Before Sundance


StraitsTimes had an article on Sundance. Unfortunately I cannot link to a realworld article – their fault, and their website is usually paywalled, and they might be picky about copyright. So let’s look elsewhere instead.



Sundance evokes to my mind an image of Burning Man festival. Do you know about Burning Man? It is a madhouse of creative spirits – what an understatement. Sundance doesn’t represent the hot sun, the glaring sun, the bright sun, the happy sun, the round sun.. It seems to represent the glint of sunrays through the camera lens at sunset. Not dusk, dusk is too dark, sunset. It also feels of campfire dances around the burning logs. Once in awhile, some folks gather around in a far off semi-obscure of the american outback, not the Cannes of French Riviera that’s for the cocktail dress days. Sundance, is. Sundance is what we had after the confines of the written word was too restrictive, but before the hippies learnt to Instagram all their photos. Sundance is the ultimate Instagram before Instagram was even born. Sundance is like looking through life, words, meaning and movies through Instagram-ed eyes and Kafka-ed words. To many people, these ‘art’ films are probably not the real world. They are embroiled in mad fantasies, illogic storylines, 2 hour movies that deviate from traditional structures, no conclusion. But sometimes that’s life isn’t it? It’s an experience. It’s a journey and experience that you see, hear, feel. And at the end of it, must there be a happy or sad ending, must there be any meaning?

Here is the jaw dropping list of premieres

Before Midnight/ U.S.A. (Director: Richard Linklater, Screenwriters: Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke, Richard Linklater— We meet Jesse and Celine nine years on in Greece. Almost two decades have passed since their first meeting on that train bound for Vienna. Before the clock strikes midnight, we will again become part of their story. Cast: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy, Xenia Kalogeropoulou, Ariane Labed, Athina Rachel Tsangari, Seamus Davey-Fitzpatrick.

omg the pressure is there on how this compares with the first two movies. they better have good dialogue.

Breathe In / U.S.A. (Director: Drake Doremus, Screenwriters: Drake Doremus, Ben York Jones) — When a foreign exchange student arrives in a small upstate New York town, she challenges the dynamics of her host family’s relationships and alters their lives forever. Cast: Guy Pearce, Felicity Jones, Amy Ryan, Mackenzie Davis.

Guy Pearce. I’m currently a fan.

Don Jon’s Addiction / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Joseph Gordon-Levitt) — In Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s charming directorial debut, a selfish modern-day Don Juan attempts to change his ways. Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Scarlett Johansson, Julianne Moore, Tony Danza, Glenne Headly, Rob Brown.

Gordon-Levitt directing and screenwriting? He looks brainy enough, but why this storyline. He managed to grab Scarlett-Johansson though.

The East / U.S.A. (Director: Zal Batmanglij, Screenwriters: Zal Batmanglij, Brit Marling) — An operative for an elite private intelligence firm goes into deep cover to infiltrate a mysterious anarchist collective attacking major corporations. Bent on apprehending these fugitives, she finds her loyalty tested as her feelings grow for the group’s charismatic leader. Cast: Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård, Ellen Page, Toby Kebbell, Shiloh Fernandez, Patricia Clarkson.

wonder if Ellen Page has grown up. why the action movies though.

The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman / U.S.A. (Director: Fredrik Bond, Screenwriter: Matt Drake) — Traveling abroad, Charlie Countryman falls for Gabi, a Romanian beauty whose unreachable heart has its origins in Nigel, her violent, charismatic ex. As the darkness of Gabi’s past increasingly envelops him, Charlie resolves to win her heart, or die trying. Cast: Shia LaBeouf, Evan Rachel Wood, Mads Mikkelsen, Rupert Grint, James Buckley, Til Schweiger.

Shia LeBeouf! And a great title.

Stoker / U.S.A. (Director: Park Chan-Wook, Screenwriter: Wentworth Miller) — After India’s father dies in an auto accident, her Uncle Charlie comes to live with her and her mother, Evelyn. Soon after his arrival, India suspects that this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives but becomes increasingly infatuated with him. Cast: Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, Dermot Mulroney, Jacki Weaver, Nicole Kidman.

Nicole Kidman’s always edgy. She acts the best ‘housewife’.

Before Sundance

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