Posts Tagged ‘Ron Galella’

Sundance 2010: Winners and Losers

January 31, 2010

Last night the Sundance Jury handed out its prizes and audience awards. The big winners were the hill people noir Winter’s Bone and Obselidia, a romance which was only lacking a stamp reading “Sundance-approved.” More eyes will turn to the backrooms, where lucrative deals were being cut. Focus Features picked up Lisa Cholodeniko’s The Kids Are All Right, with Julianne Moore and Annette Bening as a lesbian couple. Lionsgate agreed to distribute Buried, where Ryan Reynolds struggles to escape a coffin armed only with his cellphone (and some great reception). Harvey Weinstein worked his silver-tongued magic and went home with the rights to The Tillman Story (formerly I’m Pat _________ Tillman) and Blue Valentine, which created Oscar talk for its leads Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams. Other buzz films included the Interwebs documentary Catfish and Banksy’s debut Exit Through the Gift Shop. Anyway, we’ve got some envelopes to open …

Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Dramatic Film

Winter’s Bone. A clear favorite among critics, Debra Granik’s adaptation of a novel by Daniel Woodrell is a chilling thriller set in the Ozarks. A teenager (Jennifer Lawrence) goes in search for her father, who skips jail after a bust for running a meth lab. Big trouble awaits. “My advice? Discover this one now.” said Salon’s Andrew O’Hehir. It’s been picked up for distribution by Roadside Attractions.

Grand Jury Prize for U.S. Documentary

Restrepo. The documentary follows humpy journalist Sebastian Junger (The Perfect Storm) as he spends a year with the 173rd Airborne’s Second Platoon. The unit has been assigned to the deadliest valley in Afghanistan. “I’ve never seen combat footage like Junger and [co-director Tim] Hetherington get in Restrepo,” wrote Noel Murray in The Onion. “It’s raw, relentless, and made all the more unsettling by the fact that the soldiers can’t see who’s shooting at them.” National Geographic have the broadcast rights.

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Sundance 2010 Preview: U.S. Documentary Competition

January 11, 2010

Sundance kicked off in 1985 with a firm appreciation for non-fiction film, bestowing its first documentary prize on Joel Demott and Jeff Kreins’s Seventeen. Since then, it’s been the place to see eccentric portraits and reports from the current events frontline. As you might expect, this year’s line-up contains plenty of hotspots, including Yemen, Pakistan, and Afghanistan. There are also a selection of larger-than-life figures ranging from Jean-Michel Basquiat to the king of the American paparazzi. Expect plenty of discussion over that post-film hot chocolate.

Click here to read our U.S. Dramatic Competition Preview
Click here to read our International Documentary Competition Preview
Click here to read our International Dramatic Competition Preview

Bhutto

No question that Benazir Bhutto was a remarkable political figure. Chosen to lead her family’s political dynasty, the onetime Pakistani PM was on the verge of remarkable comeback before being shot in 2008. This biopic is in good hands. Director Johnny O’Hara won a Sundance Audience Award for his 2008 film Fields of Fuel. But he might have turned the cameras on his producer. Duane Baughman’s consulting firm worked on Hilary Clinton’s presidential run and was due to assist with Bhutto’s campaign. All of which suggests that this doc might skim over charges of corruption against the martyr and her cronies.

Casino Jack and the United States of Money

Filmmaker Alex Gibney leapt to the front rank when his Taxi to the Dark Side won the Best Documentary Oscar in 2008. His latest is a portrait of Jack Abramoff, the political lobbyist found guilty of fraud in 2006. (His Native American clients account for the “Casino Jack” tag.) Gibney has spoken of the fallen politico as a symptom of a wider malaise caused by campaign financing. “Jack is not a rotten apple; he’s proof that the barrel is rotten,” he told Sundance. “It’s a comedy, but the joke is on us.” Tom Delay plays Costello to Abramoff’s Abbott.

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