Arts NewsFeatures

What’s Gay at the 2011 Sundance and Slamdance Film Festivals

To help you prepare your choice of films to see at this year’s Sundance & Slamdance Film Festivals, Jan. 20-30,  we have provided an updated list of gay‑themed films, as well as films featuring out cast and crew members, and a few recommendations from arts editor Tony Hobday … those he thinks the actors are hot/talented and those he found intriguing.

Sundance

PREMIERES

Cedar Rapids / USA
(Director: Miguel Arteta; Screenwriter: Phil Johnston) — Miguel Arteta returns to the Sundance Film Festival with a comedy about a group of insurance salesmen who use the opportunity to attend an annual convention in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, as a way to escape their doleful existence … like Vegas but with corn.

Tim Lippe has been living in a small town his whole life and gets a rude awakening when he arrives in the “giant” metropolis of Cedar Rapids. However, his boyish charm and innocence eventually win over his fellow conventioneers, but he becomes disheartened when he uncovers corporate corruption. When it seems his life — and chances to succeed — are completely topsy-turvy, he finds his own unjaded way to turn things around.

Cedar Rapids deftly straddles that line between laughing at and with its subjects thanks to Arteta’s skilled direction and Ed Helms’s hilarious, yet thoughtful, performance. John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, and Isiah Whitlock Jr. play off Helms perfectly to fashion characters that are eccentric, yet honest. Filled with quotable dialogue and unforgettable scenes, Cedar Rapids achieves the impossible: it makes insurance fun. Cast: Ed Helms, John C Reilly, Anne Heche, Isiah Whitlock Jr, Alia Shawkat, Sigourney Weaver.
9:45 PM    Sun, Jan 23    Eccles Theatre
9:15 AM    Mon, Jan 24    Eccles Theatre
6:30 PM    Sat, Jan 29    Rose Wagner

Circumstance / USA, Iran
(Director and screenwriter: Maryam Keshavarz) — Teenagers Atafeh, and her best friend, Shireen, are experimenting with their burgeoning sexuality amidst the subculture of Tehran’s underground art scene when Atafeh’s brother, Mehran, returns home from drug rehab as the prodigal son. Battling his demons, Mehran vehemently renounces his former life as a classical musician and joins the morality police. He disapproves of his sister’s developing intimate relationship with Shireen and becomes obsessed with saving Shireen from Atafeh’s influence. Suddenly, the two siblings, who were close confidants, are entangled in a triangle of suspense, surveillance, and betrayal as the once-liberal haven of the family home becomes a place of danger for the beautiful Atafeh.

Splendidly constructed and saturated with a sumptuous sense of style and sensuality, Circumstance marks the arrival of an exciting, original talent. First-time feature writer/director Maryam Keshavarz registers a rare glimpse of forbidden love in today’s Iranian youth culture. Cast: Nikohl Boosheri, Sarah Kazemy, Reza Sixo Safai, Soheil Parsa, Nasrin Pakkho.
11:30 AM    Sat, Jan 22    Library Center Theatre
9:00 PM    Tue, Jan 25    Tower Theatre
11:30 PM    Wed, Jan 26    Prospector Square
12:15 PM    Thu, Jan 27    Eccles Theatre
12:00 PM    Fri, Jan 28    Sundance Resort
11:30 AM    Sat, Jan 29    Prospector Square

The Details / USA
(Director and screenwriter: Jacob Aaron Estes) — It all started with the raccoons. After 10 years of marriage, Jeff and Nealy have a young son, an idyllic suburban life, and a marriage that’s stuck. Accordingly, Jeff decides to plant a perfect backyard lawn. Enter the raccoons, who repeatedly tear up his grass. When Jeff tries to eradicate these meddlesome vandals, his efforts initiate a bewildering chain reaction involving a crazy cat lady, multiple infidelities, extortion, organ donation, and somebody on the wrong end of a bow and arrow.

Devilish throughout, The Details is both a love story and a horror story (of the existential kind). The root of Jeff’s dread (and subsequent misdeeds) is that he wants to love his wife but no longer knows how. Filmmaker Jacob Aaron Estes plays with the notion that the tiniest thing can unravel our lives. His narrative spontaneity and anarchic spirit allow characters to keep digging themselves into deeper moral holes to see if the universe will punish them. The result is a darkly funny meditation on marital malaise. Cast: Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks, Laura Linney, Ray Liotta, Dennis Haysbert.
6:15 PM    Mon, Jan 24    Eccles Theatre
9:15 AM    Tue, Jan 25    Eccles Theatre
9:00 PM    Sat, Jan 29    Sundance
6:30 PM    Sun, Jan 30    Rose Wagner

Gun Hill Road / USA
(Director and screenwriter: Rashaad Ernesto Green) — After three years in prison, macho Enrique (Esai Morales) returns home to the Bronx and finds things changed. His wife, Angela (Judy Reyes), is distant, and his teenage son, Michael, has a newfound independence and identity that is beyond Enrique’s comprehension. Unable to accept his child for who he is now, Enrique clings to his masculine ideals while Angela attempts to hold the family together by fiercely protecting Michael. Still under the watchful eye of his parole officer, Enrique must become the father he needs to be or, once again, risk losing his family and freedom.

