with what her mom describes as “a smorgasbord” of mental health conditions (Asperger’s being the most evident of the lot), this movie is just another chapter of the life that she’s been living for 48 years. For the rest of us, it’s full of surprises.
Look no further than the strangely moving scene in which a beefy male stripper is hired to dance for Dina and her neurologically diverse group of friends. The guy doesn’t flinch when he walks in the door, he just gets right down to business. All smiles. »
- David Ehrlich
‘Oklahoma City’ Review: This Bombing Doc Is a Terrifying Warning for Trump’s America — Sundance 2017
From the opening titles that traces photos of white supremacist leaders to Timothy McVeigh’s mugshot, Barak Goodman’s “Oklahoma City” documentary links America’s rising white supremacist movement to McVeigh’s 1995 act of terrorism. It’s a compelling argument, and builds a case that the worst of what’s inside American borders is just as frightening as the evil men outside them. While Goodman’s feature doesn’t focus our recently inaugurated president, it serves as a blunt reminder of what has happened, and could happen again, when misinformation is spread to dangerous, angry, homegrown radicals.
The 1995 Oklahoma City bombing was the deadliest terrorist attack on American soil pre-9/11, and Goodman’s interpretation of its lessons examines how America’s security priorities have shifted since. Domestic terrorism concerns, even in an age when school shootings regularly prompt second amendment debates, are often overridden in national security conversations by fear of foreign threats. »
- Ben Travers
‘Feud: Bette and Joan’ Teasers: The Icons Race to the Studio Gate in New FX Promos
Starring Susan Sarandon as Bette Davis and Jessica Lange as Joan Crawford, the upcoming drama chronicles the legendary rivalry between the two movie stars during the making of their box office hit “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?”
The first teasers don’t show their complete faces, but instead, one features a memorable and shocking scene from the film involving a rat, while the second promo shows the leading ladies racing to the studio gate in Hollywood.
During FX’s recent panel at the Television Critics Association press tour, the actresses stated that the story of the icons is still relevant today, »
- Liz Calvario
“I Knew it Would Cause Problems”: Director Justin Chon | Gook
During its development, production or eventual distribution, what specific challenge of communication did, or will your film, face? How did you deal with it, or how are you planning to deal with it? The biggest challenge of communication my film Gook will have is the actual title. It was a problem when we were trying to get financing for the film, when we were trying to cast the film and will be a problem when we take the film out into the world because of judgment without understanding. It will be our job to communicate and open up dialogue on how […] »
- Filmmaker Staff
‘Trophy’ Review: This Big-Game Hunting Exposé is Jaw-Droppingly Beautiful, and Appalling — Sundance 2017
A woman kneels down, sets a black rhino in her sights, and pulls the trigger on the majestic animal, sending it careening to the ground. Immediately a crew rushes to the animal, straps its enormous jaw closed, and takes an electric saw to its horn. Cut to a portly older gentleman explaining in heavily accented South African English that for the rhino, the procedure is akin to having its wisdom teeth pulled. It’s for their own good, he explains: Poachers won’t kill a hornless rhino.
There are two sides to every story in “Trophy,” a sweeping new documentary from Shaul Schwarz and Christina Clusiau. Capturing footage as unbelievable as the disturbing underworld of big-game hunting it seeks to understand, “Trophy” tells a story as captivating as its images are beautiful.
Read More: The Orchard and CNN Acquire Documentary ‘Trophy’ — Sundance 2017
The portly gentleman is John Hume, a rhino »
- Jude Dry
Huh? Hugh Jackman Says ‘Logan’ Is Not Set In The ‘X-Men’ Universe
This is somewhat strange. So a new “Logan” trailer has been released and as you’ve likely heard by now, Hugh Jackman intends this to be the last Wolverine film—or at least the last one he stars in as the X-Men mutant. As you’ve probably gleaned from the footage and or our in-depth “Logan” report (we saw the first 40 minutes of the film), this James Mangold-directed outing is very different.
- Edward Davis
Allison Anders on Why Remaking ‘Beaches’ Made Sense, And What She’s Learned From Directing TV
When Lifetime asked iconic indie filmmaker Allison Anders to direct the network’s “Beaches” remake, the director found herself in an interesting position: She’d never seen Garry Marshall’s 1988 melodrama.
“In fact, I can say this to IndieWire — I was like, ‘Well fuck no, I haven’t seen “Beaches.” That’s everything my generation of filmmakers was against,'” Anders said.
Nonetheless, she decided to check out the original, and found herself deeply surprised by Marshall’s depiction of the decades-long bond between Cc (Idina Menzel in the remake, originally played by Bette Midler) and Hillary (Nia Long in the remake, originally played by Barbara Hershey). “I feel like the messiness is what was appealing to me, and that they endure through that messiness,” Anders said. “I mean, that’s the key, the endurance of the friendship. »
- Liz Shannon Miller
‘Novitiate’ Review: Margaret Qualley Is Stellar As A Young Nun In Love — Sundance 2017
What makes a young woman choose to be a nun? In Margaret Betts’ revelatory “Novitiate,” which traces the journey of the starry-eyed Cathleen, it begins in parochial school when a nun explains that the Catholic faith is different from all others because it’s built on the twin pillars of love and sacrifice. Combine that with the sense of peace that she gains from the church, and boom: This is a lovesick teenage girl, and Cathleen’s beloved is no less than God.
