After a nostalgic 24 hours of severe pre-Sundance hustle here in Park City (grocery runs, schedule making, e-mailing returning, not being sold alcohol at the Utah State Liquor Store because you don’t have American ID), things have calmed down ever-so-briefly to allow for a brief rant here. This will be my fourth Sundance, and so far I’m liking the vibe that comes with that number. After a first festival that essentially can never be topped simply out of how shiny and exciting everything was with fresh eyes, my second and third festivals brought on a bit of jadedness where I wondered whether everything peaks the first time around. But now, I feel a greater sense of community here than I ever have in the past, and a much more clear focus on how much the festival has to offer beyond the clusterfuckery that happens after 9pm.
So, onwards with that in mind… It looks like it’s going to be a really interesting year. Much less star-studded to be sure, but there’s 30+ films on my to-see list that I’m really, really looking forward to:
Docs like James Marsh’s “Project Nim,” Eugene Jarecki ‘s “Reagan,” David Weissman’s “We Were Here,” and most especially Andrew Rossi’s “Page One: A Year Inside The New York Times”; More high profile entries like Tom McCarthy’s “Win Win,” Miranda July’s “The Future,” Matthew Chapman’s “The Ledge,” Kevin Smith’s “Red State,” Miguel Arteta’s “Cedar Rapids,” Jesse Peretz’s “My Idiot Brother,” Drake Doremus’s “Like Crazy,” and Azazel Jacobs’s “Terri”; And buzzy films from up and comers like Braden King’s “HERE,” Elgin James’s “Little Birds,” Joshua Leonard’s “The Lie,” Evan Glodell’s “Bellflower,” Mike Cahill’s “Another Earth,” Sean Durkin’s “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” André Ovredal’s “The Troll Hunter,” and actress Vera Farmiga’s directorial debut “Higher Ground.” Not to mention some promising titles from some of my fellow Canadians: Jason Eisener’s “Hobo With a Shotgun,” Sebastien Pilote’s “The Salesman,” Julia Ivanova’s “Family Portrait in Black and White,” and Iwai Shunji’s “Vampire.” Here’s a nifty guide to each and every one I put together on indieWIRE.