After a hard day watching documentaries about globalisation and touching dramas about growing up in a gentrified Echo Park, what’s a still fiending film fan to do? The answer is head for Sundance’s fringe events. This year, Park City at Midnight serves up a helping of Canadian revenge, a Guillermo del Toro-endorsed horror film, and the wackiest ski thriller since Hot Dog. Also pulling in the A-list names to Utah are two premieres celebrating the great American traditions of hot rock chicks and dying slowly in Texas.
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The Killer Inside Me
Jim Thompson’s bone-dry noir novels of dice ‘n’ deceit have inspired plenty of cinematic adaptations, ranging from Steve McQueen in The Getaway to John Cusack palming twenties in The Grifters. Bringing his 1952 masterpiece to the screen is director Michael Winterbottom, more used to guerilla filmmaking like In This World. The dream cast includes Casey Affleck as a sociopathic Texas sheriff and Jessica Alba and Kate Hudson as his itchy women. Don’t worry about the plot, because Thompson never did. Just groove on the fetid funereal atmosphere.
In the late ‘70s, the all-girl band The Runaways were fun, flirty, and just a little bit jailbait. After lighting up the charts with “Cherry Bomb,” guitarist Joan Jett hearted rock ‘n’ roll, lead guitarist Lita Ford kissed me deadly and singer Cherie Currie fell off the charts into addiction. Her memoir is the basis for this biopic, whose kiss between leads Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart has fuelled at least fanboy fantasy. Michael Shannon plays Kim Fowley, the scariest Svengali in rock ‘n’ roll.