A Closer Look at Sundance: PART TWO


So, have you checked out Part One yet? No, well what the hell are you doing here? Nevermind, since you are here check out these five films, when you are done check out my earlier preview, which already has people saying, “Well yeah, but what else should I be on the look out for?”

All I can say is, thankfully you’ve come to the right place once again and I’ve got you covered like a jimmy hat. You think Sundance is just for art house pics and documentaries? Well.. er.. you’re kind of right. Keep reading anyway, I may surprise you. You’ve gotta believe.


You’ve probably said to yourself “Self, I would really like to see a flick where Grandpa snorts heroin.” Well look no further my fine feathered friend, we’ve got a winner. This film also has Steve Carell, Toni Collette, and the always solid Alan Arkin. I’m a big fan of disfunctional family films so this looks like a winner. Here’s the official word:

Meet the Hoover family: Olive, a seven-year-old, slightly pudgy, aspiring beauty queen; her father, Richard, a struggling motivational speaker who can’t help but push; and her mom, Sheryl, who has to bring her Proust scholar/brother, Frank, home after his failed suicide attempt.

Another juicy tidbit about this movie is that it was the first movie already purchased at Sundance as Fox Searchlight shelled out $10 million after a reported bidding war involving Focus Features, the Weinstein Co., Miramax Films and Warner Independent Pictures. Out of the bunch Searchlight came out on top and plans to release the film this summer.

Wanna see some pics? Sure yah do… click here to check some out.


This film has all the makings of a classic. The kid from Almost Famous is in it (Patrick Fugit). Other cast members include Will Arnet and Tom Waits. What more could you want? And oh yeah, it’s a comedy about suicide. Bwa-haha-haha.

Suicide is no ordinary death, but in Wristcutters: A Love Story, it provides entry into a quirky, quotidian universe that’s both strangely familiar and full of surprises. It’s an afterlife of menial jobs, dingy bars, and jukeboxes that play only suicide heroes like Kurt Cobain or Nick Drake. And as Zia, a depressed but amiable young man, discovers after he slits his wrists, it’s populated solely by unsmiling souls who have voluntarily plunged to the other side.


If you want a real life underdog story look no further than this documentary. You ever wonder why you pay five bucks for a latte at your local coffee shop? You ever wonder where that money goes? Not to the farmers my brother, not to the little man. Watch this to feel angry with corporate America all over again.

In an increasingly global economy, where the profit margins of huge multinational coffee companies continue to rise, prices paid for coffee harvests have reached an all-time low, forcing farmers in some of the world’s poorest countries to abandon their once bountiful fields. Among the hardest hit by the devastating effects of this crisis is Ethiopia, the birthplace of coffee.


I can tell you one way to make the list, use the word milieu. This here press release does. The film is all about the building of a bridge in Mexico City. I see lots of black and whites with forlorn looks in the worker’s eye. Butter up the popcorn mamma, it’s go time.

In Mexico City, a second layer is being built atop the Periférico freeway, which inscribes a massive circle on the metropolis. Despite the project’s enormity, the workers who are building the freeway are barely noticed by drivers who roll by endlessly. Rulfo’s film places us among these workers and their milieu.


Can I get a film about a hit man or WHAT? Thankfully Singapore has obliged us on that front.

On the surface, One Last Dance is a scintillating Singaporean crime film, but pay attention. What’s bubbling beneath is a puzzle whose pieces consist of images and dialogue that, when put together, lift the viewing experience from the enjoyable to the sublime. In a country of four million, it isn’t easy to hide, but in the darkest corner lurks an anonymous hit man known only as “T.”

That wrap’s her up nice and neat. Once again we all missed Sundance but we’ve still got the sun and we’re still able to dance so who’s the real loser around here?

To check out our earlier Sundance preview, which includes looks at 14 of the bigger name films at the Festival, click here, and remember to check out Part One of my preview here.

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Weekend: Nov. 15, 2018, Nov. 18, 2018

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