In less than a month the Sundance Film Festival comes to London, the first time the festival has travelled outside of the United States where it is the largest festival for independent cinema in the world.
Many film makers including Quentin Tarantino, Stephen Soderbergh, and Darren Aronofsky, got their big breaks at Sundance.
The London festival is to run over four days featuring a selection of the best films from the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, an exciting music line-up, and a series of panel discussions on the most pressing issues facing independent filmmakers on both sides of the pond.
All of the films look interesting and while I would like to catch up with all of them time and money has the final say. Therefore my Sundance London experience is going to be the following screenings.
The Queen of Versailles
Winner of the “U.S. Directing Award: Documentary” this documentary follows a billionaire couple who live in a 90,000-square-foot mansion inspired by Versailles, built on the success of the time-share industry. I am expecting some insight into the excesses of the pre GFC property boom and some interesting characters.
A comedy-drama written, directed, and starring sitcom star Josh Radnor (How I Met Your Mother) revolving around a college romance. Elizabeth Olsen co-stars and is reason enough to want to check out this film having been so good in last years Martha Marcy May Marlene.
Co-winner of the “U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Prize for Excellence in Independent Film Producing”, starring John Krasinski (of TVs The Office), and co-written by Lena Dunham who recently received much praise for her debut feature Tiny Furniture. I know very little about the film other than it is a relationship drama. The Krasinaki/Dunham names are what has me interested.
2 Days in New York
A follow up to 2 Days in Paris. Both films are written and directed by Julie Delpy, usually better known for her acting, and are comedy-dramas in the vein of Richard Linklater or Woody Allen more conversational works. Where Adam Goldberg played her partner in Paris we now have Chris Rock in New York which should make for an interesting dynamic.
The House I Live In
Winner of the “Grand Jury Prize: Documentary” this is latest from director Eugene Jarecki who made a fantastic doco a few years ago called Capturing the Firedmans. This film looks at the war on drugs, how the policies in place to criminalise drug use are impacting society. A difficult topic with a broad range of opinion. I am curious to see whether the film takes a clear position or presents a number of points of view.
Winner of the Excellence in “Cinematography Award: U.S. Documentary” Chasing Ice follows National Geographic photographer James Balog as he attempts to capture climate change in action via time lapse photography. Balog’s videos are said to compress years into seconds and capture ancient mountains of ice in motion as they disappear at a breathtaking rate.
A number of other films are to be screened in addition to panel discussions and musical acts. The full line up can be found on the Sundance London website.