Sundance 2018: Horrific horrors, Debauched documentaries, Inspired indies
While the U.S. West Coast is focusing on the commencement of the Oscar race after nominations were announced yesterday, in Utah cinephiles continue the search for indie’s next big thing at the annual Sundance Film Festival. With only four days left, we’re keeping you updated with all the hottest premieres & juiciest deals from Park City’s theater screens and hotel bars.
At least one unexpected feature received rave reviews by the critics – A24’s “insane” horror movie Hereditary. Everyone agrees it’s one of the scariest movies in a long while, including The Verge, who described it as “pants-wettingly scary”. Horror fans, rejoice!
Historically, Sundance has been defined by the movies with the most commercial viability. However, IndieWire discusses how in 2018 – a year of wary buyers and fewer blockbuster breakouts – stranger movies and subsequent thoughtful conversations have taken over. In their opinion: “Just because the sales have been slow doesn’t mean the program isn’t loaded with quality.”
Neon and AGBO, two of the new players paving the way for change in the way films are produced and distributed, made one of the biggest deals at Sundance so far, picking up the global rights to Assassination Nation for more than $10 million. The film attracted a lot of attention after its premiere for offering a feminist take on the revenge genre.
Take a look at some of the most promising entries in Sundance’s Episode Program – a category added for the first time this year. The Hollywood Reporter felt “Leimert Park has a strong voice”, while “Adulterers uses the digital format” in an interesting way.
The New Yorker notes three “inspired” movies from this year’s Sundance, including Josephine Decker’s new feature Madeline’s Madeline, Sandi Tan’s blend of documentary & fiction in Shirkers, and Robert Greene’s aesthetic documentary Bisbee ’17.
Speaking of Madeline’s Madeline, IndieWire gave Decker’s “mind-scrambling masterpiece” an A. “Miranda July and breakout star Helena Howard anchor one of the freshest and most exciting films of the 21st century.” Looks like this one could be going places.
The Zellner brothers’ dramedy Damsel premiered at Sundance this week, telling the story of a businessman (Robert Pattinson) who travels West to join his fiancée in the mountains. The film has received warm reviews; Variety described it as “a comedy of attitude made with the indulgent touch of an art Western.”
For more Sundance visuals, check out Variety’s 2018 Sundance Film Festival portrait gallery. Get your Vogue face on!
In The Hollywood Reporter’s review of the anticipated Studio 54, Matt Tyrnauer‘s documentary is described as “an enjoyable ride that captures both the excitement of the party and the shameful details of its aftermath”.