Kill Your Darlings (2006)
Premiering at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival alongside Kill Your Darlings, which documented a pre-Road Kerouac, filmmaker Michael Polish adapts Big Sur, one of the author’s later works depicting a post-peak ennui that afflicted the famed Beat. As both films enjoy an overlapping theatrical release, Polish’s title is certainly the harder sell, a downbeat (forgive the pun) sprawl into a nervous breakdown that’s miles away from the vivacious Kerouac in the Krokidas film or in Walter Salles’ 2012 adaptation of On the Road. Moody, melancholic, and muted visuals of lonely sweeping landscapes accompany a film comprised entirely of dour voiceover from Jean-Marc Barr, well cast as Kerouac. But as lively and expressive as Barr’s rendition is, Polish’s dependence on the device grows tiring, even at a rather slim running time.
Based on his 1962 novel, which recounts three brief visits
• Toronto film festival: 20 tops picks in pictures
• The full Toronto film festival line-up
The Toronto film festival today offered audiences a glimpse of the future, as it unveiled a list of premieres which reads like a dry run for next year's Oscars ceremony.
Among the 13 galas and 52 special presentations revealed is The Fifth Estate, the drama based partly on the book about WikiLeaks by Guardian journalists David Leigh and Luke Harding, which will open this year's festival. The drama, directed by Bill Condon, stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Julian Assange with Daniel Brühl, David Thewlis, Stanley Tucci, Laura Linney and Dan Stevens in supporting roles.
Written and directed by Nat Faxon & Jim Rash (Oscar winners for their work on “The Descendents” and known to many as Ben from
For those who don't know, Green burst onto the indie scene back in 2000 with the critically acclaimed, but microscopically released, "George Washington" and followed-up with a series of well-regarded low-budget films. "All the Real Girls" (starring a pre-"New Girl" Zooey Deschanel) and "Snow Angels" (with Sam Rockwell and Kate Beckinsale), both debuted at Sundance. "Undertow" (with Jamie Bell, Josh Lucas and Dermot Mulroney) premiered at the Toronto and New York film festivals.
Then Green broke into the mainstream with the Judd Apatow-produced "Pineapple Express." Lesser studio efforts "Your Highness" and "The Sitter" followed. After his guerrilla-style experience shooting last year's Clint Eastwood/"Halftime in America" Super Bowl commercial, Green decided to get some friends together and make a movie cheap, quick and quiet.
The result is the scruffy,
Greetings from Park City, everyone! As I’m writing this piece, I’m in Utah attending the Sundance Film Festival. So far, it has been pretty cool (if a bit overwhelming at times), especially for a first-timer like myself. Being here inspired me to try and tie in the festival to the Oscars, as I’m prone to do with just about everything that I can. I’ve found that I’m on the lookout for what could move from this year’s festival lineup to the next awards season.
When I wrote about which film festivals influence the Oscar race a few weeks ago (found here), I mentioned how Sundance wasn’t the prime destination for awards hopefuls but still functioned as an essential launching pad. That was certainly true this year, and it will remain the case going forward.
It takes a certain
The Eccles (a 1,270 seat theater) was to near capacity when Robert Redford kicked off the festival by giving a short, encouraging introduction to the premiere of May in the Summer, the second feature from Cherien Debis. Debis took the stage and recounted how much her eccentric family inspired and informed the writing. She emotionally talked about her mother’s influence and the innocent way she wasn’t aware what Sundance was when her first feature Amreeka was accepted in 2009. The premiere of the unfortunately under attended Twenty Feet from Stardom- was
You said it, Reverend. Greetings from the apocalypse! As we continue our trek across this wind-blasted winter landscape of mediocre cinema, it's important not to toss hope in a ditch like grandma's ashes. Jumpstart the Vw bus we found abandoned next to the exploded gas station and let's move onward into the long Mlk weekend with our head held high and noseplug firmly secured. It's how the good Doctor would have wanted it.
Friday, January 18
January is always a dumping ground for crap horror flicks, which is why this week's Survivor of Thunderdome is such a labored breath of fresh air: the Guillermo del Toro-produced frightmare "Mama." Based on a short film from 2008, it chronicles two creepy little tikes discovered living la vida feral in the woods, where they've been under the watchful eye of
Plus Henry Barnes picks out 10 key films from the festival
This will be my 23rd Sundance. Over that time, I have watched Robert Redford's festival grow to a point where more than 12,000 films are submitted each year, and the media are everywhere – though mostly looking for Hollywood types briefly vacationing in gun-friendly, anti-abortion, Mormon Utah. The success and spillover of films has led to more indie festivals than you can count, including SXSW, Traverse City (Michael Moore's shindig on Lake Michigan), CineVegas, founded by a Sundance programmer and for a spell chaired by Dennis Hopper, even a Latter Day Saints film festival in Orem, a Mormon stronghold, which unspools simultaneously with Sundance's bacchanal.
Bona-fide hits have come out of Sundance: The Blair Witch Project (which grossed more than
U.S. Dramatic Competition
Director and screenwriter Jill Soloway – @jillwaysolo
Actors Josh Radnor – @JoshRadnor,
This year there are so many stars headed to Park City, Utah (where the bulk of the screenings and events take place), we had to cheat in picking a top 10. The list below is actually a top 12 (including two pairs of actors appearing in the same film).
But when the list excludes Amanda Seyfried, Naomi Watts, Michael Cera, Julianne Moore, Jessica Biel, Dakota Fanning and Kristen Bell among others, can you blame us?
The 10 12 biggest stars heading to Sundance 2013:
Harry Potter himself headlines Sundance competition entry "Kill Your Darlings" as a young Allen Ginsberg in the story of the birth of the Beat movement.
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