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Sundance Film Festival

January 20, 2011
'2011 Festival' Where: Sundance Channel When: 9:45 p.m. Friday; 9:25 p.m. Saturday; 9:35 p.m. Sunday; 9:35 p.m. Monday; 9:25 p.m. Tuesday; 9:45 p.m. Wednesday; 9:45 p.m. Thursday; 9:45 p.m. Friday; 9:40 p.m. Saturday Rating: Not rated 'White Lightnin" Where: Sundance When: 8 p.m. Sunday and 4:45 a.m. Monday Rating: Not rated 'Unmade Beds' Where: Sundance Channel When: 8 p.m. Wednesday and 1:35 a.m....
April 18, 2014 | By Mark Olsen
Don't get confused, but "July" will be coming early with the release of the crime thriller "Cold in July" on May 23. IFC Films just released a trailer for the film. The retro-flavored movie was one of many genre-twisting entries to emerge from this year's Sundance Film Festival, alongside the recent release "The Raid 2," as well as the upcoming "Life After Beth," "The One I Love" and "The Guest. " Directed by Jim Mickle, "July" is an adaptation of the 1989 crime novel by Joe R. Lonsdale.
January 16, 2014 | By John Horn and Daniel Miller
The 30th Sundance Film Festival, which begins Thursday evening and runs through Jan. 26, is not only the nation's top showcase for independent film but also one of the biggest marketplaces for movies made outside the studio system. Scores of acquisition executives from the biggest distributors of specialized cinema -- including Fox Searchlight and Sony Pictures Classics -- will jostle alongside some upstart outfits, including A24 and CBS Films, for rights to release the best Sundance offerings.
March 15, 2014 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
I fear for the future of James Franco's acting career. And when I say acting, I'm referring to Franco's portrayal of other characters, not the growing number of meta performances the actor is amassing. It's not that Franco is bad at playing Franco. If anything, the problem is how good his self-referential work has become in the years since his 2011 Oscar nomination for playing someone else in "127 Hours. " That performance as a stranded solo hiker, the fear rising, the bravado breaking down, put him on the hot list of the young and the talented.
January 19, 2012
A roundup of entertainment headlines for Thursday. The 2012 Sundance Film Festival begins Thursday night. ( Los Angeles Times ) "Hugo" and "Moneyball" were among the best sounding films of last year, according to the Cinema Audio Society. ( Los Angeles Times ) Meanwhile, "Albert Nobbs," "J. Edgar" and "Dancing With the Stars" earned GLAAD Media Award nominations. ( Los Angeles Times ) For the third year in a row, Edgar Allan Poe's mysterious admirer has failed to make a birthday appearance at his grave site, so fans are giving up. ( New York Times )
January 20, 2011 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Park City, Utah, may be an out of the way place in a not ordinarily glamorous state, but for 10 days in January, all roads in the cinema world lead there. Yet it's not simply the sheer volume of movies and fans at the Sundance Film Festival ? this year's 117 features were culled from more than 3,800 submissions ? that keeps up the momentum. It's also that the festival organizers, ever determined to solidify Sundance's position and expand its reach, are not averse to change. Faced with the loss of one of its key venues, the Park City Racquet Club, due to renovations this year, the festival has commandeered the Redstone Theatre a few miles out of town.
January 17, 2014 | By Michael Finnegan
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti was planning to take off for Utah on Friday for a weekend at the Sundance Film Festival. Garcetti described his visit to the Park City ski resort as part personal, part business. Taxpayers won't be billed, he said, because he's spending a day with friends. “It's on my own dime,” Garcetti said in an interview at Cal State Northridge after an event marking the 20th anniversary of the earthquake. Garcetti said he was also planning to attend a reception for Los Angeles filmmakers at a private home.
January 28, 2012 | Steve Zeitchik, Los Angeles Times
This year's Sundance Film Festival didn't produce a blizzard, but it did generate some strong flurries. Spending on movies at the Park City, Utah, film bazaar failed to reach the sky-high levels of 2011 or match the hype that preceded the annual gathering of filmmakers, executives and agents. More than a dozen deals had closed by Friday for an amount totaling about $20 million. Last year, the total dollar amount was upward of $30 million — believed to be among the highest figures in the festival's history.
January 25, 2014 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Donkeys who stare, salesmen who pester, filmmakers who prod, killers who smile and kids who run wild are just a few of the weird, wacky and wonderful ideas that drive the indefinable 66 that fill this year's shorts program at the Sundance Film Festival. With technology making it relatively inexpensive and easy to go from idea to execution, the outer edge of creative invention can often be found in short films. From my sampling of this year's lineup, the further out, the better. Take "Rat Pack Rat," from filmmaker Todd Rohal ("The Guatemalan Handshake")
January 29, 2011 | By Betsy Sharkey, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
Who would have thought a 50-ish Irish backcountry cop with a midsection as thick as his brogue and a toxic tongue would become the talk of the Sundance Film Festival this year? And yet that's exactly what "The Guard" has done, with its crime-solving, politically incorrect iconoclast ? played by the brilliantly understated acting veteran Brendan Gleeson ? the invention of writer-director John Michael McDonagh in his feature film debut. Or that a hauntingly improbable sci-fi love story of parallel universes and mind-bending possibilities would make overnight sensations out of its writer-director and co-writer-star?
