One of the most beloved films at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival was “The Wolfpack,” a moving documentary about a sequestered group of brothers who are barely ever allowed to leave their Lower East Side, New York apartment thanks to their maladjusted parents. It’s really a whole other story, and the documentary dives into the hows and whys. You need to see it to fully appreciate the story (though one key criticism is that it’s not all as explained as it should be, with questions left unanswered). But for the six Angulo brothers, and as one of the key joys in the film, their main escape while cloistered at home is recreating their favorite movies.
“These boys are so incredibly passionate about movies,” Director Crystal Moselle said in the Sundance “Meet The Filmmaker” video introduction. “And for them to get the opportunity to go to Sundance — their dream come true — and experience it all… it’s pretty fabulous I’d say.” Here’s the official synopsis (and here’s our review):
The six Angulo brothers have spent their entire lives locked away from society in an apartment on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. Nicknamed “the Wolfpack,” they’re all exceedingly bright, are homeschooled, have no acquaintances outside their family and have practically never left their home. All they know of the outside world is gleaned from the films they watch obsessively and recreate meticulously, using elaborate homemade props and costumes. For years this has served as a productive creative outlet and a way to stave off loneliness – but after one of the brothers escapes the apartment (wearing a Michael Meyers mask for protection), the power dynamics in the house are transformed, and all the boys begin to dream of exploring. Armed with unprecedented access into the subjects’ world and vast archive of home movies, first-time director Crystal Moselle crafts a fascinating portrait of an extraordinary family, capturing the thrill of the Wolfpack’s discoveries without skirting the darker questions of abuse and confinement that weigh upon all of them. THE WOLFPACK charts a fascinating coming of age story and becomes a true example of the power of movies to transform and save lives.
“The Wolfpack” features a lot of clips of the films the boys recreate at home and four of them — “Clerks,” “The Usual Suspects,” “The Blair Witch Project,” and “El Mariachi” — have been released below. Magnolia Pictures secured worldwide rights to “The Wolfpack” just as Sundance ended, and then the film won the Documentary Grand Jury Prize to boot. Suffice it to say you’ll hear a lot more about this film later in the year. Until then, watch the four clips below.