评语：Indie Episodic Indie Episodic Program 1
评语：下一站单元(Next竞赛单元)： Recently single, Korean-born LA artist Sophia devotes herself to her public performance art, whether it’s a provocative Korean perspective in the park on the LA Riots or face planting into cheesy puffs for Instagram. To pay the bills, she does odd jobs on TaskRabbit. When a filmmaker reaches out to discuss an acting role in his film, she is excited to explore the opportunity, only to realize he can’t distinguish between her art and her real-life identity. Meanwhile, when a stranger makes Sophia late for a TaskRabbit gig, she loses her temper with her, only to run into her repeatedly and discover a strong connection. Sophia develops feelings for her, but it’s unclear if her love is reciprocated.
Played by comedian Vivian Bang (who also co-wrote the screenplay with director Daryl Wein), Sophia is a delightfully refreshing character to watch. Emotionally open, curious, and unapologetic, Sophia’s art is fueled by unfettered self-expression. Her insatiable thirst for meaning and experience would make anyone want to follow her down the rabbit hole in this quirky, deeply felt dramedy.
Fri. 1/19, 3:00 p.m., Park Ave., PC
Sun. 1/21, 11:30 p.m., Prospector, PC
Tue. 1/23, 3:00 p.m., Broadway 6, SLC
Thu. 1/25, 4:00 p.m., Redstone 2, PC
Sat. 1/27, 9:15 a.m., Holiday 2, PC
评语：下一站单元(Next竞赛单元)： Us three, brothers, kings inseparable. Manny, Joel, and Jonah tear their way through childhood. Their Ma and Paps have a volatile love that makes and unmakes the family many times over, leaving the boys fending for themselves. As their parents rip at one another, Manny and Joel ultimately harden and grow into versions of their father. With the triumvirate fractured, Jonah—the youngest, the dreamer—becomes increasingly aware of his desperate need to escape. Driven to the edge, Jonah embraces an imagined world all his own.
With a screenplay by Dan Kitrosser and Jeremiah Zagar based on the celebrated Justin Torres novel, We the Animals is a visceral coming-of-age story propelled by strikingly layered performances from its astounding cast, elements of magical realism, and unbelievable animated sequences. Though known for documentaries, director Jeremiah Zagar reinvents his career by transforming a landscape of childhood alienation and turning it into a fever dream careening toward the future.
Sat. 1/20, noon, PC Library, PC
Mon. 1/22, 9:15 a.m., Ray, PC
Wed. 1/24, 6:00 p.m., SLC Library, SLC
Thu. 1/25, 1:00 p.m., Redstone 2, PC
Fri. 1/26, 3:00 p.m., Sundance Resort, Provo
Sat. 1/27, 2:30 p.m., Egyptian, PC
评语：下一站单元(Next竞赛单元)： Introverted 18-year-old skateboarder Camille lives on Long Island with her single mother. After a startling injury, she promises her mother she’ll hang up her board, but the pull to skate is too strong. On Instagram she discovers "The Skate Kitchen,” a subculture of girls whose lives revolve around skating, and bravely seeks them out. The sexually fluid, rambunctious big-city girls quickly adopt the naive Camille as part of their gang, and soon they’re featuring her in trick videos and exposing her to a wild life she’s never experienced. For the first time, she feels acceptance and support from other girls. However, she soon learns the complexity of friendship when she befriends a boy from a rival group of skaters.
Writer/director Crystal Moselle (The Wolfpack) immersed herself in the lives of the skater girls and worked closely with them, resulting in the film’s authenticity, which combines poetic, atmospheric filmmaking and hypnotic skating sequences. Skate Kitchen precisely captures the experience of women in male-dominated spaces and tells a story of a girl who learns the importance of camaraderie and self-discovery.
Sun. 1/21, 9:30 p.m., PC Library, PC
Mon. 1/22, 8:15 a.m., Egyptian, PC
Wed. 1/24, 10:00 p.m., Redstone 2, PC
Fri. 1/26, 9:00 p.m., Temple, PC
Sat. 1/27, 3:00 p.m., Tower, SLC
评语：下一站单元(Next竞赛单元)： After a five-minute sequence of the Kim family’s online activity that beautifully relays a decade of their shared lives, Search drops us into the current online existence of family patriarch David and daughter Margot, a high school freshman. Parenting mainly through iMessages and quick FaceTime chats, David is initially more annoyed than concerned when a series of his texts go unreturned, but he soon realizes Margot has gone missing. While a helpful detective searches for Margot out in the real world, David grasps at rediscovering his daughter in an unfamiliar online landscape as he searches through the traces she left behind on her laptop.
