Sundance Preview: Catch Five Festival Films Without Leaving Your House

By Katey Rich 2011-01-19 08:40:22discussion comments
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Starting this Thursday I'll be lucky enough to be attending my second Sundance Film Festival, catching up on the latest (and sometimes weirdest) in independent films and wearing myself out watching as many movies in a day as humanly possible. But even if you aren't packing your snowboots and preparing to live off as little sleep as possible for 10 days, you have your chance to experience the Sundance magic too, and all without actually leaving your couch. Trust me, at this point I'm actually kind of jealous.

Here's the deal: in the same way you can see new independent films on your television thanks to video on-demand programs all year round, you'll have the chance to catch five Sundance films, on the very same day they premiere at the festival, via the Sundance Selects On-Demand program. You can check out the selection of films below, ranging from a comedy from an indie filmmaker stalwart to a completely sexed-up sci-fi college fantasia to a documentary about, well, movies themselves. It's a wide variety that suits the huge range of films you'd find at Sundance, and all of them are plenty entertaining, so that you won't regret getting Beverly Hills Chihuahua off pay-per-view for the 10th time.

Here's the full list of films below, along with the dates they premiere both at the festival and on-demand. If you want the true Sundance experience you should stay up for 24 hours ahead of time, take a 45-minute bus ride in circles before you get to your couch, and stick your feet in a bucket of ice while you watch. Or, y'know, you can just watch the movies. It's up to you.


Joe Swanberg’s indie-drama UNCLE KENT (Spotlight) – In this sexed-up, achingly true-to-life modern comedy about aging, loneliness, desire, and the awkward intimacies of online friendship. This is Swanberg’s second consecutive video-on-demand release following the critically acclaimed ALEXANDER THE LAST. Premieres on January 21st.


Gregg Araki’s KABOOM (Spotlight) – Starring Thomas Dekker and Juno Temple, Sundance veteran Araki brings us a thriller/comedy telling the story of Smith, an ambisexual 18 years-old college freshman who stumbles upon a monstrous conspiracy in a seemingly idyllic seaside Southern California town. Premieres on January 21st.


Michael Tully’s SEPTIEN (Park City at Midnight) – Triple-threat actor/writer/director Tully creates a backwoods world that’s only a few trees away from our own, complete with characters on the edge of sanity that we can actually relate to. A reclusive sports hustler returns home to his family farm after years of absence to reunite with his two eccentric, unhinged and emotionally damaged brothers. Premieres on January 23rd.


Paul Mariana and Kurt Norton’s documentary THESE AMAZING SHADOWS (Doc Premieres) - What do films like CASABLANCA, BLAZING SADDLES and WEST SIDE STORY have in common? Through interviews with the National Film Registry board members, archivists, and notable filmmakers like Christopher Nolan, Rob Reiner, John Waters, John Singleton, John Lasseter and Barbara Kopple, the documentary explores the way film as a medium demonstrate artistic and societal milestones. Premieres on January 22nd.


Brendan Fletcher’s MAD BASTARDS (World Cinema Dramatic Competition) - Developed with local Aboriginal communities and fueled by a local cast, the film draws from the rich tradition of storytelling inherent in Indigenous life. Using music from legendary Broome musicians “The Pigram Brothers”, Fletcher poetically fuses the harsh realities of violence, healing, and family. Premieres on January 24th.

The films featured through the Sundance Institute and Sundance Selects partnership will begin screening on video-on-demand at the same time as their premieres at the Sundance Film Festival and will be available for approximately 30 days thereafter on major cable systems including Comcast, Cablevision, Cox, Time Warner and Bright House.
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