The heart of Gun Hill Road lies in two places: a father’s inability to escape the vicious cycle of his life, and the richly drawn character of Michael (newcomer Harmony Santana is unforgettable). Writer/director Rashaad Ernesto Green’s first feature film is a complex family drama, told with gentle humor, sensitivity, and a deep understanding of the environment that defines its inhabitants. Cast: Esai Morales, Judy Reyes, Harmony Santana, Vincent Laresca, Miriam Colon.
5:30 PM    Mon, Jan 24    Library Center Theatre
12:15 PM    Tue, Jan 25    Eccles Theatre
6:00 PM    Wed, Jan 26    Sundance Resort
2:30 PM    Thu, Jan 27    Prospector Square
8:30 AM    Fri, Jan 28    Egyptian Theatre
12:00 PM    Sat, Jan 29    Broadway Centre VI

My Idiot Brother / USA
(Director: Jesse Peretz; Screenwriters: Evgenia Peretz and David Schisgall) — Despite looking for the good in every situation and the best in every person, Ned always seems to find himself holding the short end of the stick — being conned into selling pot to a uniformed cop, being dumped by his girlfriend, and worse yet, losing custody of his beloved dog, Willie Nelson. When he turns to family, he is passed from sister to sister while he gets back on his feet. Ned’s best intentions produce hilariously disastrous results, bringing the family to the cusp of chaos and ultimately the brink of clarity.

Director Jesse Peretz has a keen eye for idiosyncratic human foibles, especially those that make you laugh. My Idiot Brother rolls along with fine-tuned precision by enlisting the talents of Paul Rudd and a talented cast, who can make uncomfortable moments delightful by infusing characters with the perfect balance of humor and pathos. My Idiot Brother reminds us of something we know already: there is no such thing as a normal family. Cast: Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer.
6:15 PM    Sat, Jan 22    Eccles Theatre
9:00 AM    Sun, Jan 23    Eccles Theatre
6:30 PM    Mon, Jan 24    Peery’s Egyptian Theater, Ogden
6:00 PM    Sat, Jan 29    Tower Theatre

Salvation Boulevard / USA
(Director: George Ratliff; Screenwriters: Doug Max Stone and George Ratliff, based on the novel by Larry Beinhart) — Reverend Dan is a charismatic preacher who has captivated a city with his charm. Ex-deadhead and recovering hippie Carl is one of the loyal sheep in his flock. When an antique firearms accident does in an atheistic novelist and Dan’s controversial antagonist, Carl is called into service in the most unconventional way. The megachurch is cast into shadow, and a hellish storm begins brewing that could jeopardize its entire existence. The road to hell — in this case, Salvation Boulevard — is paved with good intentions — gone hysterically wrong.

This material is perfectly suited for George Ratliff, who directed the award-winning documentary Hell House and the 2007 Sundance Film Festival hit Joshua. Down to every detail, you feel you are in capable hands. In a situation ripe with possibilities, the gloriously talented cast push their performances to the limit, spiraling this film toward instant cult-comedy status. In Salvation Boulevard, Ratliff peels back the onion to take a satirical look at Christian fanaticism — one guilty pleasure at a time. Cast: Pierce Brosnan, Jennifer Connelly, Ed Harris, Greg Kinnear, Marisa Tomei.
2:30 PM    Mon, Jan 24    Library Center Theatre
6:15 PM    Wed, Jan 26    Eccles Theatre
12:30 PM    Sat, Jan 29    Rose Wagner

The Future / GER, USA
(Director and screenwriter: Miranda July) — The Future begins one afternoon on a sofa. Sophie and Jason, a 30-something couple in Los Angeles, realize that in one month, their lives will change radically when they pick up a stray cat they’re adopting. Wanting to take advantage of their fleeting freedom, they quit their jobs, disconnect their Internet, and pursue new interests, all of which literally alter the course of time and space and test their faith in each other and themselves.
Miranda July’s work slips and slides whenever you try to pin it down. A truly original voice, she has an uncanny intuition for playful, figurative storytelling. The Future is narrated by a cat. One night Jason freezes time and talks with the moon. Sophie decides to settle with an older man in suburbia as if she were shopping for a potential future: trying it on to see if it fits. An exhilarating, funny, and wildly inventive second feature, The Future reflects a profound understanding of the existential fears that accompany relationships.
6:15 PM    Fri, Jan 21    Eccles Theatre
8:30 AM    Sat, Jan 22    Library Center Theatre
9:15 AM    Fri, Jan 28    Eccles Theatre

The Son of No One / USA
(Director and screenwriter: Dito Montiel) — The Sundance Film Festival is thrilled to welcome back a familiar face to close out its 2011 program. Dito Montiel won the directing award for The Guide to Recognizing Your Saints in 2006. He returns with another gripping New York story.

The Son of No One is a police thriller about a young cop who is assigned to a precinct in the Queens neighborhood where he grew up. To provide for his wife and ailing daughter, he works hard to keep his life on track. But this life is threatened when a dark secret bubbles to the surface. An anonymous source reveals new information about the unsolved murder of two boys and a possible police cover-up, setting off a chain of events that rattles the neighborhood.

Despite its studio-caliber cast, The Son of No One remains fiercely independent, thanks to Montiel’s passion and ability. He works within the cop-drama genre but fleshes out his characters and their world with an authenticity that heightens the film’s impact. You’ll remember it long after the Festival is over. Cast: Channing Tatum, Al Pacino, Katie Holmes, Tracy Morgan, Ray Liotta, Juliette Binoche. CLOSING NIGHT FILM
6:15 PM    Fri, Jan 28    Eccles Theatre
9:15 AM    Sat, Jan 29    Eccles Theatre
9:30 PM    Sat, Jan 29    Rose Wagner

DOCUMENTARY PREMIERES

Becoming Chaz / USA
(Directors: Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato) — Chaz Bono was a male trapped in a female shell for as long as he can remember. Growing up as Sonny and Cher’s adorable golden-haired daughter in a body he felt wasn’t his own was a crucible it took years to transcend. Now, as he undertakes gender reassignment, he’s bravely decided to share the process on camera. Becoming Chaz invites us along on Chaz’s remarkable journey of transformation. As hormone shots give way to top surgery, down-to-earth, unflappable Chaz beams with a sense of liberation and goes public with his story to put a face on a misunderstood issue. Meanwhile, his gregarious girlfriend grapples with the realities of suddenly living with a man, and it’s clear sex change isn’t solely a physical transition.

Intimate and nakedly honest, the film reveals the humanity and courage it takes for Chaz to ultimately embrace his true self. His moving struggle will reverberate profoundly for anyone to whom authenticity matters.
8:30 PM    Sun, Jan 23    Prospector Square
3:00 PM    Mon, Jan 24    Broadway Centre VI
9:00 PM    Tue, Jan 25    Holiday Village IV
9:00 PM    Sat, Jan 29    Yarrow Hotel Theatre

The Interrupters / USA
(Director: Steve James) — Living, breathing, modern-day heroes are inspiring hope on the scary streets of Chicago. Meet the Interrupters — former gang members who disrupt violence in their neighborhoods as it happens. Acclaimed director Steve James (Hoop Dreams, Stevie) working with noted author Alex Kotlowitz, recounts the gripping stories of men and women who, with bravado, humility, and humor, strive to protect their communities from the brutality they once employed. With his signature intimate vérité, James follows these individuals over the course of a year as they attempt to intervene in disputes before they turn violent: two brothers who threaten to shoot each other, an angry teenage girl just home from prison, and a young man on a warpath of revenge.

Both a voyage into the stubborn persistence of bloodshed in our cities today and a beacon of light, James’s unforgettable documentary captures each Interrupter’s inspired work, transporting us on a powerful journey from crime to trust to redemption.
9:00 PM    Fri, Jan 21    Temple Theatre
9:00 PM    Sat, Jan 22    Redstone Cinemas 8
9:00 PM    Fri, Jan 28    Temple Theatre
9:45 PM    Sat, Jan 29    Broadway Centre V

Rebirth / USA
(Director: Jim Whitaker) — How does the journey of grieving and recovery unfold for individuals and a nation? Rebirth chronicles the lives of five people profoundly affected by the 9/11 attacks. As a decade passes, we witness the progress of a student whose mother perished, a widow of a first responder, a woman who survived above the impact zone, a man who oversees Ground Zero construction, and a firefighter who lost his closest friends. As they cope with the excruciating and evolving pain of loss, time helps them refashion the scaffolding of their lives.

Meanwhile, amazingly, 14 time-lapse cameras chart the entire multiyear rebuilding of 7 World Trade Center — the first structure to rise to completion after the tragedy. The site’s renewal becomes a stunning metaphor for the cycle of life while the film’s characters reflect the resilience of humanity and the possibility of transformation in the face of anguish. Inspiring a collective catharsis, this exquisitely moving documentary helps us process what is unimaginable.
8:30 AM    Fri, Jan 21    Prospector Square
2:30 PM    Tue, Jan 25    Library Center Theatre
9:30 PM    Wed, Jan 26    Rose Wagner
12:00 PM    Thu, Jan 27    Temple Theatre
3:00 PM    Sat, Jan 29    Holiday Village IV

U.S. DRAMATIC COMPETITION

The Ledge
(Director and screenwriter: Matthew Chapman) — Atop a high-rise building, Gavin, a young hotel manager, is about to end his life. Hollis, a detective whose own world has just been turned upside down, is dispatched to the scene. As Hollis tries to persuade Gavin not to jump, each man begins to open up about his past, and we discover that neither of them is convinced that his life is worth living.

In his Sundance Film Festival debut, director/screenwriter Matthew Chapman has crafted an intense thriller filled with soulful inspiration. While the film examines the complex notion of what drives us as people, strong performances and immersive characters keep the audience on the edge of their seats. The Ledge is a nuanced character study of love, faith, and convictions that will leave you with a question … How far are you willing to go for what you believe? Cast: Charlie Hunnam, Liv Tyler, Patrick Wilson and Terrence Howard with Christopher Gorham.
3:15 PM    Fri, Jan 21    Eccles Theatre
8:30 AM    Sat, Jan 22    Prospector Square
3:30 PM    Sun, Jan 23    Peery’s Egyptian Theater, Ogden
6:30 PM    Tue, Jan 25    Rose Wagner
5:30 PM    Wed, Jan 26    Prospector Square
8:30 PM    Fri, Jan 28    Library Center Theatre

Pariah
(Director and screenwriter: Dee Rees) — At the club, the music thumps, go-go dancers twirl, shorties gyrate on the dance floor while studs play it cool, and adorably naive 17-year-old Alike takes in the scene with her jaw dropped in amazement. Meanwhile, her buddy Laura, in between macking the ladies and flexing her butch bravado, is trying to help Alike get her cherry popped. This is Alike’s first world. Her second world is calling on her cell to remind her of her curfew. On the bus ride home to Brooklyn, Alike sheds her baseball cap and polo shirt, puts her earrings back in, and tries to look like the feminine, obedient girl her conservative family expects.

With a spectacular sense of atmosphere and authenticity, Pariah takes us deep and strong into the world of an intelligent butch teenager trying to find her way into her own. Debut director Dee Rees leads a splendid cast and crafts a pitch-perfect portrait that stands unparalleled in American cinema. Cast: Adepero Oduye, Pernell Walker, Kim Wayans, Charles Parnell, Aasha Davis.
9:30 PM    Thu, Jan 20    Eccles Theatre
8:30 AM    Fri, Jan 21    Library Center Theatre
12:00 PM    Sat, Jan 22    Sundance Resort
12:30 PM    Sun, Jan 23    Rose Wagner
12:00 PM    Wed, Jan 26    Holiday Village IV
12:15 PM    Fri, Jan 28    Eccles Theatre

Another Happy Day

(Director and screenwriter: Sam Levinson) — A wedding at her parents’ Annapolis estate hurls high-strung Lynn into the fire of primal, Byzantine family dynamics. It’s the wedding of Lynn’s son, whom she was deprived of raising because of her acrimonious divorce, and a feud still rages between Lynn and her ex-husband’s hot-tempered wife. Meanwhile, the three children Lynn did raise display a panoply of disturbing behaviors like cutting and drug addiction, which Lynn’s mother and sisters alternately ridicule and blame her for. As Lynn attempts catharsis, her mother sweeps issues under the rug, but painful truths bubble and spurt. Clan members deploy ricocheting arrows to protect themselves — and wound others — as the fine lines between victims and perpetrators blur.

Many films have tread the terrain of upper-class family dysfunction, but few marshal as much sensitivity, rawness, and truth — and few performances penetrate as deeply as those of Ellen Barkin, Ellen Burstyn, and Ezra Miller as they navigate the emotional minefields of unmet needs that span generations. Cast: Demi Moore, Kate Bosworth, Jeffrey DeMunn, Ellen Barkin, Ellen Burstyn, Thomas Haden Church.
3:30 PM    Sun, Jan 23    Eccles Theatre
6:30 PM    Mon, Jan 24    Rose Wagner
8:45 PM    Tue, Jan 25    Library Center Theatre
11:30 AM    Thu, Jan 27    Prospector Square
8:30 AM    Sat, Jan 29    Library Center Theatre

U.S. DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

Miss Representation
(Director: Jennifer Siebel Newsom; Screenwriters: Jennifer Siebel Newsom and Jessica Congdon) — Like drawing back a curtain to let bright light stream in, Miss Representation uncovers a glaring reality we live with every day but fail to see. It’s clear the mainstream media objectifies women, but what most people don’t realize is the magnitude of that phenomenon and the way objectification gets internalized — a symbolic annihilation of self-worth — and impedes girls and women from realizing their full potential. While women have made strides in leadership over the past few decades, trivializing and damaging images continue to proliferate. In a society where media is the most persuasive force shaping cultural norms, the collective message that a woman’s value and power lie only in her youth, beauty, and sexuality is pervasive.

Stories from teenage girls and provocative interviews with politicians, journalists, academics, and activists like Condoleeza Rice, Nancy Pelosi, Katie Couric, Rachel Maddow, and Gloria Steinem build momentum as the film accumulates startling facts and statistics that leave the audience shaken and armed with a new perspective.
12:00 PM    Sat, Jan 22    Yarrow Hotel Theatre
9:00 AM    Tue, Jan 25    Temple Theatre
3:45 PM    Wed, Jan 26    Broadway Centre V
12:00 PM    Thu, Jan 27    Holiday Village IV
2:30 PM    Sat, Jan 29    Prospector Square

Troubadours
(Director: Morgan Neville) — Framed by the illustrious careers of James Taylor and Carole King, Troubadours delves into the quietly explosive singer-songwriter movement in Los Angeles during the early 1970s. From their home at impresario Doug Weston’s Troubadour club in West Hollywood, artists like Taylor, King, David Crosby, Jackson Browne, Joni Mitchell, and Kris Kristofferson (the list goes on) wrote and performed songs with intimately personal lyrics, marking a transition from the politically focused songs of the ’60s. While some rock critics denigrated the music, the spirit among the musicians was one of collaboration and inspiration, and these singer songwriters flourished.

Morgan Neville creates a riveting chronicle of the time, weaving together archival footage, rare performances, and interviews from a veritable who’s who, including Elton John, Steve Martin, and Bonnie Raitt. Troubadours takes us deeply into the scene (and its inevitable demise) and celebrates the pure, timeless music and the undeniable legacy of these groundbreaking singer songwriters.
2:30 PM    Sat, Jan 22    Prospector Square
9:00 AM    Tue, Jan 25    Yarrow Hotel Theatre
9:30 PM    Tue, Jan 25    Rose Wagner
6:00 PM    Wed, Jan 26    Temple Theatre
12:00 PM    Thu, Jan 27    Sundance Resort
11:15 AM    Sat, Jan 29    Holiday Village III

We Were Here
(Director: David Weissman) — In the early 1970s, in the shadow of the Stonewall Riots and the free-love movement, gay men and lesbians flocked to San Francisco to find acceptance. They formed a thriving, tight-knit community until the arrival of AIDS in the early 1980s drove them under siege.

Director David Weissman (The Cockettes screened at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival) chronicles this transformative era through the stories of five individuals who lived through the best and the worst of it. In the face of unheralded tragedy, these men and women relate how they were affected and the way their community united to help those suffering and prevent further deaths.

Elegiac but inspirational, We Were Here bears witness to the experiences of those who died — and, equally importantly, those who lived — in the earliest years of the AIDS epidemic. Its story is universal, showing the capacity for compassion and strength in all of us, even against unimaginable adversity.
12:00 PM    Sat, Jan 22    Temple Theatre
3:45 PM    Sun, Jan 23    Broadway Centre V
9:00 PM    Mon, Jan 24    Temple Theatre
3:00 PM    Wed, Jan 26    Yarrow Hotel Theatre
8:30 AM    Fri, Jan 28    Holiday Village III

WORLD CINEMA DRAMATIC COMPETITION

A Few Days of Respite (Quelque Jours de Repit)/Algeria, France
(Director and screenwriter: Amor Hakkar) — After escaping Iran, where their relationship means a death sentence, Hassan and Mohsen make it all the way to France. While stopped over in a small town to await their train to Paris, Mohsen befriends the lonely, but warm, Yolande, who offers him employment, kindness and the possibility of a peaceful life.

Amor Hakkar directs and stars as the aging man torn between a security he has never known and his passionate connection to his younger lover. A minimalist film that nevertheless feels visually and emotionally full, without forced sentimentality or manufactured drama, A Few Days of Respite questions the nature of love and happiness and the sacrifices we may make to achieve either. In this film directed and written with precision and economy, Hakkar allows us to know these characters in a single line of dialogue, and feel their conflict within the power of a glance. Cast: Marina Vlady, Samir Guesmi, Amor Hakkar. World Premiere
6:00 PM    Tue, Jan 25    Egyptian Theatre
10:30 PM    Wed, Jan 26    Broadway Centre IV
9:00 AM    Thu, Jan 27    Egyptian Theatre
11:30 AM    Fri, Jan 28    Prospector Square
1:00 PM    Sat, Jan 29    Holiday Village I

Ticket to Paradise (Boleto al Paraiso)/Cuba
(Director: Gerardo Chijona Valdes; Screenwriters: Gerardo Chijona Valdes, Francisco Garcia Gonzalez and Maykel Rodriguez Ponjuan) — In 1993 Cuba, as a severe economic crisis rages, Eunice runs away from her small town and her sexually aggressive father. With nowhere to go, she joins up with a group of homeless teens hitchhiking to Havana. Eunice feels an instant connection to charismatic ringleader Alejandro. But her damaged past and his preoccupation with his dead-end existence stand in the way. Desperate, with no opportunities to improve their lives, the two consider taking extreme measures to reach an unlikely paradise.

Gerardo Chijona Valdes returns to Sundance with a film of heartbreaking intensity and rattling sensuality, filled with striking performances from a talented young cast. With a genuine affection for its lost-souled protagonists and tapping into the raw frustration endured during this period of Cuban history, Ticket to Paradise captures the drive toward hope in the face of utter despair, even when it leads to an unsettling and twisted place. Cast: Miriel Cejas, Héctor Medina, Dunia Matos, Jorge Perugorria, Luis A. Garcia. International Premiere
9:00 PM    Sat, Jan 22    Egyptian Theatre
10:30 PM    Sun, Jan 23    Broadway Centre IV
3:00 PM    Tue, Jan 25    Holiday Village IV
9:00 PM    Thu, Jan 27    Egyptian Theatre
9:30 AM    Sat, Jan 29    Holiday Village II

WORLD DOCUMENTARY COMPETITION

Shut Up Little Man! An Audio Misadventure/Australia, U.S.A.
(Director: Matthew Bate) — In 1987, Eddie and Mitch, two young punks from the Midwest, moved into a low-rent shithole of an apartment in the Lower Haight district of San Francisco. Through paper-thin walls, they were informally introduced to their middle-aged alcoholic neighbors, Raymond Huffman, a raging homophobe, and Peter Haskett, a flamboyant gay man. Night after night, the boys were treated to and terrorized by a seemingly endless stream of vodka-fueled altercations between the two unlikely roommates. Oftentimes nonsensical and always vitriolic, the diatribes of Peter and Ray were an audio goldmine just begging to be recorded and passed around on the underground tape market. For 18 months, Eddie and Mitch hung a microphone from their kitchen window to chronicle the bizarre and violent relationship between their borderline-insane neighbors.

Not satisfied with simply documenting these outlandish events, director Matthew Bate has concocted a darkly comedic exploration into the blurred boundaries among privacy, art, and exploitation. World Premiere
6:00 PM    Sat, Jan 22    Holiday Village IV
6:00 PM    Mon, Jan 24    Broadway Centre VI
11:59 PM    Tue, Jan 25    Yarrow Hotel Theatre
3:00 PM    Thu, Jan 27    Yarrow Hotel Theatre
7:00 PM    Fri, Jan 28    Redstone Cinemas 7

SPOTLIGHT

ATTENBERG / Greece
(Director and screenwriter: Athina Rachel Tsangari) — In a small, seaside, industrial town, 23-year-old Marina maintains an exceptionally close relationship with her architect father, who is dying of cancer. Her only sexual knowledge comes from her friend Bella, with whom she practices kissing, and she remains an observer of mankind, emulating Sir David Attenborough whose animal programs she enjoys. While preparing for her father’s imminent death, Marina discovers her own sexuality with a visiting engineer.

ATTENBERG embraces the abstract and theatrical in choreographed interludes and wild-animal pantomimes, but provides an essential emotional point of access in the profound father-daughter bond. An unconventional coming-of-age film, ATTENBERG is the story of a girl-woman who comes to terms with sex and death as natural parts of life. Cast: Ariane Labed, Yorgos Lanthimos, Vangelis Mourikis, Evangelia Randou. U.S. Premiere
9:00 AM    Fri, Jan 21    Egyptian Theatre
6:00 PM    Sat, Jan 22    Redstone Cinemas 8
4:30 PM    Sun, Jan 23    Broadway Centre IV
12:00 PM    Tue, Jan 25    Egyptian Theatre
9:00 PM    Sat, Jan 29    Redstone Cinemas 8
1:00 PM    Sun, Jan 30    Holiday Village I

Kaboom / USA
(Director and screenwriter: Gregg Araki) — A hyperstylized, pansexual trip, Kaboom is a live-action film born out of the graphic novel aesthetic. Thomas Dekker plays Smith, a film student lusting after his dumb, hunky roommate (aptly named Thor), but after eating a drug-laced cookie, he hooks up with a hot chick, London (Juno Temple). Meanwhile, a bizarre mystery brews involving his lesbian BFF’s obsessive, witchy girlfriend, weird guys in masks who chase him around campus, and a recurring dream about a dead girl.

Unrestrained and completely over the top, Kaboom picks up where Araki’s “Teenage Apocalypse Trilogy” of the 1990s left off. With his impeccable craft, rebellious spirit, and outrageous vision intact, Araki remains a true indie master. Cast: Thomas Dekker, Haley Bennett, Chris Zylka, Roxane Mesquida, Juno Temple. U.S. Premiere
8:30 PM    Fri, Jan 21    Prospector Square
11:59 PM    Sat, Jan 22    Yarrow Hotel Theatre
6:00 PM    Mon, Jan 24    Tower Theatre
9:30 PM    Sat, Jan 29    Holiday Village II

Meek’s Cutoff
/ USA
(Director: Kelly Reichardt; Screenwriter: Jon Raymond) — Set in 1845 along the unforgiving Oregon Trail, Meek’s Cutoff follows three pioneer families who have entrusted a scout, Stephen Meek, with guiding their wagons across a supposed shortcut. Faced with dwindling water supplies, mounting uncertainty about Meek’s dependability, and growing disagreement over a captured Native American, the group begins to fray.

Reichardt’s breathtaking vision recasts the mythology of the western. Focusing on simple rhythms and daily tasks, she conveys the families’ routines (boiling water, reloading a musket, or replacing a wagon axle) with incredible detail and authenticity. The film’s unadorned aesthetic yields a morally complex drama and meditation on human nature. Set during the emergence of Manifest Destiny, it also presents an oblique, cutting comment on America and its policies today. Cast: Michelle Williams, Paul Dano, Zoe Kaza, Bruce Greenwood, Shirley Henderson.
3:00 PM    Fri, Jan 21    Egyptian Theatre
8:30 PM    Sat, Jan 22    Prospector Square
6:00 PM    Sun, Jan 23    Tower Theatre
11:59 PM    Sat, Jan 29    Holiday Village IV
2:00 PM    Sun, Jan 30    Holiday Village III

Uncle Kent / U.S.A.
(Director: Joe Swanberg; Screenwriters: Joe Swanberg and Kent Osborne) — Forty-year-old Kent Osborne works out of his sunny Los Angeles home as a cartoonist for a children’s show. During his day, he takes bong hits and hangs out with his fluffy cat. Kent hopes to hook up with Kate, a cute New York journalist he met online on Chatroulette, when she comes to stay for the weekend. Although their time together is sexually loaded — they take raunchy pictures and pick up a bicurious girl on Craigslist — things don’t go quite as Kent imagined.

Written by Swanberg and Osborne, the film captures Kent’s existence with comedic charm and understated pathos. No matter how confusing his personal relationships get, he’ll always be Uncle Kent. Cast: Kent Osborne. World Premiere
11:30 AM    Fri, Jan 21    Prospector Square
10:00 PM    Sat, Jan 22    Redstone Cinemas 7
6:45 PM    Sun, Jan 23    Broadway Centre V
11:59 PM    Wed, Jan 26    Egyptian Theatre
5:30 PM    Fri, Jan 28    Library Center Theatre
9:00 PM    Sat, Jan 29    Tower Theatre

PARK CITY AT MIDNIGHT

Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same / USA
(Director and screenwriter: Madeleine Olnek) — Three lesbian aliens are sent to Earth. Their mission? To have their hearts broken by earthlings so their overactive emotions won’t destroy the ozone of their planet. As the fetching extraterrestrials search for romance on the New York lesbian dating scene, one finds love with Jane, an eager stationery store clerk who is oblivious to the fact that she’s dating an alien. The other two, discovering the neediness of earthling women, connect with each other as they reflect on the beauty of a cheesecake in a revolving dessert case.

Tightly scripted with lo-fi styling and campy DIY effects that would make Ed Wood envious, Codependent mashes up the B-movie and Men in Black and turns it into a witty, wholly original comedy. First-time feature writer/director Madeleine Olnek (her shorts Hold Up and Countertransference screened at the Festival in 2006 and 2009, respectively) embraces the intrinsic hilarity of lesbian life and DIY filmmaking to tell a story about love that transcends galaxies. Cast: Lisa Haas, Susan Ziegler, Jackie Monahan, Cynthia Kaplan, Dennis Davis, Alex Karpovsky, Rae C Wright. World Premiere
11:30 PM    Mon, Jan 24    Library Center Theatre
3:00 PM    Tue, Jan 25    Redstone Cinemas 8
6:00 PM    Thu, Jan 27    Tower Theatre
11:59 PM    Sat, Jan 29    Yarrow Hotel Theatre

Corman’s World: Exploits Of A Hollywood Rebel
/ USA
(Director: Alex Stapleton) — Independent film maverick. Trailblazing writer/director who takes chances with style and script. Inspirational humanist. Box-office success. Indie filmmaker from the 1970s or 1990s? No — Roger Corman!
While known for working fast — some of his films were made in two days — and wallowing in the B-movie world of monsters, bad special effects, schlocky acting, and plentiful nudity, Corman is also a respected rebel of cinema. He dealt with hot-button social topics like race and feminism. He created his own production and distribution company, tagging it “America’s Biggest Independent.” And he taught the next generation of film greats, including Scorsese, Demme, even Ron Howard. From Corman’s first 1955 feature to the set of his new film, Dinoshark, this entertaining documentary has all the blood and guts of Corman’s lurid and fascinating career, with essential insights from contemporaries and students. Learn the roots of indie filmmaking, laced with boobs and violence! Cast: Jack Nicholson, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Robert De Niro, James Cameron, Roger Corman. World Premiere
11:59 PM    Fri, Jan 21    Egyptian Theatre
11:59 PM    Sat, Jan 22    Tower Theatre
1:00 PM    Sun, Jan 23    Redstone Cinemas 7
11:59 PM    Thu, Jan 27    Yarrow Hotel Theatre
9:00 PM    Sat, Jan 29    Holiday Village IV

U.S. NARRATIVE SHORTS

Spring
(Director and Screenwriter: Hong Khaou) — A young man meets a stranger for an experience that will change his life forever.
11:59 PM    Sat, Jan 22    Holiday Village IV
2:30 PM    Sun, Jan 23    Prospector Square
10:30 PM    Thu, Jan 27    Broadway Centre IV
9:15 PM    Fri, Jan 28    Holiday Village II
7:30 PM    Sat, Jan 29    Broadway Centre IV

I’m Having a Difficult Time Killing My Parents
(Director: Jeff Tomsic; Screenwriter: T.J. Miller and Jeff Tomsic) — Thirty-two, unemployed, and derailed somewhere on the path to adulthood, T.J. has boomeranged back home. There, his ennui takes the form of increasingly real fantasies about offing his parents and becoming man of the house.
11:59 PM    Sat, Jan 22    Holiday Village IV
2:30 PM    Sun, Jan 23    Prospector Square
10:30 PM    Thu, Jan 27    Broadway Centre IV
9:15 PM    Fri, Jan 28    Holiday Village II
7:30 PM    Sat, Jan 29    Broadway Centre IV

The High Level Bridge
(Director: Trevor Anderson) — Trevor drops his camera from Edmonton’s High Level Bridge in memory of those who have jumped.
3:00 PM     Mon, Jan 24    Holiday Village IV
5:30 PM     Tue, Jan 25    Prospector Square
4:30 PM     Wed, Jan 26    Broadway Centre IV
9:00 AM     Thu, Jan 27    Yarrow Hotel
12:30 PM     Sat, Jan 29    Holiday Village II

The Terrys
(Directors and Screenwriters: Tim Heidecke and Eric Wareheim) — Two down and out losers named Terry conceive a child in a fit of drug-induced passion. The child is an abomination, or so they think, but what they come to learn is that this ‘special’ child was sent to them for a purpose: to teach them how to love.
8:30 PM    Thu, Jan 20    Library Center Theatre
9:00 AM    Fri, Jan 21    Eccles Theatre
3:30 PM    Sat, Jan 22    Rose Wagner
11:30 PM    Wed, Jan 26    Library Center Theatre
9:00 PM    Sat, Jan 29    Broadway Centre VI

INTERNATIONAL NARRATIVE SHORTS

BLOKES / Chile
(Director: Marialy Rivas) — 13-year-old Luchito fantasizes about Manuel, his 16-year-old neighbor, whom he can see standing by a window in an adjacent project building. Oblivious of the gaze of his precocious voyeur, Manuel discovers his own sexuality with a girl from the neighborhood.
12:45 PM    Sat, Jan 22    Broadway Centre V
3:00 PM    Sun, Jan 23    Holiday Village IV
8:30 AM    Mon, Jan 24    Prospector Square
6:00 PM    Fri, Jan 28    Tower Theatre
3:00 PM    Sat, Jan 29    Yarrow Hotel Theatre

Slamdance

NARRATIVE

Drama / Chile
(Director: Matias Lira) — Three theater students, influenced by a charismatic professor and French theorist Antonin Artaud’s acting technique, begin to experiment with their own lives, searching for real emotions and situations to bring onto the stage. Their obsession with becoming better actors leads them to their darkest sides, surpassing boundaries that neither they nor their teachers could ever imagine. World Premiere
5:30 PM    Sun, Jan 23    Treasure Mountain Inn
3:30 PM    Wed, Jan 26    Treasure Mountain Inn

DOCUMENTARY

Superheroes / USA
(Director: Michael Barnett) — They patrol the dark and dangerous streets, seeking out criminals, evildoers and villains, veiled in secret identities. … They call themselves Real-Life Superheroes, and they are out to save humanity. Superheroes is a journey inside the world of real-life caped crusaders. From all over America, these everyday citizens don masks, homemade costumes and elaborate utility belts in an attempt to bring justice to evildoers everywhere. World Premiere
5:30 PM    Fri, Jan 21    Treasure Mountain Inn
8:30 PM    Wed, Jan 26    Treasure Mountain Inn

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