Sundance has unveiled the films selected to screen in the
2014 Sundance Film Festival out-of-competition sections Spotlight, Park City at
Midnight, New Frontier and new ‘Sundance Kids’ section of films for younger
audiences. The fest takes place January 16-26 in Park City, Salt Lake City,
Ogden and Sundance, Utah.
Spotlight brings back movies that the Sundance programmers have admired at other festivals around the world. It’s a chance to catch up on lauded films that have been missed or still lack distribution. Of this group, we recommend Jim Jarmusch’s “Only Lovers Left Alive,” starring the incomparable Tilda Swinton and Tom Hiddleston as timeless vampire lovers–and a surprisingly nasty Mia Wasikowska–as well as Ritesh Batra’s four-hankie love story “The Lunchbox,” an independent film starring the great Irrfan Khan that should have been India’s official Oscar entry.
The Park City at Midnight selection is often the primary target for acquisitions executives. And the often overlooked New Frontiers section includes Sundance regular Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s latest online video experiment “HIT RECORD ON TV,” in which he plays a variety show host directing a global online community of artists as they create short films, music, and animation; it’s open to anybody with an Internet connection. Sundance is hoping a Doug Aiken-designed installation and a new venue off of Main Street in a parking lot for New Frontiers will open it up to more sampling, as well as a projection on the front of the Egyptian theater every night.
The new section designed to appeal to younger festgoers includes the English-language premiere of must-see animated Oscar contender from France, 2-D charmer “Ernest and Celestine.”
In addition to those announced today, films in the U.S. and
World Competition and NEXT <=> sections have been announced. Films for the
Premieres and Documentary Premieres section announcements are coming soon.
Lineups, after the jump.
Regardless of where these films have played throughout the
world, the Spotlight program is a tribute to the cinema we love.
Blue Ruin / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jeremy
Saulnier) — A mysterious outsider’s quiet life turns upside down when he returns
to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Proving to be an
amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged
family. Cast: Macon Blair, Amy Hargreaves, Sidné Anderson, Devin Ratray, Kevin
The Double / United Kingdom (Director: Richard Ayoade,
Screenwriter: Avi Korine) — Jesse Eisenberg plays Simon, a timid and isolated
man who is overlooked at work. When James, a new coworker arrives, he upsets
the balance because he is both Simon’s physical double and his opposite:
confident and good with women. Then James slowly starts taking over Simon’s
life. Cast: Jesse Eisenberg, Mia Wasikowska, Wallace Shawn, Noah Taylor, Cathy
Moriarty, James Fox.
Ida / Poland (Director: Pawel Pawlikowski, Screenwriters:
Pawel Pawlikowski, Rebecca Lenkiewicz) — Anna, a young novitiate nun in 1960s
Poland, is on the verge of taking her vows when she discovers a dark family
secret dating back to the years of the Nazi occupation. Cast: Agata Kulesza,
Agata Trzebuchowska, Dawid Ogrodnik.
Locke / United Kingdom (Director and screenwriter: Steven
Knight) — Locke is a feat of dynamic storytelling from Academy Award–nominated
writer/director Steven Knight, anchored by Tom Hardy’s fantastic performance.
Unfolding in real time, the film is a gripping story of choices, consequences,
and a man who risks everything he holds dear to do the right thing. Cast: Tom
Hardy, Ruth Wilson, Olivia Colman, Andrew Scott, Tom Holland, Bill Milner.
The Lunchbox / India, France, Germany (Director and
screenwriter: Ritesh Batra) — A mistake in Dabbawallahs, Mumbai’s famously
efficient lunchbox delivery system, connects a young housewife to a stranger in
the dusk of his life. Through notes in the lunchbox, the two build a fantasy
world that gradually threatens to overwhelm their reality. Cast: Irrfan Khan,
Nimrat Kaur, Nawazuddin Siddiqui, Denzil Smith, Bharati Achrekar, Nakul Vaid
Only Lovers Left Alive / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter:
Jim Jarmusch) — Set against the desolation of Detroit and Tangier, an
underground musician, depressed by the direction the world is taking, reunites
with his lover. Their love story has endured for centuries, but the woman’s
uncontrollable sister disrupts their idyll. Can these wise outsiders continue
to survive as the world collapses around them? Cast: Tom Hiddleston, Tilda
Swinton, Mia Wasikowska, John Hurt, Anton Yelchin, Jeffrey Wright.
R100 / Japan (Director and screenwriter: Hitoshi Matsumoto)
— A mild-mannered family man with a secret taste for S&M finds himself
pursued by a gang of ruthless dominatrices — each with a unique talent — in
this hilarious and bizarre take on the sex comedy from Japanese comic
mastermind Hitoshi Matsumoto. Cast: Nao Ohmori, Lindsay Kay Hayward, Hairi
Stranger by the Lake / France (Director and screenwriter:
Alain Guiraudie) — Frank spends his summer searching for companionship at a
lake in France. He meets Michel, an attractive, mysterious man and falls
blindly in love. When a death occurs, Frank and Michel become the primary
suspects. Stranger by the Lake is an erotic thriller testing the limits of
sexual desire. Cast: Pierre Deladonchamps, Christophe Paou, Patrick d’Assumçao.
