The Sundance kids are back for another year and are ready and willing to give you all of their thoughts and many takes on the best and worst of Sundance each day.
There was definitely a buzz unlike anything Sundance has ever seen on Opening night. Rumors of the Obamas attending to promote their production company’s debut documentary Crip Camp swirled around Park City, but to no avail. But if you looked at the streets surrounding the valleys of Park City’s mountains you would notice a lot of anxious Moms and teenage girls clamoring for the opportunity to meet their Pop Goddess, Taylor Swift.
The hottest ticket in Utah was the world premiere of Taylor Swift’s documentary Taylor Swift: Miss Americana. It was pure chaos outside Eccles, but the reception was fantastic, especially from the flocks of pop music lovers. It premieres on Netflix January 30.
Friday saw the action pick up with a flurry of world premieres and a little something for everyone. Below see me and Ty’s Best Thing We Saw Today, our Sundance Moment of the Day, and Lasting Thought…
Nathan’s Best Thing He Saw Today:
The modern landscape of streaming services and HBO’s urge to keep up have made documentaries and especially documentary series the new hit thing. So it should be of no surprise that one of the hottest titles at this year’s Sundance is a multi-part series on the McDonalds Monopoly scam titled McMillion$.
The six part series follows the incredible, under-reported events that led to one of the biggest con job/ mobster schemes of all time. Three of the six episodes were screened for Sundance audiences and the larger than life events and characters that lives through them jumped off the screen.
Every event that unfolds becomes harder and harder to believe and it is an absolute certainty this is going to be a pop culture phenomenon next month when this airs on HBO.
Ty’s Best Thing He Saw Today:
It was definitely the movie Come Away.
By the end of Come Away’s first act, I had already convinced myself that Disney or Amazon should just start raining scripts on its Director Brenda Chapman. What I didn’t realize was that Chapman was already in someway responsible for some of the most formidable names in animation and storytelling, and this is no exception. We’ve all had plenty of experience watching Disney child stars grow up, but if you’ve ever wondered what happens when Disney storytelling itself reaches maturity, we’ll then this is the film for you.
Nathan’s Sundance Moment of the day:
AT&T threw a very nice party tonight that even featured The National’s Matt Berninger putting on a concert. But after a long day of movies and a drink or two I decided it was time to make my way to the dance floor. And right there in the middle of the dance floor was someone I never thought in a million years I would be next too while dancing to some Notorious B.I.G…
None other than Steve Buscemi.
Sundance is crazy but Sundance is the best.
Ty’s Sundance Moment of the day:
While there are some legitimate discussions to be had about making a movie focusing on an eight hour concert that is meant to put people to sleep, Max Richter’s Sleep succeeded if only by creating one of the most interesting festival viewings to be had here in Park City. The film’s transitive nature mixed with the enclosed space of a theater almost made watching the audience as interesting as absorbing the actual content of the film itself. Much like people trapped on an overseas flight, the gallery was ridden with people in various states of lucidity, many of which had to either stand up and stretch or take periodic restroom breaks to help keep themselves from succumbing to deep sleep.
Nathan’s Lasting Thought of the Day:
Riley Keough is a star! After stealing everyone’s heart in the criminally underrated Logan Lucky. Keough popped up at Sundance in the manic/crazy/Uber entertaining Zola. A movie which brought to mind the incredible first experience of seeing Spring Breakers. A24 picked up this film, made by the incredibly talented Janicza Bravo.
Keough starred opposite Taylor Paige, who made quite the impression herself. But it was Keough who brought a level of energy, excitement and unpredictability to the screen unlike anything I have seen in a long time at Sundance.
I also learned she is Elvis’s granddaughter and I don’t know if I can quite wrap my brain around that.
Ty’s Lasting Thought of the Day:
When I first glanced at this year’s schedule for Friday; I’ll admit I was a little disheartened. There are certain categories that I tend to gravitate away from at Sundance, and it turned out that Friday’s films were almost exclusively picked from said categories. Thankfully, the festival programmers this year approached their scheduling with an uncanny deftness that only comes with decades of experience. Not only was I forced to branch out of my comfort zone with films like McMillions$, I also adored almost everything I came across today.