The 2018 Sundance Film Festival is going on right now! RIGHT NOW! Which means we keep reading reviews for exciting new indie movies with no indication of when they might become available to the rest of us normal people who couldn’t fuck off up a mountain to watch movies in our best faux fur-trimmed snow boots this week.
Not that I’m bitter or anything.
So instead of privately suffering, let’s turn this FOMO into EFFO (“Excitement For Future Opportunities” — and no, I don’t think it’ll stick) and get ourselves all stoked up for the cool shit we might eventually get to watch, someday, maybe. Hopefully. Pending acquisition, and subsequent distribution.
If you’re interested, you can check out the full Sundance lineup here. But I’ve gone through and pulled out the ones I’m the most
pissed I’m not watching excited to experience… whenever!
Did you watch Panos Cosmatos’s debut film, Beyond the Black Rainbow? Well, this is his follow up. Only this time, he’s got Nicolas Cage and Andrea Riseborough to play around with. This psychedelic B-movie revenge flick is set in the Pacific Northwest in 1983. Cage stars as a man named Red, whose quiet woody existence is upturned by a sadistic cult, and — naturally — he’s “catapulted into a phantasmagoric journey filled with bloody vengeance and laced with fire.” If you want Drive Angry, only indie and weirder, this outta do the trick (I do, I really really do). According to the reviews, it’s “batshit crazy.”
SORRY TO BOTHER YOU
I started out wanting to see this purely based on the cast, which includes Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Steven Yeun, Jermaine Fowler, Armie Hammer, Omari Hardwick, and Terry Crews. I mean, if John Cho shows up it’ll basically be “Pajiba 10: The Movie.” But as I learned more about the plot — and especially the direction, from musician and first time filmmaker Boots Riley — the more intrigued I became. It’s a surreal racial satire which includes a newbie telemarketer (Stanfield) who speaks in a “white voice” to boost his success rate on calls. That “white voice”? Just some overdubbing from David Cross. Oh, and apparently there are big-dicked man horses or something? Honestly, I’d watch it for Tessa Thompson’s costumes alone.
And speaking of John Cho! Ok, this one doesn’t really appeal to me plot-wise (teen goes missing, dad breaks into her laptop for clues), but this part of the synopsis is what is getting the film some serious buzz: “A thriller that unfolds entirely on computer screens.” So I think it’s basically like Unfriended but, you know, without the horror. And it’s already won the 2018 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize! Debra Messing also stars.
And here are a few others that caught my eye:
THE CATCHER WAS A SPY: Paul Rudd as a baseball playing super spy… and it’s based on a true story? Sure, whatever, I’ll fucking watch that shit. Also stars Mark Strong, Sienna Miller, Jeff Daniels, Guy Pearce, Paul Giamatti, and Connie Nielsen.
DAMSEL: Robert Pattinson has a gold tooth, and Mia Wasikowska is “terrifyingly violent” according to Vulture. An offbeat Old West kidnapping flick that truly sounds fun. And weird. Written and Directed by David Zellner & Nathan Zellner.
OPHELIA: Daisy Ridley, Naomi Watts, Tom Felton and Clive Owen star in this feminist retelling of Shakespeare’s Hamlet… focusing on the life of, well, Ophelia (Ridley).
RBG: A documentary about the “notorious” Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg. YASSSSSSS.
THE KINDERGARTEN TEACHER: Maggie Gyllenhaal stars as a Staten Island teacher who becomes obsessed with a gifted student in her class. This shit sounds BANANAS.
AN EVENING WITH BEVERLY LUFF LINN: The plot is something about a woman named Lulu Danger and a bad marriage and a mysterious man and… it doesn’t matter. The important thing is the cast (Aubrey Plaza, Emile Hirsch, Jemaine Clement, Matt Berry, and Craig Robinson), and this video (which I would have embedded, but it had an annoying auto-play ad, and I wouldn’t do that to you fine folks). Just trust me and go click on it, if you wanna hear Craig and Jemaine make up a song about being claustrophobic.