sundance 2013

The five of us sipped a delicious rye-bourbon blend called Son of Bourye, one that’s made in-house by High West, and discussed some of the practical realities of making The Moo Man, and what we all considered the film’s message to be.

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The following is a ranking of the “best” films Warren Cantrell saw while attending the 2013 Sundance Film Festival, a ranking that was labored over to practically no end.

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While This Is Martin Bonner is a very thoughtful, well-acted, interesting character study, at a paltry 83 minutes, it could have survived another 15 or so to give some closure to the stories of Martin and Travis, who both seemed on the verge of a breakthrough in their lives.

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At the Sundance Film Festival, first-time director Meul O. presents a movie that straight-up indicts the U.S. government for a largely forgotten act of genocide with his movie Jiseul, a drama about the 1948 South Korean uprising on the island of Jeju, a nightmarish event that claimed thousands of lives.

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As a piece of cinema, Bastian Günther’s film should be commended for this kind of work, for Houston never just tosses a character component on the table for its audience to absorb, but instead dresses its scenes with subtle visual cues that tell a larger story.

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A half-assed mélange of incomplete characters, throw-away visual cues, and incompetent story-telling, it’s almost as if director Sebastian Silva made Magic Magic so that he could sit in the back of the theater, and watch his audience squirm.

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A fascinating inside look into the making of what some have called the Gone With the Wind of porno flicks, Lovelace is most successful when allowing its characters room to explore their emotional topography.

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‘The Moo Man’ is a celebration of those brave souls out there, in any job, who engage in a difficult profession because they enjoy it and believe in it, and not simply because it pays the bills.

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What’s the purpose of cinema if not to engage its audience on a level (or levels) that both entertains, but also broadens their understanding of a particular theme or notion? A Teacher fails in both of these endeavors, for it is not only a shitty time (this movie is a slog), but it doesn’t bring its audience to a new place by the time it fades to black.

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As a cinematic adaptation of a literary piece, Big Sur is near-flawless, for it makes extensive use of Kerouac’s writing from the book, and uses its powerful cadence and pacing to draw the audience into the increasingly fragmented mind of the legendary Beatnik.

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Easily the frontrunner for the best picture going at Sundance right now, Breathe In is a film about adulthood, marriage, compromise, and how love, true, pure love, isn’t always a good thing.

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Concussion is a film about a New York wife and mother who suffers a little head trauma, an injury that leads her to a stunning realization: she doesn’t much care for her life, and wants to try something new. Yet this is hardly an American Beauty reboot.

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‘Halley’ is a quiet, challenging film about a man who keeps going long after his time in the universe has passed. Check out this review of ‘Halley’ from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.

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