3 items from 2015
Korean-American filmmaker Benson Lee won the Jury Prize at Sundance with his Competition Drama, Miss Monday, in 1998. A decade later he returned with Planet B-Boy, a critically-acclaimed, commercially-successful doc about breakdancing crews competing in an international competition. Lee’s success with Planet B-Boy led to both a studio deal and a career setback. Battle of the Year, a Sony production based on B-Boy, was as critically derided as the doc was praised, and it was a commercial failure to boot. This year, Lee returned to the site of his Miss Monday success — the Sundance Film Festival — with an […] »
- Scott Macaulay
If you can get past the wobbly execution and the gentle groaner of a title, “Seoul Searching” delivers a sweetly engaging tribute to classic John Hughes movies and a refreshing glimpse into the secret life of the Asian teenager. Inspired by Korean-American writer-director Benson Lee’s experiences at a 1986 summer camp in Seoul, where he and some 200 other kids spent a summer learning about their heritage, this “Bibimbap Breakfast Club” ricochets from hormonal hijinks to tear-soaked melodrama to inevitable romance in endearing but wildly uneven fashion. Fortunately, its heart is always in the right place even when the camera isn’t, and as a calling-card showcase for its very appealing cast — and an upbeat tribute to the awesomeness of the ’80s in general — it should find an enthusiastic niche audience in limited-theatrical and VOD release.
As one of the few films to put Asian youth culture front and center since »
- Justin Chang
Chicago – This Thursday marks the beginning of the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, and yours truly will be in attendance to cover the fest for HollywoodChicago.com. Last year, the Park City, Utah event introduced the world to its 2014-defining sensations like “Whiplash” and “Boyhood”.
Those titles followed in the paths of indie landmarks such as “sex, lies and videotape,” “Clerks,” “Hoop Dreams,” “American Movie,” “Memento,” “Frozen River,” “Winter’s Bone,” and “Fruitvale Station,” among many others.
In pursuit of new favorite films for a new year, I’ve composed a relatively solid schedule so that I can devour as much diverse Sundance goodness as possible. Narratives, documentaries, white supremacists, nasty babies, Neil Hamburger, Chiwetel Ejiofor, stolen cop cars, and much, much more are all in play. But with hopes that everything I witness is the next “Boyhood”-like zeitgeist, I’ll be sure to report back here on what’s worth, »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
3 items from 2015