Monday, January 23, 2012

Sundance 2012 film reviews! [UPDATED with Awards]

Highly recommended films, that all should watch:

Ai WeiWei: Never Sorry

Awarded "Documentary Special Jury Prize for Spirit of Defiance"

Eye opening story about how a now famous artist in China is struggling to improve his country from the inside, sometimes fighting the strong-arm government.  Timely backstory, as just before filming was done, Ai was kidnapped by the government and held for 81 days; this time and his release are covered in the film.

9/10 from Holden

[Image from]
Link goes to TRAILER here

The Other Dream Team

A really well done independent film that chronicles the Lithuanian basketball team members that begrudgingly played for the USSR behind the curtain, and were pivotal in the political struggle for freedom which caused ripples throughout the world.  Culturally important, and fun.  Excellent film even if you're not a sports fan.

8/10 from Holden

1/2 Revolution

A film shot in the streets of Cairo during the first 11 days of the revolution, with very little editing.  Rather than telling the entire story of the revolution as a history book would, this fast paced movie takes the viewer through the highs and lows of excitement, fear, and hope that accompany the people's struggle for freedom from a dictatorship.

8/10 from Holden

Still very good films that you should watch if they sound interesting:

Beasts of the Southern Wild
Grand Jury Prize: Dramatic

Excellence in Cinematography Award: Dramatic

Called the "toast of Sundance," this is an engrossing story about an eclectic group of folks living on an island outside the levee near New Orleans, Louisiana.  With hints of voodoo, an active child's imagination, and traces of post-Katrina plight, this movie was visually pleasing, had emotional highs and lows, though was also hard to watch at times.

7/10 from Holden

(NO trailer anywhere online!?  Really!?)

Filly Brown

The story of an aspiring female hip hop singer working and making tough decisions about how to pay bills while trying to make it in the Industry.  Very well done, and definitely enjoyable if you're into the culture/music.  Shot throughout Los Angeles, this movie was really fun to watch for those familiar with the territory.

7/10 from Holden

Other films:

About the Pink Sky

Japanese film in black & white about some high schoolers that write a

local newspaper containing only good news.  Well done, and worth

seeing, but against our other films, this one did not stand out.

5/10 from Holden


Super artistic film by Quentin Dupieux, a French director who is extremely

quirky and who offered the enthralled audience very little content in the

Q&A afterwards (not sure why he even came to the premier).  Also

reeked of some of the themes in the unrelated, 90s bestselling book

"The Wind-up Bird Chronicle."

6/10 from Holden

1 comment:

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.