Equipping God's People to Create Missional Culture

Preparing for Sundance – Part II

I’ve spent the last week here in Blacksburg, Virginia, and before heading back to LA, I get the chance to experience the Sundance Film Festival. I arrive in Park City, Utah today!  I mentioned in an earlier post about my expectations for Sundance.  In this post, I want to mention the films I am hoping to see.  I have 8 of the tickets booked, and we are working on getting the rest when we get to Park City. My hope is that I will be able to blog about the different films I have seen and the other interesting experiences of the Festival itself.  I’ll list the films according to their category.

LIST OF FILMS I’M PLANNING TO SEE

WORLD PREMIERES

The Son of No One [U.S.A.] (Director and Screenwriter: Dito Montiel) – Two men in post-9/11 New York are forced to relive two murders they committed as young boys. Their lives start to unravel by the threat of the revelation of these shocking and personal secrets. Cast: Channing Tatum, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes, Tracy Morgan, Ray Liotta, Juliette Binoche.

Margin Call [U.S.A.] (Director and Screenwriter: JC Chandor) – Over a 24-hour period during the early stages of the 2008 financial crises, the key people at an investment bank struggle to decide how to handle an emergency business situation while examining the personal and moral implications of every action they take. Cast: Kevin Spacey, Paul Bettany, Jeremy Irons, Zachary Quinto, Demi Moore, and Stanley Tucci.

Higher Ground (Director: Vera Farminga; Screenwriters: Carolyn S. Briggs and Tim Metcalfe) – A frustrating young mother turns to a fundamentalist community for answers, but after years of dogma and loss, she must find the courage to ask the questions that will help her reclaim her life. Cast: Vera Farmiga, Joshua Leonard, John Hawkes, Dagmara Dominczyk, Norbert Leo Butz.

The Ledge (Director and Screenwriter: Matthew Chapman) – Perched on a ledge, a man says he must jump by noon, while a cop races against time to get to the bottom of it. Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Liv Tyler, Patrick Wilson and Terrence Howard with Christopher Gorham.

DOCUMENTARIES PREMIERES

The Greatest Movie Ever Sold [U.S.A] (Director: Morgan Spurlock) – A documentary about branding, advertising and product placement is financed and made possible by branding, advertising and product placement.

Connected: An Autoblogography about Love, Death & Technology (Director: Tiffany Shlain; Screenwriters: Tiffany Shlain, Ken Goldberg, Carlton Evans and Sawyer Steele) – Connected is an exhilarating stream-of-consciousness ride through the interconnectedness of humankind, nature, progress and morality at the dawn of the 21st century.  For centuries we’ve been declaring independence. With insight, curiosity, and humor, the film explores whether it’s time to declare our interdependence.

The Redemption of General Butt Naked (Directors: Eric Strauss and Daniele Anastasion) – A brutal warlord who murdered thousands during Libera’s horrific 14-year civil war renounces his violent past and reinvents himself as an Evangelist, facing those he once terrorized.

INTERNATIONAL PREMIERES

Abraxas [Japan] (Director: Naoki Kato; Screenwriters: Dai Sako and Naoki Kato) – After botching a speech on career guidance at a local high school, a depressed Zen Monk with a heavy metal past realizes that only music can revive his spirit. Cast: Suneohair, Rie Tomosaka, Manami Honjou, Ryouta Murai, Kaoru Kobayashi.

A Few Days of Respite (Quelque Joura de Repit) [Algeria, France] (Director and Screenwriter: Amor Hakkar) – A pair of gay men who have escaped from Iran seek safe harbor in a small French village, where a lonely middle-aged woman offers aid. Cast: Marina Vlady, Samir Guesmi, Amor Hakkar.

INTERNATIONAL DOCUMENTARIES

The Flaw [United Kingdom] (Director: David Sington) – Within a few months in 2008, several American financial institutions failed, and before you knew it the U.S.A. was in the red. An imaginative blend of archive, animation and personal stories delivers a devastating indictment of unfettered capitalism which had led to crippling, catastrophic income inequality in the land of the free.

Hell and Back Again [United States/United Kingdom] (Director: Danfung Dennis) – Told through the eyes of one Marine from the start of his 2009 Aghanistan tour to his distressing return and rehabilitation in the U.S., we witness what modern “unconventional” warfare really means to the men who are fighting it.

Position Among the Stars [Netherlands] (Director: Leonard Retel Helmrich) – The effects of globalization in Indonesia’s rapidly changing society ripple into the life of a poor Christian woman living in the slums of Jakarta with her Muslim sons and teeenage grandaughter.

SHORTS

Living for 32 (Director: Kevin Breslin) – Living for 32 is the story about Colin Goddard, one who survived the Virginia Tech Massacre.  In his words, “I will always believe I was in the right place at the right time – in class at 9 a.m.  And despite the horror of that 10 minute experience, I survived as one of the luckier ones. For the 32 Hokies who were lost that day, and for the 32 Americans who are lost everyday on average in our country, I’ve decided to devote this time in my life to making a difference, so their memories might be honored and the damage to our society lessened.


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