Remember Occupy Wall Street? Remember how popular support for the protest soared and then dwindled as organizers proved to be disorganized and ineffectual? In his new film, The Company You Keep, Robert Redford examines why so many movements like OWS fail. "They don't always succeed, they tend to evaporate," Redford notes. "I was curious about why. And what was the cost [for] those people that so believed?"
Can't make it out to Park City, UT for the Sundance Film Festival this year? Let Sundance come to you. The Sundance Institute announced today 10 independent cities that will screen selections from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival this year with the filmmaker present. Ten filmmakers will travel to one of the following cities: Ann Arbor, MI; Boston, MA; Brooklyn, NY; Chicago, IL; Houston, TX; Los Angeles, CA; Nashville, TN; Orlando, FL; San Francisco, CA; and Tucson, AZ.
"Sundance Film Festival USA celebrates the theaters and audiences that are an integral part of supporting and encouraging the work of independent filmmakers," said Sundance President and Founder Robert Redford. "By extending the Festival to these 10 cities, we will create a larger shared experience and dialogue around the issues of our time, as explored in these films."
Titles and locations follow with descriptions and information provided by Sundance Institute:
The East / U.S.A. (Director: Zal Batmanglij, Screenwriters: Zal Batmanglij, Brit Marling) — An operative for an elite private intelligence firm goes into deep cover to infiltrate a mysterious anarchist collective attacking major corporations. Bent on apprehending these fugitives, she finds her loyalty tested as her feelings grow for the group's charismatic leader. Cast: Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård, Ellen Page, Toby Kebbell, Shiloh Fernandez, Patricia Clarkson. Ann Arbor, MI – The Michigan Theatre.
The Lifeguard / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Liz W. Garcia) — A former valedictorian quits her reporter job in New York and returns to the place she last felt happy: her childhood home in Connecticut. She gets work as a lifeguard and starts a dangerous relationship with a troubled teenager. Cast: Kristen Bell, Mamie Gummer, Martin Starr, Alex Shaffer, Amy Madigan, David Lambert. Boston, MA – Coolidge Corner Theatre www.coolidge.org
Kill Your Darlings / U.S.A. (Director: John Krokidas, Screenwriters: Austin Bunn, John Krokidas) — An untold story of murder that brought together a young Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs at Columbia University in 1944, providing the spark that led to the birth of an entire generation – their Beat revolution. Cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Dane DeHann, Ben Foster, Michael C. Hall, Jack Huston, Elizabeth Olsen. Brooklyn, NY – BAM
Touchy Feely / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Lynn Shelton) — A massage therapist is unable to do her job when stricken with a mysterious and sudden aversion to bodily contact. Meanwhile, her uptight brother's foundering dental practice receives new life when clients seek out his “healing touch.” Cast: Rosemarie DeWitt, Allison Janney, Ron Livingston, Scoot McNairy, Ellen Page, Josh Pais. Chicago, IL – Music Box Theatre
Ain't Them Bodies Saints / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: David Lowery) — The tale of an outlaw who escapes from prison and sets out across the Texas hills to reunite with his wife and the daughter he has never met. Cast: Rooney Mara, Casey Affleck, Ben Foster, Nate Parker, Keith Carradine. Houston, TX – Sundance Cinemas Houston.
Afternoon Delight / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Jill Soloway) — In this sexy, dark comedy, a lost L.A. housewife puts her idyllic hipster life in jeopardy when she tries to rescue a stripper by taking her in as a live-in nanny. Cast: Kathryn Hahn, Juno Temple, Josh Radnor, Jane Lynch. Los Angeles, CA – Sundance Sunset Cinemas .
Mother of George / U.S.A. (Director: Andrew Dosunmu, Screenwriter: Darci Picoult) — A story about a woman willing to do anything and risk everything for her marriage. Cast: Isaach De Bankolé, Danai Gurira, Tony Okungbowa, Yaya Alafia, Bukky Ajayi. Nashville, TN – Belcourt Theatre.
A.C.O.D. / U.S.A. (Director: Stuart Zicherman, Screenwriters: Ben Karlin, Stuart Zicherman) — Carter is a well-adjusted Adult Child of Divorce. So he thinks. When he discovers he was part of a divorce study as a child, it wreaks havoc on his family and forces him to face his chaotic past. Cast: Adam Scott, Richard Jenkins, Catherine O'Hara, Amy Poehler, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Clark Duke. Orlando, FL – Enzian Theater.
In a World... / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Lake Bell) — An underachieving vocal coach is motivated by her father, the king of movie-trailer voice-overs, to pursue her aspirations of becoming a voiceover star. Amidst pride, sexism and family dysfunction, she sets out to change the voice of a generation. Cast: Lake Bell, Demetri Martin, Rob Corddry, Michaela Watkins, Ken Marino, Fred Melamed. San Francisco, CA – Sundance Kabuki Cinemas.
