Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Countdown to Sundance

There's only three days until Sundance 2008 officially opens it's doors. Well, 4 days for us schmucks who couldn't cough up the $4,000 for carte blanc packages that would actually allow the attendance of opening day events. But who cares! It's time to Sundance.

The previous few years have consistently delivered completely satisfying experiences that left me hungry for the next year of experimental art film.

I'll be seeing six film this year. Some I've awaited with great anticipation, some are risky choices based on plot summaries, directors and actors, and others were chosen on a whim as I waited in line to buy these tickets.

Of the six films I'll be attending, I'm most excited about two. First is Michael Haneke's remake of his own 1997 Austrian film, 'Funny Games.' An alarming film about the glorification of on-screen violence. The cast (starring Tim Roth, Naomi Watts and Michael Pitt) encourages one to hope for on-screen magic as a home invasion turns into something more sadistic and a family is forced to play 'funny games' throughout the night with the hope of surviving.

The second film is 'Choke.' Directed by Clark Gregg (his directorial debut) this adaptation of the Chuck Palahniuk novel follows Victor Mancini (Sam Rockwell) as he schemes and cons to support his deranged mother in an expensive private mental hospital. As always, Palahniuk explores the darker side of life. Hopefully, the other works of Palahniuk translate to the big screen as well as 'Fight Club.'

The other screenings I'll be attending include Alan Ball's feature-length directorial debut of 'Towelhead,' starring Aaron Eckhart and Toni Collette, George A. Romero's 'Diary of the Dead,' (who can help but go see a zombie movie directed by the Romero?), Tom Kalin's Savage Grace (Julianne Moore and Stephen Dillane), and finally, 'Ballast,' directed by Lance Hammer.

Hopefully, this year's experience will outshine the last few years were I discovered 'The Descent,' 'Black Snake Moan,' and 'The Illusionist' among others.

Pictures and stories will follow.

2 comments:

Richard said...

Sorry Tim Roth is not the lead of the film "Funny Games" and shouldn't be listed before Naomi Watts who is the lead (as Susannze Lothar was in the 1997 version). Listing Roth before Watts is misleading as readers may think his is more important a role then Watts', which is not true. Roth is supporting here.

Jessica said...

Time to Sundance! Just one week until our afternoon of Ballast. I liked the sentence about "home invasion." I hate that movie.