For the final few days of the festival, both I and Nathan decided to split off and see what kind of fun stuff was hidden in the Sundance lineup. Nathan had a wonderful time screening Julius Onah’s follow-up to last year’s Cloverfield Paradox, Luce, while I went off and allowed The Nightingale to give me PTSD. We then topped everything off with a screening of Brittany Runs a Marathon. The film helped us to end things on a lighter note and featured a standout performance by Utkarsh Ambudkar.
Ty’s Best Thing I Saw Today:
Though it pains me to admit it, the best film I saw today would probably have to be Nightingale. The film, directed by Jennifer Kent (The Babadook) is almost like the Australian answer to The Revenant. The violence and suffering in this film make it a very challenging watch, but the feeling of triumph after surviving this epic-length tale of revenge is reward enough. It was also interesting to see the occasional audience member tear down the steps of the theater and exit, clearly suffering from the blunt force trauma that is this film.
The violence and suffering in this film make it a very challenging watch, but the feeling of triumph after surviving this epic-length tale of revenge is reward enough. It was also interesting to see the occasional audience member tear down the steps of the theater and exit, clearly suffering from the blunt force trauma that is this film.
Nathan’s Best Thing I Saw Today:
This was definitely Brittany Runs a Marathon. This is exactly the kind of movie you need so badly 5 days into Sundance. The film is about a New Yorker woman living an unhealthy lifestyle who decides to make changes and push herself to run in the NYC Marathon. What results is a movie so funny, so relatable and in the end incredibly moving. This is a movie I really hope people get the chance to see.
Ty’s Sundance Moment of the Day:
Nick Broomfield’s new documentary about the relationship between Leonard Cohen and his artistic muse, Marianne Ihlen, may not be the most exciting doc at the festival this year, but it did yield some pretty great moments. The opening sequence in particular is rather touching and was the closest I had gotten to crying all festival long. If you want to know exactly what it was that moved me so, you’re just going to have to go and see it for yourselves!
Nathan’s Sundance Moment of the Day:
As I walked out of my last film of the festival, Luce, an incredibly moving and fresh take on racial expectations I saw Damian Chazelle standing by himself on his phone. No big deal, just possibly the greatest director of his generation just hanging out. Do I say something? Do I compliment First Man and tell him it got robbed? Do I give him a high five? Nah. I just smiled and gave him a nod.
Ty’s Lasting Thought for the Day:
As I get ready to take my leave from the festival, I have taken a bit of time to reflect on all of the films I have seen during this year’s Sundance. Though there aren’t as many buzz films or breakout hits as there have been in past years—this festival did feature a ton of gifted first time directors. If you are curious as to the future direction of the industry, or are perhaps wanting to get the early drop on your next favorite director, I highly recommend you do some deep digging into this year’s festival programming.
Nathan’s Lasting Thought for the Day:
I saw three incredibly different films that all touched on a very similar theme. Societal expectations and who you let mold them. In Luce, the phenomenal, Kelvin Harrison Jr, flips the narrative by bringing to light the pressures we put on black youths. It was a very intense film. In Brittany Runs a Marathon, Jillian Bell brings to life issues with body image and defining the difference between happy and healthy and in Big Time Adolescence, the hilarious comedy starring Pete Davidson, you get a comedic take on a young man coming of age and who he lets mold the man he wants to become. And this is why i love Sundance and the films here. I related to each of these films but took different things from all of them.