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Sundance: 18 Titles to Watch

Sundance: 18 Titles to Watch

Thompson on Hollywood

Now that all the 2010 Sundance films have been announced (all are listed on IndieWIRE) which films are the ones to see this January? Most of the films in the lineup are unknown quantities that will need to be checked out first-hand. Some of the new films below (I am not including films from other fests) will be hot acquisition titles, and some may actually make it into theaters.

Clearly, one to see is January 21 opening night competition film Howl, Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s reenactment (with animation) of gay beat poet Allen Ginsberg’s obscenity trial starring James Franco, Jeff Daniels, Jon Hamm and David Straithairn.

Other must-sees include directing debuts by actors Mark Ruffalo (Sympathy for Delicious) and Philip Seymour Hoffman (Jack Goes Boating) and The Perfect Storm writer Sebastian Junger, who was embedded with Restrepo co-director and photographer Tim Hetherington with the Second Platoon in Afghanistan.

Thompson on Hollywood

I look forward to another timely doc, Alex Gibney’s CASINO JACK & The United States of Money, about corrupt lobbyist Jack Abramoff, as well as Jean-Michael Basquiat: the Radiant Child, Tamra Davis’s profile of the late, great painter. Oscar-winner Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) is back again with Waiting for Superman, which addresses the crisis in public education.

Prolific director Michael Winterbottom has two movies, an adaptation of Jim Thompson’s The Killer Inside Me (starring Casey Affleck, Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson and Simon Baker) and a doc co-directed with Mat Whitecross, The Shock Doctrine, based on Naomi Klein’s examination of “disaster capitalism.” So do Twilight starlet Kristen Stewart (The Runaways and Welcome to the Rileys) and Juliette Lewis (Sympathy for Delicious and Tony Goldwyn’s Betty Anne Waters). And John C. Reilly stars in two too: American Splendor team Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini’s The Extra Man , co-starring Katie Holmes, and Humpday star Mark Duplass and his brother Jay’s Cyrus, co- starring Marisa Tomei and Jonah Hill and financed by Fox Searchlight.

Thompson on Hollywood

For those of you wondering whatever happened to Ryan Gosling (who was replaced by Mark Wahlberg in Peter Jackson’s The Lovely Bones), he stars opposite Michelle Williams in the marital drama Blue Valentine. (500) Days of Summer star Joseph Gordon-Levitt returns as a trickster in Hesher, co-starring Natalie Portman and Rainn Wilson. Writer-director Nicole Holofcener’s Please Give boasts a strong ensemble: Amanda Peet, Oliver Platt, Rebecca Hall and Catherine Keener. Writer-director John Wells cast Ben Affleck and Kevin Costner in The Company Men. And Mark Lewis explores an ecological disaster in 3-D with Cane Toads: The Conquest.

Here’s the LAT’s Sundance take.

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I can’t wait for “Cyrus”, the new dramatic comedy from Duplass Brothers. Will this to be the new “Juno”, by Fox Serachlight, too?

The Epoch Times

See a live forum with Tim Hetherington at NYU on Tuesday, December 8th.
Limited seating available.


NYU Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute
20 Cooper Square, 6th Floor, New York, NY
Contact: Genevieve Long at 917-280-3870 or (212) 239-2808


It’s too bad HEARTLESS won’t be premiered at Sundance..It’s from UK cult director Philip Ridley and Jim Sturgess(ACROSS THE UNIVERSE) is starring.I heard film is great and Sturgess delivers a career defining performance. I expected the film will premiered at Sundance.Like SPLICE,HEARTLESS was also screened at Sitges International Film Festival on last October.From what I heard and read,it seems like HEARTLESS is better film.It’s too bad..

Sorry for my English.


It bothers me that THE KILLER INSIDE ME is listed as starring Jessica Alba, Kate Hudson, and Simon Baker, three people who should not go anywhere near a Jim Thompson adaptation. I was a bit more reassured when I went to IMDB and saw that Casey Affleck was playing the main character, Lou Ford, an astute piece of casting if you ask me. (His Bob Ford in that film with the long title about Jesse James had a bit of Lou Ford psychosis in his makeup. Hmmm…wonder if those characters are related!) It really should be described as THE KILLER INSIDE ME, starring Casey Affleck. Who the hell are Alba, Hudson and Baker even playing in it? I don’t recall any characters from the book that either would be suited for.


I think I’m Fucking Pat Tillman will be far more interesting that Junger’s slide show, but then I’m prejudiced.

Don Murphy

you left off Splice which is the only film worth seeing

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