Largely set in 1964 and 1965, just as the Second Vatican Council (aka Vatican II) was beginning to roll out its new decrees for the way the church should be run, “Novitiate” follows Cathleen (a breakout Margaret Qualley) first as a postulate, then as the titular novitiate, which is regarded as a grueling training period in which young nuns “learn to be perfect.” Her mother (an excellent Julianne Nicholson »
- Kate Erbland
“Every Work of Art Is Political”: Director Cory Finley | Thoroughbred
During its development, production or eventual distribution, what specific challenge of communication did, or will your film, face? How did you deal with it, or how are you planning to deal with it? I spent a lot of time thinking, at every stage of making the film, about how it works as social critique. That’s not the story’s primary mode: it’s a psychological thriller, and it’s a study of two characters and their evolving relationship. But a playwriting professor once told me that every work of art is political, whether its creator wants it to be or not. I’m aiming […] »
- Filmmaker Staff
‘In Loco Parentis’ Review: The Cutest Documentary That Frederick Wiseman Never Made — Sundance 2017
The most adorable documentary that Frederick Wiseman never made, Neasa Ní Chianáin’s “In Loco Parentis” is a fly-on-the-wall chronicle of an academic year at Headfort, the only primary-age boarding school in the whole of Ireland. A verdant and enchanted estate in the heart of Kells, it seems like a place that time forgot. The giggly student body is the same age every semester, and the 21st-century pop songs the kids perform during band practice feel like dispatches from a very distant world (it’s as jarring to hear Rihanna at Headfort as it would be to hear her at Hogwarts).
Alas, even the most serene environments can’t exist in a snow globe. For John and Amanda Leyden, the married couple who have been running Headfort for 46 years, the deceptively static school environment has only made them more aware of their own mortality. They’d retire the moment it »
- David Ehrlich
Video Essay. Relay: A Take in Miklós Jancsó’s "The Red and the White"
The nineteenth entry in an on-going series of audiovisual essays by Cristina Álvarez López and Adrian Martin. Mubi will be showing Miklós Jancsó's The Red and the White (1967) from January 21 - February 20, 2017 in the United States.The long take—long in duration, rather than in the distance between the camera and the action—is contemporary art cinema’s greatest fetish. We commonly associate it with a static camera and empty, dead time—each moment grinding away as life evaporates—or with the steady, deliberately un-aesthetic, often lateral movements of camera and figures. However, in an earlier era, the era of Miklós Jancsó in 1960s Hungary and Theo Angelopoulos in 1970s Greece, the long take was a more supple tool, exploited for many uses, moods and effects. There is a lot happening in any, typical long take of Jancsó’s historical, political drama of the 1919 struggle between Hungarian Communists and Russian Cossacks, »
Miklós Jancsó and the Wages of War: Close-Up on "The Red and the White"
Close-Up is a column that spotlights films now playing on Mubi. Miklós Jancsó's The Red and the White (1967) will be showing January 21 - February 20, 2017 in the United States.The opening shot of The Red and the White shows armed riders on horseback rushing gallantly toward the camera in slow motion. It is the type of heroic imagery one associates with a valiant depiction of soldiers heading off to battle, to fight the good fight for a lofty cause. But in this outstanding 1967 film from Miklós Jancsó, one of the great anti-war testaments, such iconic and potentially promotional action is never to be seen again. In its place are the callous and violent vagaries of cold barbarity, overzealously arbitrary authority, and the unremitting movement of people, sometimes strategically, sometimes on an apparently random whim. Made during a politically pivotal and formally transitory period in Jancsó’s career, The Red and the White »
Michelle Morgan’s ‘L.A. Times’ Is A Funny, Woody Allen-Esque Look At Singlehood In Hollywood [Sundance Review]
When a film is named after a city, it had better have something to say about the town—especially if it’s taking the name of one of the biggies, like London, Paris, or New York. Writer-director-star Michelle Morgan’s “L.A. Times” is unquestionably “a Los Angeles movie,” in that it makes great use of the hills, valleys, galleries, and bars around the city as the backdrop for an episodic romantic comedy.
- Noel Murray
“Film Is Such a Universal Language”: Director Tarik Saleh | The Nile Hilton Incident
During its development, production or eventual distribution, what specific challenge of communication did, or will your film, face? How did you deal with it, or how are you planning to deal with it? The Nile Hilton Incident was shot in Casablanca as a stand in for Cairo, in both Arabic and Dinka languages. We had a French Dp, a German focus puller and a Swedish first Ad, so one might think that language would be the biggest challenge. However, film is such a universal language and it worked out fine. I think the biggest communication challenge always is making sure […] »
- Filmmaker Staff
“We Both Think Beauty Lies in the Imperfection”: Dp Ante Cheng on Justin Chon’s Gook
Actor Justin Chon appeared in all five Twilight films and a number of TV shows before making his directorial debut in 2015 with Man Up. His second feature, the provocatively titled Gook, premiered in the Next lineup at the 2017 Sundance Film Festival. The film was shot by Ante Cheng, a Los Angeles-based cinematographer from Taipei. Cheng had previously shot shorts and directed commercials and music videos before getting tapped by Chon for Gook. Prior to the film’s debut at Sundance, Cheng spoke with Filmmaker about shooting in black and white, his favorite Los Angeles-set films and finding inspiration in the words of cinematographer Harris Savides. […] »
- Filmmaker Staff
Scandal, Fassbinder, Garfein’s Something Wild and Fellini’s Roma: Jim Hemphill’s Home Video Picks
This week ABC dropped a nice surprise for Scandal fans in the form of a new web series that bridges season five and the twice-delayed (first by star Kerry Washington’s pregnancy, then by Trump’s inauguration) season six, which finally begins on January 26. Currently streaming on ABC’s website and app, Gladiator Wanted is the exceptionally entertaining brainchild of Scandal costar Darby Stanchfield, who created the web series and occupies the director’s chair for all six episodes. Scandal has long been one of the most dynamically directed shows on network television, boasting exceptional work by Ava DuVernay, Tom Verica, Jessica Yu, […] »
- Jim Hemphill
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