Every day at Sundance, indieWIRE posts a rundown of news from our blog network as well as other outlets. Included today: The Playlist sees “The Devil,” The Guardian buys into Morgan Spurlock’s new doc, Cinematical praises “The Interrupters,” and we witness some of the lunacy surrounding the “Red State” screening.
indieWIRE Blogs: The Playlist’s Chris Bell reviews Ji-Woon Kim’s “I Saw the Devil,” calling it “Ugly, Gratuitous, Sad, Brutal, Complex, and Terrific” in the review’s title alone. Bell gives the latest Korean revenge-themed flick good marks, despite describing the film a “hearty punch to the face.” He suggests to approach the film with an open mind, “[Its] depiction of violence may not be stomach-able for most. It’s a shame, too, because those willing to give themselves to the movie are going to be very, very pleased.”
Anne Thompson runs down some of the latest acquisitions in her Sundance Dealbook. She reports that Fox Searchlight has acquired most of the worldwide rights for the teen flick “Homework” from first-time director Gavin Wiesen. IFC Films has also been busy, picking up U.S. rights for Matthew Chapman’s drama “The Ledge” and teaming up with Sundance Selects for Cindy Meehl’s Horse Whisperer doc “Buck.”
On a lighter note, Peter Knegt shared with the web a couple of photos from Kevin Smith’s counter-protest against the Westboro Baptist Church’s presence at last night’s screening of “Red State.” Knegt uploaded a small sampling of the multiple videos and photos he took at the event on his blog.
Other Outlets: The real news from the “Red State” screening didn’t come from the six homophobic protesters or the sizable counter-protest that it produced. Brooks Barnes writes in his New York Times blog about Smith’s intention to self-distribute “Red State,” noting the small media frenzy around the screening as a potential strength from the “Clerks” director to create buzz.
Jeremy Kay buys into Morgan Spurlock’s “The Greatest Movie Ever Sold” on The Guardian’s Film Blog. Kay engages with the film’s central argument, exploring his feelings on Spurlock’s latest documentary experiment, “As with his other two features, Spurlock’s moment of existential crisis is never far away and in this case the question centres on artistic integrity. Will he lose all credibility? Is he selling out? He decides he’s buying in and you get the sense Spurlock is playing with us. He knows it’s the same thing, but I would argue he’s doing it within the framework of an exercise and his integrity is never really in doubt. That said, it’s impossible to know if his claim to have retained editorial control is true.”
Finally, Spout’s Chris Campbell weighs in on “Hoop Dreams” director Steve James’s new doc, “The Interrupters,” for Cinematical. Campbell shows concern about the film’s extensive running time (around two hours and a half), but defends the director’s decision, “Any concern about the film’s length is met with the realization that it could not be any shorter. Every second is necessary,” he writes. “The thing about issues like this is that a single individual subject cannot be filmed exclusively and meant to be representative of the whole problem and community.”
Sundance Goody of the Day: The new trailer for Miguel Arteta’s “Cedar Rapids” is out. The trailer for the comedy starring Ed Helms and John C. Reilly features brief glimpses at scenes involving karaoke, rock climbing walls, spraying a fire-extinguishes at someone’s face, and what Reilly at one point refers to as a “Choco-Vanilla Love Sandwich.”