PARK CITY AT MIDNIGHT
From horror flicks to comedies to works that defy any genre,
these unruly films will keep you edge-seated and wide awake. Each is a world
The Babadook / Australia (Director and screenwriter:
Jennifer Kent) — A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband,
battles with her son’s fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon
discovers a sinister presence all around her. Cast: Essie Davis, Noah Wiseman,
Daniel Henshall, Hayley McElhinney, Barbara West, Ben Winspear.
Cooties / U.S.A. (Directors: Jonathan Millott, Cary Murnion,
Screenwriters: Leigh Whannell, Ian Brennan) — A mysterious virus hits an
isolated elementary school and transforms the students into a feral swarm of
mass savages; then an unlikely hero must lead a motley band of teachers in the
fight of their lives. Cast: Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill, Jack
McBrayer, Leigh Whannell, Nasim Pedrad.
Dead Snow; Red vs. Dead / Norway (Director: Tommy Wirkola,
Screenwriters: Tommy Wirkola, Stig Frode Henriksen, Vegar Hoel) — The gruesome
Nazi Zombies are back to finish their mission, but our hero is not willing to
die. He is gathering his own army to give them a final fight. Cast: Vegar Hoel,
Stig Frode Henriksen, Martin Starr, Ørjan Gamst, Monica Haas, Jocelyn DeBoer.
The Guest / U.S.A. (Director: Adam Wingard, Screenwriter:
Simon Barrett) — A soldier on leave befriends the family of a fallen comrade.
He soon becomes a threat to everyone around him when it’s revealed he’s not who
he says he is. Cast: Dan Stevens, Maika Monroe, Leland Orser, Lance Reddick,
Chase Williamson, Brendan Meyer.
Killers / Japan, Indonesia (Directors: The Mo Brothers,
Screenwriters: Timo Tjahjanto, Takuji Ushiyama) — Two serial killers post their
violent crimes online in a psychotic battle for notoriety. It soon becomes
clear that they will square off with one another face to face. Cast: Kazuki
Kitamura, Oka Antara, Rin Takanashi, Luna Maya, Ray Sahetapy.
The Signal / U.S.A. (Director: William Eubank,
Screenwriters: William Eubank, Carlyle Eubank, David Frigerio) — Three college
students disappear under mysterious circumstances while tracking a computer
hacker through the Southwest. Cast: Laurence Fishburne, Brenton Thwaites,
Olivia Cooke, Beau Knapp.
Under the Electric Sky (EDC 2013) / U.S.A. (Directors: Dan
Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz) — This 3-D film chronicles the love, community, and
life of festivalgoers during Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas, the largest
music festival in the U.S. Behind-the-scenes footage and exclusive interviews
with Insomniac’s Pasquale Rotella reveal the magic that makes this three-night,
345,000-person event a global phenomenon.
What We Do in the Shadows / New Zealand, U.S.A. (Directors
and screenwriters: Taika Waititi, Jemaine Clement) — This mockumentary follows
the struggles of a group of New Zealand–based vampires to understand modern society
and adapt to the ever-changing world around them. Cast: Jemaine Clement, Taika
Waititi, Jonny Brugh, Cori Gonzales-Macuer, Stu Rutherford.
To reach our youngest independent film fans, we have created
a new section of the Festival especially for them. Programmed in cooperation
with Tumbleweeds, Utah’s premiere film festival for children and youth.
Ernest and Celestine / France, Belgium, Luxembourg
(Directors: Benjamin Renner, Stéphane Aubier, Vincent Patar, Screenwriter:
Daniel Pennac) — Unlike her fellow mice, Celestine is an artist and a dreamer.
When she nearly ends up as breakfast for a bear named Ernest, the two form an
unlikely bond that is quickly challenged by their respective communities. Cast:
Forest Whitaker, Mackenzie Foy, Lauren Bacall, Paul Giamatti, William H. Macy,
Nick Offerman. World Premiere (English version)
Zip and Zap and the Marble Gang / Spain (Director: Oskar
Santos, Screenwriters: Francisco Roncal, Jorge Lara, Oskar Santos) — Zip and
Zap are punished by being sent to a re-education center. Guided by
intelligence, they uncover a mysterious secret hidden deep within the school
and end up having the most exciting adventure of their lives. Cast: Javier
Gutiérrez, Daniel Cerezo, Raúl Rivas, Claudia Vega, Marcos Ruiz, Fran García.
NEW FRONTIER FILMS
The Better Angels / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: A.J.
