The new year is upon us, which means it’s time for that annual event which brings the glitz, glamor, and fame to Utah: the Sundance Film Festival. Mainly based out of Park City, Sundance expanded to offering films in Salt Lake City and Ogden a few years ago. We here at Indie Ogden are proud to bring you the guide this year’s offerings.
Your main source is going to be the Sundance website, http://www.sundance.org/festival/. Sundance films screen in Ogden at Peery’s Egyptian Theater at 2415 Washington Blvd.
Sundance tickets can be pretty hard to come by. As a local, you can register to get tickets in advance. Unfortunately, this has to be done by December 17th. However, you can still get tickets at the box office at Peery’s and online at the Sundance website starting this Tuesday, January 15th at noon. Ticket sales change all the time, so if you try to get tickets to a screening and it’s sold out, definitely try again the day of. You can see more details and FAQs on the Sundance site.
Below is the schedule for Peery’s screenings in Ogden. For the full schedule, head over to the Sundance site.
Sat, Jan 19, 6:30 PM: Crystal Fairy
Sat, Jan 19, 9:30 PM: Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes
Sun, Jan 20, 3:30 PM: Who Is Dayani Cristal?
Sun, Jan 20, 6:30 PM: Mud
Mon, Jan 21, 6:30 PM: Austenland
Tue, Jan 22, 6:30 PM: History of the Eagles Part One
Wed, Jan 23, 6:30 PM: Before Midnight
Thu, Jan 24, 6:30 PM: The Way, Way Back
Fri, Jan 25, 6:30 PM: The Crash Reel
Fri, Jan 25, 9:30 PM: Big Sur
Sat, Jan 26, 3:30 PM: The East
Sat, Jan 26, 6:30 PM: Stoker
Sat, Jan 26, 9:30 PM: Very Good Girls
All previews are from the Sundance site.
Jamie is a boorish, insensitive American twentysomething traveling in Chile, who somehow manages to create chaos at every turn. He and his friends are planning on taking a road trip north to experience a legendary shamanistic hallucinogen called the San Pedro cactus. In a fit of drunkenness at a wild party, Jamie invites an eccentric woman—a radical spirit named Crystal Fairy—to come along. What is meant to be a devil-may-care journey becomes a battle of wills as Jamie finds himself locking horns with his new traveling companion. But on a remote, pristine beach at the edge of the desert, the magic brew is finally imbibed, and the true adventure begins. Preconceived notions and judgments fall away, and the ragtag group breaks through to an authentic moment of truth.
With his signature flair, maverick writer/director Sebastián Silva returns (The Maid won the dramatic Jury Prize in 2009) to unearth the deadpan comedy that results from the archrivalry between his ego-clashing characters. Culminating in a profound audience experience, Crystal Fairy is about the gifts we can receive when we stop reaching for them.
Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes
Emanuel, an acerbic but sensitive teen, lives with her father and stepmother. She’s on the verge of another birthday—a day she has never cared for since her mother died giving birth to her—when the mysterious Linda, a young and hip mother, moves in next door. Intrigued by Linda’s striking resemblance to her late mother, Emanuel begins to babysit for Linda’s newborn daughter. As Emanuel and Linda spend more time together, they develop a bond that becomes deeply entwined in a surprising secret Linda harbors.
Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes is a hyperstylized and often darkly humorous film that vacillates between surrealism and realism while it incorporates suspenseful drama. Writer/director Francesca Gregorini’s tightly constructed script fuses pain with poetry and explores the complexity of being complicit in the lives of our loved ones. In a breakout performance, Kaya Scodelario is the heart of the film as Emanuel, who must take a courageous journey to enter her dream and help extract Linda from hers.
Who Is Dayani Cristal?
August 3, 2010, Pima County, Arizona—Deep in the sun-blistered Sonora desert beneath a cicada tree, border police discover a decomposing male body. Lifting a tattered T-shirt, they expose a tattoo that reads “Dayani Cristal.” Who is this person? What brought him here? How did he die? And who—or what—is Dayani Cristal?
Marc Silver’s masterful documentary assembles the answers to these questions using beautifully realized dramatic sequences with famed actor Gael García Bernal. Silver and Bernal reconstruct this John Doe, denied an identity at his point of death, into a living and breathing human being with a full and deeply engaging life story. Unfolding like a thrilling crime drama, the film builds to an emotionally devastating climax. Who Is Dayani Cristal?tells the story of one migrant who found himself in that deadly stretch of desert known as “the corridor of death” and how one life becomes testimony to the tragic results of the U.S. war on immigration.