In his inventive and entertaining feature debut, writer/director Aneesh Chaganty whips through narrative twists while constantly ratcheting up the tension, creating a compulsively watchable modern spin on the mystery thriller. John Cho’s genuine performance as an increasingly desperate and determined father imbues Search with depth and relatability, while the film zealously and playfully embraces the challenges and opportunities of its contemporary storytelling format and turns a computer screen into a cinematic canvas.
Winner: 2018 Alfred P. Sloan Feature Film Prize.
Sun. 1/21, 6:30 p.m., Ray, PC
Tue. 1/23, 9:00 a.m., PC Library, PC
Thu. 1/25, 12:30 p.m., Redstone 1, PC
Fri. 1/26, 11:30 a.m., Prospector, PC
Sat. 1/27, noon, SLC Library, SLC
评语：下一站单元(Next竞赛单元)： NEXT Innovator Award
Eighteen-year-old Angel leaves her stint in juvenile detention with nothing but a few bucks and a dead cellphone. After serving time for unlawful possession of a weapon, she’s thrown back onto the streets and into a world riddled with the demons of her past. Her little sister, Abby, is stuck in foster care while her dad, responsible for the murder of their mother, roams free in some undisclosed suburb. But Angel, strong-willed and resourceful, has a quick-fix plan: find Abby, get a gun, hunt down her father, and hit the reset button on her and her sister’s life.
Filmmaker Jordana Spiro and co-writer Angelica Nwandu paint a tough but intimate portrait of sisterhood amid a hostile landscape where kids and young adults, desperate for guidance, are instead forced to fend for themselves. Naturalistic dialogue and restrained but deeply felt dynamics between the two sisters breathe humor and warmth into scenes otherwise loaded with tension. Night Comes On is a raw and lyrical coming-of-age tale and a testament to Spiro’s gifts as a nuanced and empathetic storyteller on the rise.
Fri. 1/19, 9:30 p.m., Ray, PC
Sat. 1/20, 11:30 p.m., Prospector, PC
Sun. 1/21, 9:00 p.m., Broadway 6, SLC
Wed. 1/24, 9:00 p.m., Temple, PC
Thu. 1/25, 3:00 p.m., Park Ave., PC
评语：下一站单元(Next竞赛单元)：Madeline is dedicated to her theatre workshop. Much to the worry of her protective mother (Miranda July), she has become an integral part of a prestigious, progressive, and experimental theatre troupe in the city, one that emphasizes movement, commitment, and an intense focus on authenticity. When the workshop's ambitious theater director (Molly Parker) pushes teenage Madeline to weave her troubled history and rich interior world into their collective art, the lines between performance and reality begin to blur in surprising and potentially destructive ways, spiraling out of the safe rehearsal space and into her everyday interactions.
Writer/director Josephine Decker has long been an independent filmmaker to admire, utilizing a welcome expressionistic approach that imbues her subjects with a vibrant sense of urgency. Anchored by a virtuoso performance from newcomer Helena Howard, whose powerful screen presence commands attention, Decker's vital exploration of the thin lines between illness and artistry displays a rare sensitivity for capturing the messy struggles of discovering a sense of one's self that defies easy narrative categorization.
Mon. 1/22, 3:00 p.m., PC Library, PC
Tue. 1/23, 2:30 p.m., MARC, PC
Wed. 1/24, 9:00 p.m., Park Ave., PC
Fri. 1/26, 6:00 p.m., SLC Library, SLC
Sat. 1/27, 3:15 p.m., Holiday 2, PC
评语：下一站单元(Next竞赛单元)：Actor Ted Reynolds and Clara, his scattered, homemaker wife, welcome their twenty-something daughters—a pair of former child stars—back to their Connecticut home so Ted and the girls can be in a family-themed photo shoot for an airplane magazine. While celebrating their dog’s birthday with amiable drug dealer Poo Poo, the vodka-loving clan’s banter becomes increasingly bitter and petty, and they devolve into a drunken mess. Meanwhile, a specter only Clara can see urges her to confront her self-centered family.
