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Sundance ’08: A Quick Take on “King of Ping Pong”, “Ballast”, and “The Order of Myths”

Sundance '08: A Quick Take on "King of Ping Pong", "Ballast", and "The Order of Myths"

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Sundance is busy as usual for team iW. When we’re not busy throwing chili parties, getting our car towed, or covering the biz, we actually see movies.

Here’s some quick thoughts on the triple feature I did on Saturday:

Jens Jonsson’s “King of Ping Pong

A film about yet another oddball teenager loner, that aside from it’s Swedish landscape, feels like a mish mash of American independent film cliches about teenage angst and retro quirk details like ping pong and old pop songs. There’s some good stuff in here but it never quite congeals.

Lance Hammer’s “Ballast

Fantastic. A subtle, naturalistic film about an African American woman and her son in the Deep South who deal with the repercussions of a death, “Ballast” features cinema verite camerawork and non-professional actors to tell a story that starts out minimal and builds into a powerful drama about dealing with the aftermath of a family tragedy.

Margaret Brown’s “The Order of Myths

A documentary about the two segregated Mardi Gras celebrations in Mobile, Alabama, “Myths” takes a balanced view of race relations in the South, how far they have come yet how much more needs to be done. Without ever resorting to mockery or caricatures, “Myths” offers a sensitive portrait of a complex issue.

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