Ellis and Neckbone are best friends approaching the twilight of their youth. While exploring, they stumble upon the hiding place of charismatic outlaw Mud (played with controlled charm by a well-cast Matthew McConaughey), who takes a quick liking to the boys and recruits them to his cause: the search for true love and a clean getaway.
Illustrating a vibrant imagination, sumptuous attention to detail, and a remarkable gift for extracting magnetic performances from a talented ensemble, Nichols hurtles us into the middle of a lush adventure, ensnaring the excitement every youngster feels when trouble lurks everywhere and anything is possible. Steeped in the vanishing myth of the Deep South, a place that Nichols dearly loves, Mud’s handcrafted vision shines through in each richly textured frame and proves a tall tale for the ages.
Jane’s life-size paper doll of Mr. Darcy and her “I Love Darcy” tote may be tattered, but even in her thirties, she hasn’t grown out of her obsession with all things Jane Austen. Careworn by love, she saves enough to fulfill her dream of stepping into Austen’s world and heads to Austenland for an “immersive” vacation to eschew all things modern. And it couldn’t be more perfect. There’s an imposing manor with verdant grounds for afternoon promenades, rosy-faced servants, trusty steeds for hunting expeditions, gilded drawing rooms for evenings spent in polite conversation, and, yes, gallant young suitors. Unfortunately, due to limited funds, she’s relegated to lesser quarters and drearier costumes than fellow bachelorette guests, but her cares melt away as she catches the eye of a young footman, and she’s swept into a romantic adventure she could never have imagined.
Will fantasy and reality merge for Jane? A wickedly funny, irreverent comedy, featuring a malapropism-peppered performance by Jennifer Coolidge and an impeccable cast of archetypal characters, Austenland hits all the right notes of the Regency era and our curious infatuation with it.
History of the Eagles Part One
Alison Ellwood’s intimate, meticulously crafted patchwork of rare archival material, concert footage, and unseen home movies explores the evolution and enduring popularity of one of America’s truly defining bands.
Inspired by the vibrant Los Angeles music scene, Glenn Frey and Don Henley left Linda Ronstadt’s backup band to team with Bernie Leadon and Randy Meisner and form the Eagles in 1971. While personal stories from band members (later including Don Felder, Joe Walsh, and Timothy Schmit), managers, and music-industry luminaries frame the narrative, it’s the unexpected moments—recording sessions, backstage interactions, and even a whimsical sequence from the Desperado cover shoot—that convey the inexplicable rapport linking artists, music, and the times (an era when country-tinged rock and pristine harmonies spoke to a nation still reeling from unrest).
But the band was not impervious to its own unrest, and its conflicts prompted several departures and ultimately led to its demise (or long vacation). This History of the Eagles Part One skips neither a beat nor a hit song, and we’re reminded why the band’s Their Greatest Hits collection remains one of the best-selling albums in U.S. history.
We meet Celine and Jesse nine years after their last rendezvous. Almost two decades have passed since their first encounter on a train bound for Vienna, and we now find them in their early forties in Greece. Before the clock strikes midnight, we will again become part of their story.
Director Richard Linklater continues his enchanting tale of a chance meeting between two strangers, bringing to it a nuanced perspective only gained by years lived. As it does in each film in the series, life carries with it new responsibilities and attitudes, forcing the two dreamers to reassess what they want next. Bolstered by an increasingly refined onscreen chemistry between lead actors Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, Before Midnight is a fitting third chapter in one of the great love stories of American independent cinema.
The Way, Way Back
The Way, Way Back tells the story of 14-year-old Duncan’s awkward, funny, and sometimes painful summer vacation with his mother, Pam, her overbearing boyfriend, Trent, and his daughter, Steph. Although Duncan has a tough time fitting in and finding his place, he does find an unlikely ally and mentor in Owen, a carefree employee at the local waterpark where Duncan gets a job. Over the course of the summer, as his mother drifts further away, Duncan—with encouragement from Owen—begins to open up and come into his own.
Mining the caverns of human vulnerability for the humor necessary to make life bearable, first-time directors Nat Faxon and Jim Rash have transformed their terrific screenplay into a bittersweet comedy that is both charming and insightful. Boasting an extraordinary ensemble of some of the most revered actors working today, as well as a young actor destined to join their ranks, The Way, Way Back brims with nostalgia for the magical time of adolescence, as well as the great coming-of-age films of the 1980s that captured its wide-eyed confusion and wonder.
