I've spent the week sending dispatches to io9 from a remote planet of intense cold and blood-thinning high elevation.
The Sundance Film Festival, set atop a mountain in January (not very smart, come to think about it) is arguably the most important annual event in independent film. The bulk of the movies are still quirky, dysfunctional family dramas and ardently left-wing documentaries, but as geek culture permeates itself more and more into the mainstream, we're seeing it represented at the art house as well. In recent years, Sundance has given us films like "Moon," "Primer," "Sleep Dealer," "Splice," "Cube," and "Another Earth." This year had some goodies, too.
I've reviewed six films from this year's fest (four I really liked, one was meh, one was awful) but there are some others you should keep your eyes on if and when they get called up for wider distribution.
Grabbers is a really fun creature movie set in a small fishing community in Ireland. Imagine The Host if written by Roddy Doyle. Room 237 is a film nerd's wet dream – an deep dive into the hidden meanings in Stanley Kubrick's The Shining that is just as much a discussion about obsessing over art as it is about the film itself. Most importantly, however, is a near-masterpiece by a first time filmmaker named Richard Bates, Jr. The film is called Excision and he himself refers to it as "Cronenberg meets John Hughes, or Dario Argento's Heathers." Yeah, those are some bold words, but he and lead actress AnnaLynne McCord have the goods, plus John Waters has a small role as a Reverend.
Below are some links to the longer reviews from the fest. Now, if you'll excuse me, I simply must get out of these wet, damp clothes I've been wearing for eight days.