It’s that time of year again: when independent film invades Park City, Utah, and in just 10 days dramatically changes the cinematic landscape for the year ahead. Snow boots are packed. Coffee is spiked. We’re ready for “wheels up.” But before we go, take a peek at what we we’re into — films, TV series, music, and more — and get in on what’s good.
Sorry to Bother You
Rapper Boots Riley helms this WTF sci-fi comedy about a telemarketer who magically climbs the ladder to success, starring Tessa Thompson and Lakeith Stanfield, who after starring in Short Term 12, Selma, Get Out, The Incredible Jessica James, and Atlanta is officially the only person we know who does not make bad decisions.
Wes Anderson’s VR Isle of Dogs
Call us virtual reality nerds, but anything with Wes Anderson’s name stamped on it will get our attention. Here, the director is unveiling a behind-the- scenes look at his latest stop-motion achievement, Isle of Dogs, a comedy about a boy looking for his lost pup. Or as we like to call it, All Dogs Go to Japan.
If you can attend a premiere screening of the crime drama Yardie, do it. Because its director will surely be in attendance. Who is its director, you ask? Just one of the most irresistible human beings on the planet, Idris Elba.
Yardie courtesy of Sundance Institute photo by Alex Bailey
Pub Crawling up Main Street
Festing is simply not complete without a trek up the steep climb they call Main Street. Start at the bottom of the hill with a beer and a shot of whiskey at High West, make your way to No Name’s rooftop saloon, and end at Wasatch Brewery. No doubt you’ll spot a trapper-hatted celeb or two along the way.
Leave No Trace
Debra Granik brought us Winter’s Bone and, more importantly, the brilliance of Jennifer Lawrence. The director is back at the fest with Leave No Trace, a thriller about a father (Ben Foster) and his teenage daughter use Portland, Oregon’s forestry as their wooded hideaway. We will take no prisoners on the way to this one.
Wild Wild Country
When the director of the Sundance Film Festival raves about something on the docket, we listen. Trevor Groth had nothing but thumbs up’s to give to this six-part docuseries about a “utopia” in Oregon and the chaos it caused. Want more TV? Sundance is launching Indie Episodic, a slate dedicated to the web and the small screen.
Oh, yeah, Stanfield is also one of the acts performing at the ASCAP Music Café. Can you tell we’re fans?
Courtesy of Sundance
Fried Chicken at Handle
So what if watching a movie requires no more movement than shifting discretely in a tiny velvet theater seat? Screening films makes you hangry. The best way to recharge? With the fried chicken at Handle, Park City’s newest It restaurant. Also: celebrity spotting > people watching. Do both here.
You’ve probably seen his name in the art deco typography made iconic by Lena Dunham’s Girls, but here Jesse Peretz is all alone behind the lens. Ethan Hawke, Rose Byrne, and Chris O-Dowd star. Judd Apatow produces. And the script? It’s from Nick Hornby. The man behind just about every other crowd-pleaser that’s made you swoon: Brooklyn, Wild, About a Boy, High Fidelity.
Juliet, Naked courtesy of Sundance Institute photo by Alex Bailey
Sundance Film Festival App
Screening times, film synopses, festival programs, a place to build your entire fest sched. It’s a good one to have in your pocket.