Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...

20 Sundance Films We Can't Wait To See

By Indiewire | Indiewire January 15, 2013 at 12:26PM

The 2013 Sundance Film Festival kicks off in two days, and the Indiewire team will once again be up in the snow delivering a vast array of news, reviews, profiles and features. We're also going to try and catch some films. Here are 20 we are most eager to see.
"The Rambler"
Sundance "The Rambler"

"The Rambler"
Calvin Lee Reeder has been a regular at Sundance in recent years, first with a series of terrifically unnerving midnight short films and then moving up to the feature-length arena with a deranged genre whatsit called "The Oregonian." His latest effort, which has the same name as his 2008 short film, follows the titular ex-prisoner as he travels a strange American landscape in search of his brother while encountering a series of inexplicable incidents along the way. Reeder's films have as much in common with experimental film as they do conventional horror, a trademark approach that "The Rambler" is destined to reflect. [Eric Kohn]

The best film to play in last year's Midnight Madness section, the anthology found-footage horror film "V/H/S," gets a sequel just a mere few months after opening in theaters and on VOD via Magnolia Pictures. While the initial installment featured shorts helmed by an impressive array of up-and-coming indie talent like Joe Swanberg, Ti West, Radio Silence and the like, the latest entry also boasts a formidable crop that includes Gareth Evans ("The Raid"), Eduardo Sanchez ("The Blair Witch Project"), Adam Wingard ("You're Next"), Timo Tjahjanto ("Macabre") and Jason Eisener ("Hobo With a Shotgun") -- boding well for overall quality of the product. We're expecting horror of the highest and most creative order from this promising crew. [Nigel M. Smith]

"The Spectacular Now"
"The Spectacular Now"
“The Spectacular Now”
Ponsoldt is three-for-three with Sundance — his debut “Off the Black” screened there in 2006, and his follow-up, “Smashed,” played in competition in 2012. This latest tells the story of a self-confident, party-hardy high school senior and a sensitive “good girl” who meet cute and develop a relationship with mixed consequences. The mix of Ponsoldt, who has a way with modestly scaled, realistic drama, and the imaginative writers of “(500) Days of Summer,” forecasts a unique coming-of-age movie. That it features Shailene Woodley in her first big-screen appearance since her remarkable turn in “The Descendants” — along with the ever-riveting Jennifer Jason Leigh — is a major bonus. [Jay A. Fernandez]

"Touchy Feely"
Lynn Shelton is following up her acclaimed "Your Sister's Sister"  with "Touchy Feely," which reunites her with her one of her "Sister" stars, Rosemarie DeWitt. DeWitt -- playing a massage therapist who suddenly finds the human body repulsive -- is joined by Ellen Page, Ron Livingston, Josh Pais, Scott McNairy and Allison Janney in the film. Featuring multiple storylines, it's a departure from the focused three person narratives of both "Sister" and its predecessor, "Humpday." But there's no reason to suggest Shelton isn't game for this evolution. [Peter Knegt]

"Upstream Color"
Sundance "Upstream Color"
"Upstream Color"
Rising indie darling Amy Seimetz stars with writer-director-producer-composer Shane Carruth for his second film after 2004's "Primer." In the film, Seimetz is drugged by a thief and subsequently spirals out of control when she encounters an otherworldly microscopic disrupter of life. After gaining notice for her own "Sun Don't Shine" (which topped Indiewire's Best Unreleased Film poll), "Silver Bullets," "Tiny Furniture," "Gabi On the Roof in July," the indie world is rooting for Seimetz. The do-it-all story behind Carruth's filmmaking and its complicated premise are also definitely raising eyebrows for this US Dramtic Competition entry. [Bryce J. Renninger]

"Valentine Road"
There isn't a documentary playing in the U.S. Documentary Competition likely to be more timely than "Valentine Road," which hones in on the fallout of 14-year old Brandon McInerney's decision to shoot eighth grade classmate Larry King in their school's computer lab. In the wake of the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, all eyes will be on Marta Cunningham's documentary to deliver some form of catharsis and/or hope at the end of the tunnel. Most tantalizingly (and possibly controversially), the film is said to focus a good deal on showcasing how much Brandon and Larry both had in common. [Nigel M. Smith]


This article is related to: Sundance Film Festival, C.O.G., Before Midnight, Upstream Color, Touchy Feely, Lovelace, Interior. Leather Bar., Valentine Road, V/H/S/2, Pussy Riot - A Punk Prayer, Kill Your Darlings, Ain't Them Bodies Saints, Blackfish, Crystal Fairy

IndieWire Newsletters

Win an Apple TV set before it's released! in News - Indiewire on LockerDome