February 27, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
The movie financed by audiences will soon be available to audiences.  Zach Braff's “Wish I Was Here,” funded in part by more than 46,000 donors on Kickstarter, will hit theaters in Los Angeles and New York on July 18, distributor Focus Features said Thursday. It will roll out to other cities in the weeks following, The date means Focus, which acquired the movie at the Sundance Film Festival last month, will position the relationship-oriented “Wish” as a summer counter-programmer -- call it an emotional tent pole -- a la “Little Miss Sunshine,” instead of dating it for the early fall, when it would be out of the cross-hairs of the big summer movies but somewhat more dependent on reviews.
February 7, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
It was after a late screening and the group of several hundred was aggrieved, its moral hackles raised. "How could they treat him so badly?" one audience member asked. "An injustice," said another. "What can people do with their frustrations?" asked a third. The setting was neither a courtroom nor an activist meeting. It was at the Sundance Film Festival, and the assembled had just watched "The Internet's Own Boy," Brian Knappenberger's quietly evocative look at wunderkind hacker Aaron Swartz, whom the film suggests was driven to suicide in 2013 by a zealous federal prosecutor in Massachusetts.
February 5, 2014 | By Gina McIntyre
Adam Wingard's “The Guest” and Mike Flanagan's “Oculus” are among the horror films set to screen as part of the Midnighters lineup at the South by Southwest Film Conference and Festival in Austin, Texas, organizers announced Wednesday. This year, the Midnighters section will spotlight 10 genre titles. Wingard's ("You're Next") film centers on a soldier concealing dark secrets about his past who pays a visit to the family of a fallen comrade; it premiered last month at the Sundance Film Festival.
February 5, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
When Stuart Murdoch, the frontman for the indie pop group Belle & Sebastian, was shooting his directorial debut "God Help the Girl," he decided to offer a cautionary word to the crew. "I told them, 'You know this movie won't open, because Belle & Sebastian never opens,'" he said, laughing, sort of. In its nearly two-decade history, the Glasgow, Scotland, act may never have had a chart-topping smash. But in a culture of tabloid ephemera and gone-tomorrow musical phenoms, Belle & Sebastian has managed something more elusive: longevity.  Now Murdoch has translated the delicate and wry sensibilities that have made the band a long-running tastemaker favorite, known for its melodic nuggets about oddball children and sideways romances, to the medium of film.
February 4, 2014 | By John Horn
Six years ago, Philip Seymour Hoffman was nominated for a supporting actor Academy Award for "Charlie Wilson's War. " He attended the nominees luncheon, a swank gathering at the Beverly Hilton, whose dress code is just one notch below that of the attire seen on the red carpet for the actual Oscars. But Hoffman, a consummate actor known for an unkempt look off-screen, wore a suit so rumpled it looked like he had slept in it. And smack in the middle of his dress shirt was a giant stain - and that was before he took a bite to eat. Fast-forward to last month's Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, where Hoffman was promoting two of his new films, "A Most Wanted Man" and "God's Pocket.
February 1, 2014 | By Mark Olsen
The stereotypical Sundance movie is thought of as something capital-Q quirky, typically a story of family dysfunction or coming-of-age. This year's festival, across its numerous sections, featured a newfound immersion in genre storytelling that pushed the films to places that were familiar but with unexpected and most welcome twists. Gareth Evans' "The Raid 2," for instance, does for the blood-soaked Asian action film what "The Dark Knight" did for the superhero film, injecting it with a seriousness, a depth of characterization and a scope of storytelling that raises it to a new level of legitimacy.
January 29, 2011
At the Sundance Film Festival, celebrities may come and go by luxury SUV, but most folks make their way from theater to theater around Park City, Utah, via a more humble mode of transportation: the free shuttle bus. Which can lead to problems. Though festival organizers try hard, the vagaries of traffic and weather mean the buses are often later and fuller than they are supposed to be. Anxious filmgoers crowd the doors in a frantic attempt to get on and off as quickly as possible, and on the first full day of the festival, at the stop by the Yarrow Hotel, sparks ignited.
January 27, 2014 | By Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times Film Critic
For the first time in a long time, it didn't snow in Park City, Utah, during the Sundance Film Festival, not even a flurry. The barren hills surrounding the town provided a physical echo of a festival that was not overflowing with greatness either. But, paradoxically, experiencing Sundance in an off year highlighted some of the things that make the festival so valuable. If you just looked at the awards list, it might seem that 2014 was very good indeed. Damien Chazelle's "Whiplash" won both the Grand Jury Prize and the audience award for U.S. drama, and the festival's various entities liked the films on offer so much that a full 25 features went home with awards.
January 25, 2014 | By Steven Zeitchik
PARK City, Utah -- Comedians who make the successful transition to drama are as common a sight as David Spade on the Academy Awards podium. But Kristen Wiig and Bill Hader pull off impressive dramatic range and make for a convincing brother-sister pair in "The Skeleton Twins," a study in depression and familial relations that feels serious-minded without being overly heavy. The duo star in Craig Johnson's feature, which made its debut in the past week at the Sundance Film Festival and will hit theaters in the late summer or early fall via Lionsgate.
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