The Mixed Tape


Sundance 2010 Day Five by Nolan Wilson Goff

This a few days late, and that’s because getting back to LA has been a whirlwind (including a lovely 12 hour drive). The last day of Sundance was fantastic. It started slow, but came to a wonderful finish as we got to see the Grand Jury Prize Dramatic Winner of Saturday night, just minuted after it was announced. Check out the reviews. A Best of Sundance list will be here soon.

– Nolan

Winter’s Bone review by Nolan

On Saturday night I anxiously awaited the announcement of who won Sundance’s Grand Jury Prize. I had tickets to see a screening of the winner, but had no clue who had won. When the winner was released I was so excited that it was Winter’s Bone. I had heard great things all week. Let me tell you: It did not disappoint. Winter’s Bone plays much like a gangster film, instead trading the big city landscape for the impoverished areas of the Ozarks. The performances were all astounding and incredible (the best of the week), and the story featured a strong female protagonist with her eyes set on providing for her young sister and brother. The closing moments of the film solidify this film as a fantastic independent film, and one of the best Sendance 2010 had to offer. Hopefully this film will appear in theaters late summer.

(Score: 9/10)

Lourdes review by Trevor

I was hesitant about this film, at first. Turns out I was right. This foreign film about healing was not my cup of tea. The editor held on a shots for far too long. With very little dialogue the movie drags and drags on. I can’t hate it completely because as I write this 4 days after, I am still trying to figure out what the director is saying about healing and how we deal with it.

(Score: 5/10)

Jack Goes Boating review by Trevor

The directorial debut of Philip Seymour Hoffman presents a story about a relationship, a simple seemingly boring relationship. But it thrives off supporting actors who are in a relationship that is ending, as Philip’s character and Amy Ryan’s character’s relationship is beginning. The way the scenes are set up you can tell it was based off of a play. At the end off the movie you feel disappointed but you have a smile on your face.

(Score: 7/10)

Skateland review by Nolan

I had high hopes for this flick. With a Texas director, directing a story set in 1980s Texas, what’s not to like? This was the most disappointed film of the week for me. Poor performances and poor direction were too much for this film to overcome, despite the wonderful production design. Right now, I’m writing a short film set in a 1970s roller rink (drastically different than this one). Let’s hope my film stands far above the level of Skateland.

(Score: 4/10)

Cyrus review by Trevor

Probably the biggest movie coming into Sundance. A hilarious comedy follows Jonah Hill’s character Cyrus who has a very close relationship with his mother played by Marisa Tomei. Enter John C Reilly. Thus an awkward love triangle beginsfor Marisa’s affection. The all star cast works seamlessly together thanks to the Duplass brothers’ direction, which left room for improvisation. Visually speaking, There were too many zooms, taking me out of the moment, but overall it was a great  hilarious movie.

(Score: 8/10)

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Sundance 2010 Day One by Nolan Wilson Goff

What an experience thus far! Seen some great films so far, and the vibe of Sundance is like nothing else. Ran into a few celebrities during our strolls around Park City (Samuel L. Jackson, Diego Luna, Jonah Hill). This city is a beautiful place where high and low culture join together around the common bonds of filmmaking. Looking forward to a great week. Even ran into director Jay Duplass (director of Cyrus, starring John C. Reilly) in line for Daddy Longlegs. Really great guy who encouraged me to skip his film, and see the films I can’t see in theaters.

-Nolan

Animal Kingdom (directed by Daniel Michod) review by Trevor

We arrived at Sundance 7 hours before our check in time with our group so we decided to try and catch a film. We wait listed and got tickets for Animal Kingdom, a superb crime drama following a family in Melbourne Australia. We follow the moral decay of “J” who moves in with his criminal relatives, following the death of his mother. He is a blank canvas and this new family abuses that innocence. They had a fantastic cast and it was shot beautifully. Through J’s journey, we discover that animals lie on both sides of the law. It is also an interesting examination of truth, and how humans develop truths for themselves, which may be right or wrong. Only complaints would be that the film was too long and one characters story line entirely disappeared.

(Score: 8/10)

Daddy Longlegs (directed by the Sadfie Brothers) review by Nolan

Mixed reactions resulted from this film (a product of this year’s Cannes Film Festival). Some loved it, others didn’t. I happened to love it. It’s a humorous and tragic tale of a divorced father who gets two weeks a year to spend with his kids. The father excels at being a fun dad, but fails to be the kind of parent his kids need. This film examines a tragic hero who fails despite good intentions. The performances were all stellar, and the story structure (or lack of) brings freshness to a story based on the directors’ own experiences with their father. The story sparks from how they remembered feeling in these moments, rather than their opinion of their father now. See this film if you get a chance. It should be on Video On Demand.

(Score: 7.5/10)

Obseledia (directed by Diane Bell) reviewed by Trevor

Obseledia was our second film of Sundance, and I was excited for the visuals because I knew it was shot on the RED One. The story was intriguing: a man writing the encyclopedia of obsolete things on his typewriter (Obsolete+Encyclopedia=Obseledia). He believes love is obsolete and you think this is the driving force, but then it is abandoned for a global warming presentation , before returning to the love plot. I had a chance to talk to the fantastic cinematographer afterwards and asked “Why shoot on the RED when you’re making a movie about obsolete things?” (since the film world is in this debate of film vs. digital). Unfortunately the budget didn’t allow for it, but it was visually compelling none the less.

(Score: 6/10)

Cane Toads 3D (directed by Mark Lewis) review by Nolan

Wow. During this documentary, you laugh all the way through, and by the end realize, “Whoa. I actually learned something.” The sequel in the making for 25 years, this addition embraces 3D technology to astounding success. Although I am not a believer in 3D, I am now, for nature docs.  Masterfully directed, Toads is structured using interviews and reenactment that reach levels far above your standard recreations of events. The director asked each person to play a character of themselves (rather than just their normal self) to further the effect of the storyline, which resulted in hilarious moments from beginning to end. I would now consider myself a semi expert on Cane Toads, as the doc proved extremely educational, and presented both sides of the argument without bias. The film turned the toads into lifelike characters with real life emotions, using established eye lines and musical cues. I highly recommend this Australian documentary.

(Score: 8/10)

Up Next For Us:

  • The Dry Land (starring America Ferrera, Ryan O’Nan)
  • Buried (starring Ryan Reynolds)
  • Douchebag (directed by Drake Doremus)

Should be a great day tomorrow!