Edwards) — Set in the harsh wilderness of Indiana, this is the story of Abraham
Lincoln’s youth. It tells of the hardships that shaped him, the tragedy that
marked him forever, and the two women who guided him to immortality. Cast:
Jason Clarke, Diane Kruger, Brit Marling, Wes Bentley. World Premiere
The Girl from Nagasaki / Germany, U.S.A., Japan, Italy
(Director: Michel Comte, Screenwriters: Anne-Marie Mackay, Ayako Yoshida,
Michel Comte) — This 3D feature film production of the classic Puccini opera
Madame Butterfly is directed by world-renowned photographer Michel Comte. It’s
a modern-day tale that starts with the young madame emerging from the ashes of
the atomic bomb in Nagasaki. Cast: Christopher Lee, Sasha Alexander, Michael
Wincott, Michael Nyqvist, Robert Evans, Polina Semionova. International
HITRECORD ON TV / U.S.A. (Director: Joseph Gordon-Levitt) —
HIT RECORD ON TV is a new kind of variety show with host Joseph Gordon-Levitt
directing a global online community of artists as they create short films,
music, animation, and more. Anybody with an Internet connection is invited to
contribute, and each episode focuses on a different theme. World Premiere
Living Stars / Argentina (Directors: Mariano Cohn, Gastón
Duprat) — Argentinians open their homes to the public and perform dance numbers
they normally only do alone, in front of a mirror. The directors portray them
in their houses, with improvised sets, revealing a collection of urban
curiosities. World Premiere
Through a Lens Darkly: Black Photographers and the Emergence
of a People / U.S.A. (Director: Thomas Allen Harris, Screenwriters: Thomas
Allen Harris, Don Perry, Paul Carter Harrison) — Through a Lens Darkly is an
epic film that moves poetically between the present and the past through the
work of contemporary photographers and artists. Their pictures and stories seek
to reconcile legacies of pride and shame while giving a voice to images long
suppressed, forgotten, or hidden from sight. World Premiere
NEW FRONTIER INSTALLATIONS
New Frontier champions films that expand, experiment with,
and explode traditional storytelling. Recognizing the crossroads of film, art,
and media technology as a hotbed for cinematic innovation, New Frontier is also
a venue showcasing media installations, multimedia performances, transmedia
experiences, and panel discussions that explore the expansion of cinema culture
in today’s rapidly changing media landscape.
U.S. PREMIERE OF DOUG AITKEN’S SITE-SPECIFIC FILM
INSTALLATION THE SOURCE
The 2014 edition of New Frontier at the Sundance Film
Festival will host the U.S. premiere of The Source by renowned artist Doug
Aitken. The Source is a series of filmed conversations about creativity in the
21st Century in which Aitken conducts short candid conversations with
groundbreaking pioneers in different artistic disciplines. The piece creates a
fast and rhythmic kaleidoscope of dialogues with the creative individuals who
are shaping modern culture. The conversations are grounded by two questions:
where does the creative idea start, and what is the journey to the finished
creation? The Source is filmed on location in unique and diverse destinations
throughout the world and premiered at the Tate Liverpool last year.
The Source will be housed in the Pavilion, a new
2,000-square-feet, stand-alone, circular structure to be custom-built by the
Festival in a location adjacent to Park City’s Main Street. The architecture
was created in collaboration with David Adjaye. Six-channel video projections
of The Source span the entire width of the structure’s interior and are also
visible from the outside, wrapping the structure’s exterior.
KLIP COLLECTIVE EXTERIOR PROJECTIONS ON EGYPTIAN THEATRE
The 2014 Festival will include a showcase of the Festival’s
30-year legacy as told through a pre-roll trailer showing 3D-mapped projections
of clips from iconic Festival films on the façade of Park City’s legendary Egyptian
Theatre. Featured film clips include Reservoir Dogs, Clerks, Little Miss
Sunshine and Beasts of the Southern Wild. The innovative projections were
designed by Klip Collective, a creative and production shop specializing in
immersive visual experiences.
For their third year as a participant at the Festival, Klip
Collective will premiere its newest 3D video-mapped narrative, “What’s He
Projecting In There,” an indie style salute to the history of cinema on the
exterior of the Egyptian Theatre as part of the Festival’s New Frontier
ADDITIONAL NEW FRONTIER INSTALLATIONS
Artists: Jonathan Minard, James George and Winslow Porter
Artist: Adam Kahn
I Love Your Work
Artist: Jonathan Harris
I Want Your To Want Me
Artist: Sep Kamvar
The Measure of All Things
Artist: Sam Greene
Artist: Marina Zurkow
My 52 Tuesdays
Artist: Sophie Hyde
Artist: Lauren Moffatt
Reifying Desire Anthology
Artist: Jacolby Satterwhite
Sound + Vision:
Artists: Chris Milk, Beck
Artist: James Nares
This World Made Itself
Artist: Miwa Matreyek