Writer/director/star Bridey Elliott, a Sundance Film Festival Shorts alum (2016’s Affections), blends the voyeuristic cattiness of an insider showbiz comedy with an unsettling portrait of the haunted Clara, setting a striking tone for this funny, wonderfully strange film. Elliott enlists her dad and sister (former SNL stars Chris and Abby Elliott) to riff on their own identities as a multigenerational acting family, while Elliott’s mom (Paula), in her film debut, brings poignancy to a character drifting on the periphery of her egotistical family’s drunken squabbles, but taking center stage in the film’s attention.
Fri. 1/19, noon, PC Library, PC
Sat. 1/20, 9:30 a.m., Ray, PC
Sat. 1/20, 6:45 p.m., Wagner, SLC
Wed. 1/24, 9:30 p.m., Ray, PC
Thu. 1/25, 11:30 a.m., Egyptian, PC
评语：下一站单元(Next竞赛单元)：After getting fired by her scheming husband Shane Danger (Emile Hirsch) from his cappuccino shop, dissatisfied Lulu Danger (Aubrey Plaza) is stunned when a TV commercial for “An Evening With Beverly Luff Linn For One Magical Night Only” reveals a mysterious man from her past (Craig Robinson). When Shane and his bumbling cohorts steal the cashbox from Lulu’s adopted vegan brother Adjay, specialist Colin (Jemaine Clement) enters the fray to retrieve the stolen funds. But Lulu seizes the opportunity to run off in search of her mystery man—and events only become stranger from there.
Filmmaker Jim Hosking (The Greasy Strangler) makes his triumphant return to the Festival, bringing his innate gifts for outrageous absurdity to the romantic comedy genre while pushing the boundaries of storytelling into the wild unknown of outsider art. Cultivating a fine cast of comedic favorites thrown into places of great daring, and with a spirited sense of timing and unexpected emotion, Hosking and the contents of his fevered brain produce a kind of cinema like no other.
Sat. 1/20, 6:30 p.m., Ray, PC
Sun. 1/21, 9:00 a.m., PC Library, PC
Tue. 1/23, 11:30 p.m., Prospector, PC
Fri. 1/26, 3:30 p.m., Ray, PC
Sat. 1/27, 12:15 p.m., Grand, SLC
评语：下一站单元(Next竞赛单元)：Cass (Omari Hardwick), a handsome USC grad stalled in his career, is getting lost in the alcohol- and drug-infused world of LA club promotion. On the night of the 2016 presidential election, he meets Frida (Meagan Good), a beautiful, spirited midwestern visitor dealing with a difficult breakup. Their chemistry is undeniable. Nothing will ever be the same again.
With a sense of quiet enchantment and magnitude in the mundane, director Qasim Basir has created a visually sensuous, dreamlike film unspooling in real time, seemingly in one continuous take, that transports you to a singular moment in time—election night—when the texture of life seemed to indescribably yet drastically change. A Boy, A Girl, A Dream. effortlessly holds a full spectrum of emotion—feelings of panic, embarrassment, attraction, vulnerability, despair, anger, companionship, disorientation, and a creeping sense of a nation radically changing course—all inside a single slice-of-life film about two people meeting each other for the first time.
Mon. 1/22, noon, PC Library, PC
Tue. 1/23, 5:30 p.m., MARC, PC
Wed. 1/24, 9:00 p.m., SLC Library, SLC
Fri. 1/26, 7:00 p.m., Redstone 2, PC
Sat. 1/27, 9:30 a.m., Ray, PC
评语：下一站单元(Next竞赛单元)：Do objects retain a spark of life from their owner after that person dies? This question catapults a dynamic brother-sister filmmaking duo on an epic odyssey to excavate their deceased grandma Annette’s unassuming Newark home of 71 years. Toothbrushes, tax documents, three vacuum cleaners—her motley collection of stuff becomes a universe unto itself, springing to life in the cinematic playground of this innovative documentary.
In the siblings’ inventive hands, the white clapboard house transforms into a magical-realist landscape replete with animated 1950s dresses and mysterious visits from physicists and fashion conservators. Inspired by archaeologists and archivists, they catalog decades of forgotten miscellany and beloved tchotchkes, creating exquisite pastiches while searching for meaning in the patterns. Who was Grandma Annette? Colorful interviews with the octogenarian in her crowded kitchen provide precious clues. And when they discover a 1972 cassette tape and use actors to lip synch intimate family conversations, it’s like a new dimension cracks open from the netherworld. In 306 Hollywood, fragments of a modest life mingle mystically—creating a profound meditation on memory bursting at the seams with love.
