10 items from 2017
American war drama “The Yellow Birds,” which has been one of the hottest titles at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, examines post-traumatic stress disorder and its causes. “A lot of these guys sign up to go to war because it’s something to do,” actor Jack Huston, who plays Sgt. Sterling in the film, tells TheWrap. ‘The Yellow Birds” also stars Tye Sheridan, Alden Ehrenreich, Toni Collette and Jennifer Aniston. Alexandre Moors (“Blue Caprice”) directed from a script by David Lowery (“Ain’t Them Bodies Saints”), who adapted Iraq War veteran Kevin Powers’ 2012 book of the same name. Also »
- Umberto Gonzalez
French filmmaker Alexandre Moors made his feature debut in 2013 with Blue Caprice, an acclaimed indie inspired by the 2002 Washington, DC sniper attacks. He returns to Sundance (where Blue Caprice premiered) in 2017 with The Yellow Birds, an Iraq War drama screening in competition. Moors hired Joe Klotz to edit The Yellow Birds in part based on his affection for The Paperboy, one of three Lee Daniels films Klotz has edited. Below, Klotz discusses how he and Moors balanced “the fragmented nature of time” in the script with their mandate to tell a coherent narrative. The Yellow Birds will screen six times during the […] »
- Filmmaker Staff
War, of course, is hell. We know this, but it stands that we should be reminded now and again. With The Yellow Birds, filmmaker Alexandre Moors tries to find beauty in the brutality. From a screenplay by David Lowery and R.F.I. Porto and based on the novel by Kevin Powers, the film centers on two young soldiers, Brandon Bartle (Alden Ehrenreich) and Daniel Murphy (Tye Sheridan), in the thick of the Iraq War.
Taking orders from the intense and unstable Sergeant Sterling (Jack Huston, doing a lot here, for better and worse), Bartle and Murphy become fast friends. At a family event, Murphy’s mother Maureen (Jennifer Aniston, also on as executive producer) meets Bartle and asks that he look after her son. This interaction underlines the conflict to come.
The narrative is structured around a mystery: what happened to Murphy? It’s a disjointed framework, in which we slowly »
- Dan Mecca
Many movies, fiction and non-fiction, have been made about the second Iraq war. The best one was, oddly enough, a documentary: 2007’s No End In Sight. As far as fiction goes, though, none really “got” the war. Maybe they all came out too early and the war needed a little more digesting and thought, but the lack of a thoroughly made and informative depiction has yet to emerge.
Of course, one can say that none captured the tension and confusion of the war the way Kathryn Bigelow’s The Hurt Locker did back in 2009. However, the film never mentioned the word “Iraq” and chose to not disclose its setting. Bigelow’s effort noted that “war is a drug,” and in fact its protagonist had such a rush at defusing bombs that he rather be shipped off to the middle East than spend any time with his own family.
Unlike The Hurt Locker‘s main protagonist, »
- Jordan Ruimy
Alexandre Moors (Blue Caprice) returns to Sundance this year with The Yellow Birds, based on the Kevin Powers novel about young soldiers at war, the effect it has on them when they return home, and the questions they face when one of their number doesn’t return. Alden Ehrenreich plays Brandon Bartle, tasked by his Staff Sergeant (Jack Huston) to look after Murph (Tye Sheridan), who is far from ready for the traumas of the front lines. Ehrenreich couldn’t make it to the… »
21 January 2017 7:40 PM, PST | The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News | See recent The Hollywood Reporter - Movie News news »
An excellent novel about the Iraq War and its homefront fallout has been turned into a rather flat and disappointing film in The Yellow Birds. Principally the story of two working class privates and how the death of one of them produces waves of incalculable trauma and incomprehension among his survivors, the story has been skewed significantly from the book to concentrate more on those left behind, a puzzling move in that it lessens the tale’s structural power and aching ambiguity. Critical support from enthusiasts of director Alexandre Moors’ previous feature, the 2013 Sundance entry Blue Caprice, will doubtless launch »
- Todd McCarthy
It’s unusual, at the Sundance Film Festival, to see a drama about a subject like the Iraq War. The economics of scale required to stage an authentic combat scene don’t tend to mesh with indie-film budgets — and besides, there are enough towering war films in our time that the bar for them has been set extraordinarily high. So say this much for “The Yellow Birds”: When it plunks the audience down into a crumbling urban war zone, where every dirt road and alleyway could be a path to oblivion, the movie, if nothing else, creates a physically convincing atmosphere of instability and fearful tension. The movie opens with U.S. soldiers walking across a dark field, past palm trees (one of which is on fire), in a grimly patterned death march that evokes — ironically — the final moments of “Full Metal Jacket.” And, indeed, Stanley Kubrick’s great »
- Owen Gleiberman
Later this week, Lrm will be attending this year’s Sundance Film Festival. While the festival tends to be a mixed bag of indie films, some will be picked up for distribution by studios and turned into mainstream hits, others will flounder and be lucky to get a VOD release. Even so, there’s no denying that Sundance is the real beginning of the year for most movie lovers as we’ll be talking about the movies below for the next 12 months.
Last year alone, Sundance held the premieres for The Birth of a Nation, Manchester by the Sea, Captain Fantastic, Love and Friendship, The Hunt for the Wilderpeople, Sing Street and many more films, some that appeared on The Weekend Warrior’s year-end Top 25. One or two of those might even receive Oscar nominations when they’re announced next week on January 24.
Most of the films I’ve selected »
- Edward Douglas
Comprising a considerable amount of our top 50 films of last year, Sundance Film Festival has proven to yield the first genuine look at what the year in cinema will bring. Now in its 39th iteration, we’ll be heading back to Park City this week, but before we do, it’s time to highlight the films we’re most looking forward to, including documentaries and narrative features from all around the world.
While much of the joy found in the festival comes from surprises throughout the event, below one will find our 20 most-anticipated titles. Check out everything below and for updates straight from the festival, make sure to follow us on Twitter (@TheFilmStage, @jpraup, @djmecca and @FinkJohnJ), and stay tuned to all of our coverage here.
- Jordan Raup
This year’s Sundance Film Festival is mere days from unspooling in snowy Park City, Utah and, with it comes a brand new year of indie filmmaking to get excited about. As ever, the annual festival is playing home to dozens of feature films, short offerings and technologically-influenced experiences, and while there’s plenty to anticipate seeing, we’ve waded through the lineup to pick out the ones we’re most looking forward to checking out.
From returning filmmakers like Alex Ross Perry and Gillian Robesepierre to a handful of long-gestating passion projects and at least one film about a ghost, we’ve got a little something for every stripe of film fan.
Read More: Sundance 2017: Check Out the Full Lineup, Including Competition Titles, Premieres and Shorts
Ahead, check out 20 titles we’re excited to finally check out at this year’s festival.
The trifecta behind previous Sundance »
- Chris O'Falt, Eric Kohn, Graham Winfrey, Jude Dry, Kate Erbland, Steve Greene and Zack Sharf
10 items from 2017
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