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