The Spectacular Now / U.S.A. (Director: James Ponsoldt, Screenwriters: Scott Neustadter, Michael H. Weber) — Sutter is a high school senior who lives for the moment; Aimee is the introvert he attempts to "save." As their relationship deepens, the lines between right and wrong, friendship and love, and "saving" and corrupting become inextricably blurred. Cast: Miles Teller, Shailene Woodley, Brie Larson, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Kyle Chandler. Tucson, AZ – The Loft.
One of the biggest days in the indie film calendar arrived Wednesday with the unveiling of the Sundance Film Festival's U.S. Dramatic and Documentary Competition slate along with the premiere event's World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary lineups and titles screening in the fest's NEXT section. Hit the jump for the line-ups!
Also in Wednesday morning's round-up of news briefs, theater chains are OKing Peter Jackson's Hobbit technology; Sundance Channel is developing programs by Robert Redford and Michael Fuchs; And the MPAA gives Obama a congratulations.
Also in Thursday afternoon's round-up of news briefs, upcoming New York Film Festival debut Frances Ha gets a buyer. The Rome Film Festival will debut a new section with a film by a quartet of auteurs. Any Day Now and Alex Gibney's The Last Gladiators heads to theaters. And Focus Features welcomes a new executive vice president.
Robert Redford's The Company You Keep Heads To Theaters; Sesame Street's Jerry Nelson Dead At 78: Biz Break
Also in Friday afternoon's round-up of news briefs, the New York Film Festival has unveiled plans for an inaugural Midnight sidebar and Transmedia program. Peter Strickland's latest thriller is headed for U.S. theaters after screenings in Toronto and New York tests. Kodak announces departure from key photo biz areas and The Dark Knight Rises passes an international box office milestone.
"Obamacare." "Romney Hood." The political name-calling sounds like campaign season is well under-way (though does it ever end or begin?). The art of the possible will get a comical twist this weekend with the release of The Campaign, starring Will Ferrell and Zach Galifianakis. The pic follows two rivals who clash in an election that will decide who will head to the U.S. Congress from their North Carolina district (Ferrell appears to even flash a not-so-subtle coif similar to former V.P. candidate John Edwards). The film, which opens this weekend, prompted ABC's Political Punch reporter Jake Tapper to offer up his Top 10 political films of all-time (documentaries were excluded) and "political film" was kept to a narrow definition. See if you agree with this list and let the campaign begin.
The film: Jeremiah Johnson (1972), newly available on Blu-ray via Warner Home Video.
Why it's an Inessential Essential: The audio commentary on the new Blu-ray of Jeremiah Johnson suggests that director Sydney Pollack's time helming the serio-comic 1972 Western mirrored his inexperienced protagonist's uphill struggle to survive in pioneer America. Before making Jeremiah Johnson, Pollack directed episodes of such western tv shows as Frontier Circus and The Tall Man and even a feature-length western called The Scalphunters (1968). Still, Pollack is not normally associated with Westerns. And after hearing him talk about some of the travails he had filming Jeremiah Johnson, it's easy to see why the film was the late filmmaker's only Western.
Sundance '11 darling Brit Marling is now a year and change removed from the stunning festival debut that made her one to watch thanks to two films she co-wrote, produced, and starred in: The moody sci-fi drama Another Earth, released last summer, and the mesmerizing Sound of My Voice. The latter film finally hits theaters this week, giving audiences a chance to see a different side of Marling: Earthy, enigmatic, dangerously charismatic, and -- as the leader of a cult amassing members in a basement in the Valley -- possibly from the future.
Park City was eerily peaceful early this morning with nobody around and last night’s dusting of snow on the ground. Soon enough – by this afternoon, or this evening, or certainly tonight – that will all change as filmmakers, press and industry folks roll in and the dreaded promoters (“leveragers,” Sundance founder Robert Redford called them in his inaugural address today) pimp out this snowy mountain town like a toddler in a tiara. Appropriately, Redford pointed to the current hardships for filmmakers, and the world at large. “Times are hard and grim,” he acknowledged, later offering optimism. “Independent film is healthy. That doesn’t mean it’s easy.”
Among the topics at hand today as Robert Redford held court in Park City, Utah to open the 2011 Sundance Film Festival: The Sundance Institute's commitment to artists, their plans for global domination, how the fest is getting with the times (Twitter!), and of course, Kevin Smith's Red State. Because even in a wide-ranging convo about the storied indie mecca that Redford built, Smith's attention-grabbing, not-screening-for-press Christian homosexual murder pic had to steal the spotlight. Highlights of what Redford, festival director John Cooper, and Executive Director Keri Putnam had to say (including awkward chatter about marketing "riff raff" and rival fest Slamdance) after the jump.