Sundance announces 2009 selections
Sundance may not be the biggest film festival around, nor is it even the most independent anymore with the preponderance of festivals like Slamdance. But it probably has the most cultural cache, and even with the current independent film distribution problems it's still one of the places people search for new talent. With the festival only 42 days away, the folks behind it have announced its selection of 118 feature-length films. Below are the films in contention for documentary and "dramatic" (i.e. non-documentary) features.
Don't Let Me Drown (Director: Cruz Angeles; Screenwriters: Maria Topete and Cruz Angeles)
One of the joys of Sundance is always how unknown most of the directors are. Still, there's a few features that caught our interest already. Dirt! The Movie sounds a bit like The Simpsons parodies on sand and hills, but it also sounds like something that hasn't been done before. Another documentary we couldn't help but be interested in is The September Issue, which follows Vogue magazine through its process of putting the issue together. Let's just say it might hit close to home.
Probably the most anticipated film of the festival is John Krasinski (from The Office) directoral debut on Brief Interviews. It's based on a series of non-linear, half-interviews that compose one of the late David Foster Wallace's short stories. Krasinski had the blessing of Wallace and also gave a reading from it in support of Infinite Jest's 10th anniversary. Like DFW's other works, the story seems impossible to adapt to the screen, but if Krasinski pulls it off it may be incredible.
An Education is being featured in international competition, based on a screenplay by Nick Hornby. It stars the always outstanding Peter Sarsgaard, so anyone headed to Park City should definitely check it out. Also noteworthy for their actors are Arlen Faber, which features Kat Dennings, Tony Hale and Jeff Daniels, Paper Hearts, which features Michael Cera, and Big Fan, starring Patton Oswalt.