BY : JACK SUNNUCKS
This week we’re putting a focus on Sundance, the snowy film festival where the big hits of tomorrow have their debuts. What will be the Call Me By Your Name of next year? Seemingly none of them – romance has given way to chainsaws, historical revenge, and Joaquin Phoenix. Here’s our pick of films to talk about.
Nicholas Cage is a lumberjack with a vendetta against a deadly cult in this sensual and horrifically gory pondering on vengeance. The poster features Cage in a chainsaw fight, which I think tells you all.
Laura Dern plays a professor and documentary filmmaker recalling the sexual abuse that happened to her when she was 13, in this talked about film by Jennifer Fox, based on her own life. Fox, a respected documentarian, has wanted to tell the story all her life. Apparently the result is both brilliant and nearly unwatchable, so uncomfortable does it make audiences, who after sitting in silence as the credits rolled, gave the film a standing ovation.
DON'T WORRY HE WON'T GET THAT FAR ON FOOT
As we reported last week, Gus Van Sant’s latest stars Joaquin Phoenix as a Portland slacker and light alcoholic who gets in a car accident at 21, and becomes quadriplegic. Post accident, he found a new passion in cartooning, which lead to national acclaim. Phoenix cast mates include Carrie Brownstein, Beth Ditto and Kim Gordon.
Michael Pierce’s directorial debut, filmed in the English island of Jersey, centers around a shy young woman called Mol. She’s rescued from an assault by a brooding stranger, Pascal, who she falls in love with – only to have him be accused of several brutal murders around the island. Mol (in a brilliant performance by Jessie Buckley) and the audience are asked to decide whether to believe Pascal or not.
SORRY TO BOTHER YOU
“The film is an absurdist comedy with magical realism and science fiction inspired by the world of telemarketing,” says musician Boots Riley of his debut feature. Obviously, we’re intrigued, especially when it stars Terry Crews and Tessa Thompson (with great pink hair) alongside Armie Hammer as their charmingly despicable CEO.
Chloe Sevigny stars as Lizzie Borden, who murdered her rich parents in Massachusetts in 1892, and Kristen Stewart as the maid who vouched for her. Except, in this retelling, they were secretly lovers, and the murders were a blow to the patriarchy. Sevigny gives good chin as the insolent, head strong Lizzie.
After a small town’s inner workings get dumped on 4Chan, one girl becomes the target of mass wrath. What follows is gory thriller, featuring the talents of Hari Nef and Suki Waterhouse exacting revenge on basically everyone. A must see if you’re a teenager, need catharsis, or are on the verge of deleting social media forever.