Day 7 is up and running as the Sundance Film Festival nears its end…
8:30PM: Elmo Takes Sundance: Elmo and his “friend” Kevin Clash came to Sundance to promote “Being Elmo,” a film about Clash’s career, from his time making puppets at home to his big breaks with public access television, Captain Kangaroo, and Jim Henson. In the film, footage from a show that followed talented children was dug up in order to show Clash’s entree into the puppeteering industry, and we see Clash give back to the community that made him a star by mentoring some very talented puppeteers and puppet makers from around the world. The Q&A provided a lively and inspiring commentary, in which Clash showed great appreciation for his fans, his industry, and his craft. Fans of all ages lined up to meet the man and the Muppet they grew up watching on television.
Oh, and the film made my cry. [Bryce J. Renninger]
6:20PM: criticWIRE @ Sundance: Hundreds of grades have been entered, and hundreds are still coming, so be sure to check out indieWIRE’s guide to all the Sundance films for a look at what critics and bloggers are thinking about this year’s slate.
5:55PM: “Take Shelter” Winning Over Sundance: Definitely one of the frontrunners for the U.S. Dramatic Competition, Jeff Nichols’ “Take Shelter” had its second screening in Park City last night and continued to win over audience members. Acquired by Sony Pictures Classics just prior to the fest, Nichols’ psychological drama depicts Curtis, a thirtysomething family man who encounters a sudden struggle with mental illness. Starring Michael Shannon (who also starred in Nichols’ previous film, “Shotgun Stories”) as Curtis and Jessica Chastain (likely one of 2011’s big breakouts between this and “The Tree of Life) as his wife, “Shelter” is a haunting and tense portrait of a family unravelling.
“I think there is a general sense of anxiety and stress out in the world,” Nichols said upon introducing the film. “And I think it’s palpable. I wanted to make a film that touched that. However, I do think the film has a possible answer to that stress and that anxiety. My one hope is that answer somewhat translates for you guys tonight.”
Judging from an enthusiastic round of applause afterwards, it’s likely that was often the case. Watch the full Q&A from the screening here. [Peter Knegt]
4:45:PM: Anne Thompson Chats Up Sundance Breakout Brit Marling (VIDEO): Newcomer Brit Marling is having quite the ride at Sundance this year. Not only does she star in two buzzy titles (“Another Earth” and “Sound of My Voice”), she co-produced and co-wrote each project as well. Anne Thompson sat down in Park City to chat with Marling about how she’s handling all the attention. For full story and video click here.
3:30PM: Daily Sundance Links!: Included today: Anthony Kaufman gives his verdict on the festival, Spout takes a look at “Another Earth,” Anne Thompson speaks to the director and star of “Cedar Rapids,” Cinematical talks to the lovely Eva Green, and “Margin Call” gets a lukewarm welcome from The Hollywood Reporter. For full story click here.
12:30PM: “Perfect Sense” Goes to IFC: When it rains it pours! IFC Films acquired North American rights to David Mackenzie’s romantic thriller “Perfect Sense,” starring Ewan MacGregor and Eva Green. For more click here.
11:00AM: “I Melt With You” Picked Up: Magnolia Pictures took U.S. theatrical rights to Mark Pellington’s “I Melt With You,” which stars Thomas Jane, Rob Lowe and Jeremy Piven. For more click here.
10:28 AM: (Updated) Fox Searchlight’s Fourth Festival Buy: “Another Earth” For more details, go here.
9:45 AM: Eric Kohn reviews Andrew Rossi’s look at old vs. new media: Sundance Review | Media Frenzy: Andrew Rossi’s “Page One: A Year Inside the New York Times.” Read the review here.
8:20 AM: “The Details” and “Another Earth” Sell Overnight: Park City woke up some major deals this morning, with Fox Searchlight taking the rights to “Another Earth” and The Weinstein Company nabbing “The Details.” More to come…
8:00 AM: “Brick Novax” & “Deeper Than Yesterday” Win Top Shorts Prizes at Sundance Film Festival: Writer-director Matt Piedmont’s “Brick Novax pt 1 and 2” won the Jury Prize in Short Filmmaking last night at the Sundance Film Festival, while Australian writer-director Ariel Kleiman’s “Deeper Than Yesterday” received the fest’s Jury Prize in International Short Filmmaking. More details here.