Thu. 1/18, 6:00 p.m., Prospector, PC
Fri. 1/19, 8:30 a.m., MARC, PC
Sat. 1/20, 3:00 p.m., Sundance Resort, Provo
Sun. 1/21, noon, Broadway 6, SLC
Wed. 1/24, 8:45 p.m., Egyptian, PC
Fri. 1/26, 3:30 p.m., Redstone 1, PC
评语：聚光灯单元(Spotlight 非竞赛展映单元)：Joaquin Phoenix’s transformative and layered performance was lauded as career-defining when You Were Never Really Here premiered at the 2017 Cannes Film Festival, where it took home the best actor and best screenplay awards. Acclaimed director Lynne Ramsay returns to the Sundance Film Festival with the film’s American debut.
Stoic and hardened vigilante Joe (Phoenix) needs only one tool to carry out his dubious line of work: a hammer. Hired by a senator desperately seeking answers about the disappearance of his daughter, Joe sets out with his habitual confidence, only to find that this time he may be in over his head.
Following 2011’s groundbreaking We Need to Talk About Kevin, Ramsay returns in full force with her striking command of cinematic tension. Based on the eponymous novel by Jonathan Ames, You Were Never Really Here brings Ramsay’s signature poetic grittiness to this brutal and unsettling thriller that’s been rightfully hailed as a modern-day Taxi Driver—but with a disquietude and visual flair that is firmly its own.
Fri. 1/19, 9:15 p.m., Grand, SLC
Sun. 1/21, 8:30 p.m., MARC, PC
Tue. 1/23, 11:45 p.m., Egyptian, PC
Sat. 1/27, 6:00 p.m., PC Library, PC
评语：聚光灯单元(Spotlight 非竞赛展映单元)：After premiering at the Cannes Film Festival, The Rider has now been nominated for four Film Independent Spirit Awards, including best feature. Chloé Zhao’s follow-up to Songs My Brothers Taught Me (2015 Sundance Film Festival) is another outstanding drama documenting life on South Dakota’s Pine Ridge Indian Reservation.
Brady (Brady Jandreau) is a rising rodeo star suffering from a traumatic head injury sustained in the ring. Though he longs to climb back in the saddle, Brady finds himself torn between the macho allure of cowboy life and obligations to his widowed father and autistic sister (both played by Jandreau’s real-life family members). During visits with Lane—a paraplegic ex-rodeo star—and amid struggles to train an ornery horse, Brady is forced to face a life outside of the ring.
Zhao’s expressive use of color and composition captures the crackling campfires and lonely beauty of the desert landscape, refiguring the masculine tropes of the western. Anchored by Jandreau’s vulnerable, moving performance, The Rider balances vérité naturalism with lyrical images to craft an introspective elegy for a vanishing way of life.
Fri. 1/19, 7:00 p.m., Redstone 2, PC
Sat. 1/20, 9:00 p.m., SLC Library, SLC
Mon. 1/22, 9:00 p.m., PC Library, PC
Sat. 1/27, 6:15 p.m., Holiday 2, PC
评语：聚光灯单元(Spotlight 非竞赛展映单元)：After his short film Green Bush premiered at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, acclaimed Indigenous Australian filmmaker Warwick Thornton finally makes a triumphant return to the Festival with Sweet Country—fresh off of winning the Toronto International Film Festival’s coveted Platform Prize.
It’s 1929 on the vast, desert-like Eastern Arrernte Nation lands that are now known as the Central Australian outback. Sam Kelly (Hamilton Morris), a middle-aged Aboriginal man, works the land of a kind preacher, Fred Smith (Sam Neill). After an ill-tempered bully arrives in town and Kelly kills him in self-defense, he and his wife, Lizzie, go on the run as a posse gathers to hunt him down.
With a sensitively written screenplay by Aboriginal writers Steven McGregor and David Tranter, Thornton expands on the themes of his extraordinary feature debut, Samson & Delilah, and draws on the conventions of the American Western to explore the genesis of contemporary Australian racism and the generational neglect of Aboriginal people. Serving as both cinematographer and director, Thornton creates an indelible visual language that penetrates the complex relationship between indigenous culture and white-power-obsessed colonialism.
Fri. 1/19, 2:30 p.m., Egyptian, PC
Sat. 1/20, 9:30 p.m., Wagner, SLC
Mon. 1/22, 11:30 p.m., Prospector, PC
Sat. 1/27, 2:30 p.m., MARC, PC