And thus begins our looks at films of note that will make their debuts at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival next January. And as he did last year, Tambay should be providing us with first-hand coverage of films and talents, which I'm sure will include this highly-anticipated one…
Isaiah Washington stars as John Allen, and Tequan Richmond, best known for TV's Everybody Hates Chris, as Lee Boyd Malvo, in the appropriately titled Blue Caprice, directed by Alexandre Moors – the New York-based film, music-video and commercial director. You've likely seen some of his work, as he's directed videos for the likes of Kanye West and Talib Kweli.
The film is based on the story of the real-life Beltway (Washington D.C. area) sniper attacks of 2002. 10 people were killed over a 3 week period in D.C., Maryland, and Virginia.
It was later learned that the rampage was perpetrated by one man, John Allen Muhammad, and one minor, Lee Boyd Malvo, driving a blue 1990 Chevrolet Caprice sedan, and had apparently begun their killing spree a month prior, with murders and robberies in Louisiana and Alabama.
The film's official synopsis reads:
Blue Caprice examines one of the most charged and enigmatic events of the past decade: the 2002 shooting spree that terrorized the Washington, D.C. area and would come to be known as the Beltway sniper attacks. The film tells the story of the two snipers, Lee Malvo and John Williams, during the months leading up to the shootings, piecing together clues in an attempt to understand the circumstances and motives behind their horrific actions.
To further expound on the film's contents, here's an excerpt from an interview Vanessa did with Washington last fall, in which Blue Caprice was discussed:
VM: Tell me about Blue Caprice, in which you will play D.C. sniper John Allen Muhammad and which you’re currently filming. How did you prepare for the role?
IW: I’m a human being, I’m going to have to tell the truth and bring honesty to the script, but, I can say that the best thing has been two books I read; one by Russian author from the 19th century Fyodor Dostoyevsky called Notes from the Underground and the book Scared Silent from John Allen Muhammad’s former wife [Mildred Muhammad]. Hopefully, it [Blue Caprice] will be very thought provoking, very intense, funny. Hopefully, people will walk out of the theater really confused about how they feel over what they thought they knew about this man because, what we see is ‘wow, this man is also trying to be a good father to his 3 kids and they were taken way from him. Now…does that excuse his behavior? Nah! But I will say that although you may not agree, hopefully it will help you understand.
VM: Tequan Richmond plays your young accomplice in the film, Lee Boyd Malvo. How is working with him?
IW: He’s going to be the breakout star of this film. I’m sure he’s going to be the one that gets all the awards and nominations. He’s young, a great professional, highly motivated, very passionate about this role and the film. I wish him nothing but the best. I told him, “if you don’t get nominated for an Oscar for this; I’m wasting my time!"
I think I speak for other S&A writers when I say that we're looking forward to seeing this film, which will likely stir up some controversy, or at least memories of the period that's at the center of its narrative.
Tambay noted in a recent post that he's seen a few minutes more of the film than the rest of us, thanks to it being selected for the for the eighth annual IFP Narrative Labs over the summer, as well as during Independent Film Week here in NYC, which he covered. And recall him saying that he was looking forward to seeing the rest of it.
Other than the 34-second teaser we posted last year (embedded below for those who didn't see it), there's been nothing new in terms of media – clips, trailers, stills – until now, thanks to its Sundance selection, the festival has made a few images available for the press, and you'll find them above and below: