Sundance 2013: Reviews, News and Buzz

Posted on January 27, 2013, 8:00 am
5 mins



Sundance Egyptian

Seattle filmmakers and musicians were featured in some of the hottest events at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. This week, Vanguard Seattle will share exclusive interviews, details from private Q & A’s with filmmakers and actors, and reviews of several films and documentaries that grabbed the attention of everyone from festival insiders to The Hollywood Reporter. Here are some tidbits:

Among the films with a Seattle connection was Dave Grohl’s docu-project-turned-concert, Sound City, a lyrical homage to the storied Sound City Studios in LA. Grohl’s film secured distribution before it even premiered and pays special attention to the Seattle-native’s relationship with band-mates past and present.

Dave Grohl in 'Sound City'.

Dave Grohl in ‘Sound City’.

Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s directorial debut, Don Jon’s Addiction, had its world premiere. Gordon-Levitt also wrote and starred in the film with an outstanding cast, including Julianne Moore, Scarlett Johansson and Tony Danza.The racy story drew varied reactions from audiences, but critically it has been a bullseye for the young talent and promises to be a sure-fire hit.

Scarlett Johansson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in 'Don Jon's Addiction'.

Scarlett Johansson and Joseph Gordon-Levitt in ‘Don Jon’s Addiction’.

The highly-anticipated indie flick Kill Your Darlings  is helmed by John Krokidas, named by Variety as one of ten indie directors to watch this year. Vanguard caught a late-night showing followed by a Q and A with stars Daniel Radcliff and Dane Dehaan, co-writer Austin Bunn, and other crew members. Before our plane had even touched back down in Seattle, rumors were circulating that it had already been picked up for distribution by Sony Pictures Classics.

Kill Your Darlings.

‘Kill Your Darlings’ (from left to right: Daniel Radcliff, Dane Dehaan, Jack Huston).

The trial of three members of the politically charged performance-art-group Pussy Riot caught the world’s attention in 2012. The story of their ordeal is documented in impressive detail by Mike Lerner and Maxim Pozdorovkin in Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer.

'Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer'.

‘Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer’.

Perhaps the biggest splash made by Seattle in Park City is local director Lynn Shelton’s new film Touchy Feely. The sold-out world premiere was attended by Shelton (Your Sister’s Sister, Hump Day), Seattle DP Benjamin Kasulke (Safety Not Guaranteed, Your Sister’s Sister) and the ensemble cast including Rosemarie Dewitt (Your Sister’s Sister, Cinderella Man), Ellen Page (Inception, Juno), Josh Pais (Law & Order, The Normals), Allison Janney (Juno, The West Wing), Ron Livingston (Office Space) and Seattle-based musician and actor Tomo Nakayama.

Rosemarie Dewitt in Touchy Feely.

Rosemarie Dewitt in ‘Touchy Feely’.

Richard Linklater’s Before Midnight is the third in a series of films starring Julie Delpy and Ethan Hawke, which have spanned eighteen years. The world-premiere was the place to be for those not attending the huge industry parties hosted by CAA, WME and UTA and held at the same time Sunday night, according to Bill Lee, CEO of Millennium Entertainment (via THR).

Richard Linklater's 'Before Midnight'.

Richard Linklater’s ‘Before Midnight’.

One of the best parts of attending the parties and events that come with a massive festival like Sundance is meeting up-and-coming filmmakers, established actors and filmmakers, and artists in the midst of projects big and small. A short film I urge you to pay close attention to is The Homecoming by German filmmaker Jan Tussing out of Los Angeles. The project is still in pre-production, and you can visit the Facebook page to learn more about it or visit the Kickstarter page to donate and support.

Jan Tussing's The Homecoming.

Jan Tussing’s ‘The Homecoming’.

I was able to meet with Dr. James Olson whose medical breakthroughs are featured in the short documentary Bringing Light. Bert Klasey, Chris Baron and James Allen Smith submitted the film as part of the Focus Film Forward competition and placed second for the Audience Favorite award. On behalf of all of them, I thank everyone who watched the short and voted.

Bringing Light (right to left: Sally Olson, Dr. James Olson, Molly Spurgeon).

‘Bringing Light’ (from left to right: Sally Olson, Dr. James Olson, Molly Spurgeon).

Be sure to check back for the full reviews, inside information from the filmmaker Q and A’s, and more!

Molly Spurgeon is a writer and on-camera host, associate member of Women in Film, and proud contributor to Vanguard Seattle. She’s always been passionate about arts and culture, but it wasn’t until she started with the Seattle International Film Festival while working on her undergrad at UW that she decided to move away from music and start focusing on film and entertainment. She’s long been fascinated with the strange, sometimes nonsensical nature of pop-culture zeitgeist and how one artist supersedes another, to the point where she’s begun a side project interviewing success stories within the industry in the hopes of tracking trends and patterns among their stories and personalities. She looks forward to showcasing Seattle as a major mover and maker of the film industry and seeing Seattleites enjoy the major-city talent that lives all around them.

2 Responses to: Sundance 2013: Reviews, News and Buzz

  1. Nick Reseda

    March 24th, 2013

    Up and coming brilliant Filmmaker Antonio Racciano (2013) has been making an impressive showing throughout the Indy circuit. We had the good fortune to meet at the Toronto Film Festival in 2012 when he was making his film debut as an actor in Ben Affleck’s Argo, playing a small cameo role as “The Waiter”, in the scene at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. I had the good fortune to sit down with Antonio for an impromptu interview.

    Me: How are you enjoying Toronto?

    Antonio Racciano: I love it, I grew up not too far from here in Buffalo.

    Me: Right across Peace Bridge.

    Antonio: Yes, that’s right. My family and I would come to Toronto quite frequently and we always had a great time. It’s a beautiful city.

    Me: What have you been working on?

    Antonio: Well, I’m here in support of Ben Affleck and his movie Argo, in which I make a cameo appearance.

    Me: I saw it, you did a great job. How fun…

    Antonio: Thank you, I had a good time doing it.

    Me: I couldn’t help but notice that you didn’t have any lines in the film.

    Antonio: Yes, I didn’t want any..

    Me: Why?

    Antonio: ..I just felt like this is Ben’s movie and I just wanted to make a cameo appearance for fun…be on the set and have a good time…it was an extraordinary experience working that day, everyone was there, Alan Arkin, John Goodman, Ben Affleck even Jennifer Garner was there that day, hanging out, watching. It was alot of fun.

    Me: Are you working on a new film?

    Antonio: Yes I have been working on a new film. It’s called “Their Unique Journey Inside Hollywood”.

    Me: What’s it about?

    Antonio: It’s an in depth look into how friends of mine have made a success in Hollywood…Everyone who is successful has had to follow a unique path to make it in Hollywood. It’s not like being a Doctor. You know after you finish Med School, you will be a doctor but in the entertainment industry, there is no such true path to success.

    Me: Sounds like an interesting movie, I can’t wait to see it. Who’s in it?

    Antonio: Steven Spielberg, Martin Scorsese, Spike Lee, Vince Vaughn…and the list goes on.

    Me: When’s it coming out?

    Antonio: we are in the process of editing in post at the moment. We have a release date set for January 2013. We’ll see what happens.

    Me: Well thank you for taking some time to sit down with me.

    Antonio: It was my pleasure..

    Well that was my intereview with the very talented Antonio Racciano, here in beautiful Toronto at the film festival.

  2. Lindsey

    June 10th, 2013

    Where can I watch these films?