Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sundance Dispatch #3

Hello all,

Just wrapping up a five film day and a good one at that.

PUSH: BASED ON THE NOVEL BY SAPPHIRE

Sixteen year old Precious is faced with unbearable circumstances locked in a world of violence, incest and poverty. Through one opportunity taken she begins to piece together an alternate future for herself. The issues attacked in the film are monumental but the script and the performances keep everything on an honest, human scale. I loved it.

SHOUTING FIRE: STORIES FROM THE EDGE OF FREE SPEECH

An exploration of the incredible complexity that surrounds free speech. The documentary combines historical cases including the New York Times struggle to publish the Pentagon Papers and contemporary cases including a New York City principal forced to resign after discussion the word "intifada" with a reporter. Very thoughtfully made.

REPORTER

Film maker Eric Daniel Metzgar follows two time Pulitzer Prize winning New York Times columnist Nicholas D. Kristof to the Congo as he works to pull back the curtain on the world of chaos created by war and poverty much like he did in Darfur. An incredible look into the process of one reporter and his personal mission to create a call to action from his readers.  Fantastic score. 

THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE

I was eager to check this out after a day of weighty subjects. R.J. Cutler was given remarkable access to Anna Wintour, editor of Vogue, and her staff as they prepare to publish the hugely important September issue of the magazine. The delight of this documentary was Vogue creative director Grace Coddington who's remarkable eye for storytelling through fashion images is truly remarkable. It was, as expected, a fun watch but the unexpected artistry of Coddington added a richness to the film that was a real treat.

RUDO Y CURSI

The film reunites Y Tu Mama Tambien costars Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna as brothers who's skill at soccer gets them out of small town Mexico and into the big life as professional athletes in Mexico City. Badly prepared for their success and its associated temptations they struggle with navigating the choppy waters of their own fame.

That's it for today.  Better hit the hay so I can get back to it bright and early tomorrow.  If you have a chance, go check out the video created for the "Live at Sundance" series on the Sundance website. It features our very own Toby Leonard plus a few Belcourt staff and board cameos if you watch closely.

--Stephanie Silverman

1 comment:

Toby Leonard said...

I too caught RUDO Y CURSI and enjoyed seeing the two of them together again. The dialogue was sharp and quick, which leads me to guess that even more of the humor lies hidden behind the subtitles as was evident the first time that I saw Y TU MAMA TAMBIEN, the sole gringo at the Hollywood 27, or similarly when the Belcourt screened LAGAAN. Being that the film has distribution through Sony Pictures Classics, it should arrive in Nashville sometime in the next year...