The Crash Reel
This eye-popping, yet intimate, story of U.S. champion snowboarder Kevin Pearce uses years of vérité footage to expose the excitement and appeal, as well as the high stakes, of participating in extreme-action sports. Training to compete against longtime rival Shaun White at the 2010 Winter Olympics, Kevin suffered severe traumatic brain injury from a 2009 accident in Park City, Utah. His tight-knit Vermont family flew to his side, and together they began an intensive process of trying to rehabilitate him and help him rebuild his permanently damaged life. Kevin’s determination and the tireless support of family and friends kept him focused on recovery. But when he insisted he wanted to return to the sport he loved, his family objected. As an elite athlete, Kevin was a professional risk taker, but as a brain-injury survivor, his skills were now impaired, and even a small blow to the head could kill him.
Academy Award–nominated director Lucy Walker’s latest film (Waste Land won the World Cinema Documentary Audience Award at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival) sheds light on the alarming trend of athletes pushing the boundaries of their sports past the limit. How much risk is too much? Her thoughtful and probing treatment of her subject enables us to share one family’s remarkable journey.
Big Sur focuses on a moment in Jack Kerouac’s life when, overwhelmed by the success of his opus On the Road and struggling with alcoholism, he retreats to his publisher Lawrence Ferlinghetti’s cabin in the small, coastal California town of Big Sur, which eventually inspires his 1962 novel of the same name. Kerouac’s time begins with quiet moments of solitude and communing with nature. But, struck by loneliness, he hightails it to San Francisco, where he resumes drinking heavily and gets pushed into a relationship with his best friend Neal Cassady’s mistress, Billie.
While writer/director Michael Polish (Twin Falls Idaho) explores a less glamorous moment in Kerouac’s legacy—one of alienation and mental breakdown—Big Sur equally examines the beauty of this time in the writer’s life, witnessed in the romance of friendship and the purity of nature. Jean-Marc Barr embodies Kerouac’s intelligence and masculinity, but also portrays him at his most contemplative and vulnerable. Luscious and breathtaking, Big Surapproaches a religious cinematic experience.
Someone is attacking big corporate CEOs and forcing them to consume harmful products they manufacture. An elite private intelligence firm is called into action and contracts ex-FBI agent Sarah Moss to infiltrate a mysterious anarchist collective, The East, suspected to be responsible. Skilled, focused, and bent on success, Sarah goes undercover and dedicates herself to taking down the organization. She soon finds, however, that the closer she gets to the action, the more she sympathizes with the group’s charismatic leaders.
After the warm reception he received for 2011’s Sound of My Voice, director Zal Batmanglij returns to the Sundance Film Festival with this stunning sophomore effort, which marks his second collaboration with the irresistibly alluring, multitalented Brit Marling. Featuring a fantastic supporting cast, including Patricia Clarkson, Ellen Page, and Alexander Skarsgård,The East is a taut and timely thriller that resonates deeply with the complexity of today’s explosive socioeconomic landscape.
After India’s father dies in an auto accident, her Uncle Charlie, whom she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her emotionally unstable mother, Evelyn. Soon after his arrival, India begins to suspect this mysterious, charming man has disturbing ulterior motives, but instead of feeling outrage or horror, the friendless girl becomes increasingly infatuated with him.
Visionary filmmaker Park Chan-Wook, whose Old Boy and Three…Extremes both played at the Sundance Film Festival in 2005, returns with another macabre story, one that marks his first venture into English-language cinema. Armed with an inspired script, a world-class cast, and a wickedly playful nature, he subverts audience expectations by employing delightful visual trickery and placing a magnet over the moral compass of the film, giving complex and sympathetic motivations for the characters’ violent actions. Featuring a gasp-inducing performance from Nicole Kidman, Stoker is a haunting, Hitchcockian tale as unsettling as it is stunning.
Very Good Girls
Best friends—introspective Lilly and free-spirited Gerry—spend their last summer at home in New York City before parting ways for college. The girls meet Brooklyn boy David, whom they both fall for, and Lilly soon begins a secret relationship with him. As Lilly’s home life falls apart after she discovers her father’s affair and Gerry becomes more obsessed with David, Lilly seeks solace in her first romance. However, a tragedy in Gerry’s family catapults Lilly back into reality, and she must face the consequences of her actions.
Very Good Girls is a refreshing representation of contemplative, smart, and curious teenage girls, who experience their everyday lives with a sophistication and grace that most of their peers lack. Naomi Foner’s intimate story emanates a raw nostalgia for that painful time when we waver precariously between adolescence and young adulthood.