Celebrating 17 Years of Film.Biz.Fans.
by Max O'Connell
January 31, 2014 6:29 PM
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Photo Gallery: Indiewire's Exclusive Sundance Shots of Elijah Wood, George Takei, Michael C. Hall and More

Paul Reiser, Austin Stowell, Miles Teller, director Damien Chezelle, Melissa Benoist of "Whiplash" Daniel Bergeron

At the 2014 Sundance Film Festival, Indiewire set up our (first-ever!) Sundance portrait studio inside the Canon Craft Services space to shoot the filmmakers and cast behind the festival’s hottest movies. We shot a lot of work (courtesy photographer Daniel Bergeron) over three days.

For this roundup, we concentrated on the casts. Here you’ll find Sundance pickups like “Cooties,” “Whiplash,” “Love is Strange,” “Cold in July” and “Land Ho!” along with favorites like “To Be Takei,” “Dear White People” (Indiewire’s Project of the Year!) and “White Bird in a Blizzard.” 

Check them out - there’s more to come. 

The cast of "Cooties," directed by Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion Daniel Bergeron

"Gore can only go so far in the service of humor. Fortunately, the team behind "Cooties"—which includes "Saw" creator Leigh Whannell and "Glee" creator Ian Brennan—manage to pit comedy and horror together in a satisfying package. Whannell and Brennan's unapologetically absurd script pairs nicely with Jonathan Milott and Cary Murnion’s terse direction in this solid midnight movie, where the laughs outnumber the body count tenfold. Yet, when Milott and Murnion dial it up, we forget we spent the last ten minutes cracking up." Read more.

Paul Reiser, Austin Stowell, Miles Teller, director Damien Chezelle, Melissa Benoist of "Whiplash" Daniel Bergeron

"The collective gasps that filled the theater on opening night should stand as a testament to Chazelle's impressive ability to inject the film's musical milieu with thriller-level tension. Although the life-or-death stakes experienced by the main character may be pushed beyond the limits of reality at times, Andrew's sense of all-consuming urgency comes across on a visceral level. In one particularly affecting scene, Fletcher rotates his three drummers for hours on end until their shirts are soaked through with sweat, their hands bleeding and raw. It's the kind of physicality one might expect from a sports movie but rarely finds in films about musicians, and the otherwise mild-mannered Teller is able to unleash the fury with the sticks, holding his own amongst the professional musicians that make up the supporting cast." Read more.

Read more: "Whiplash" Owns the 2014 Sundance Film Festival Awards Netting Two Top Prizes

Jennifer M. Kroot, George Takei, Brad Altman of "To Be Takei" Daniel Bergeron

"Once known only as the enterprising Mr. Sulu on the initial iteration of “Star Trek,” George Takei has since blossomed into so much more. Jennifer M. Kroot’s decently entertaining if somewhat one-note portrait “To Be Takei” tracks the Asian-American actor’s transition from supporting player to major pop culture figure, emphasizing his late career emergence as a modern gay icon." Read more.

Director Ira Sachs, John Lithgow, Marisa Tomei, Alfred Molina, Cheyenne Jackson, Darren E. Burrows of "Love Is Strange" Daniel Bergeron

"Featuring extraordinarily sensitive turns by John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as an aging married couple forced to vacate their Manhattan apartment, "Love Is Strange" is a sophisticated take on contemporary urbanity infused with romantic ideals and the tragedy of their dissolution." Read more.

Wyatt Russell, Vinessa Shaw, director Jim Mickle, Michael C. Hall, Nick Damici of "Cold In July" Daniel Bergeron

"There was a lot to do with few resources and not a lot of time to do it in, but Jim and I knew that going in and did quite a bit of prep including some 3D rendered pre-vis animatics. Most of the questions that would come up on set had already thoroughly been talked about and the answer had already been determined. That coupled with us knowing each other for over a decade and three features together under our belt creates a like-mindedness that is indispensable." Read more.

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