Friday, 25 April 2014

#FilmFriday Special: SUNDANCE LONDON FILM & MUSIC FESTIVAL - PART 1


Now tell me this isn't a big one for ALL of our enjoyment?

Sundance London opens its doors under our greyest of skies for the third time this evening, and I intend to do my best to help you decipher where to go, and when, so that you get the most out of your very reasonably priced tickets that beat anything that Odeon or Vue are showing for an extortionate £14.50 by a long shot. I sense this would be a good place to "waaheyyy". But only a quick celebratory moment, for time's a'wasting...

Now then, in case you don't know what Sundance London is all about, or how it differs from the Sundance in the Country pastures of Utah - here's a quickfix guide to your dilemma:

'The Sundance London film and music festival is a partnership between Robert Redford, Sundance Enterprises, Sundance Institute and The O2. The third Sundance London will take place from 25-27 April at The O2 and will host the international and UK premieres of films fresh from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, U.S.A., as well as live music performances, panels and events.'

"Robert Redford?" I hear you cry...

'Robert Redford is an Academy Award-winning actor, director and producer, a passionate advocate for the arts and a leading environmentalist. He serves as President of the non-profit Sundance Institute, which he founded 30 years ago to foster independence, discovery and new voices in American film and theatre. Mr. Redford also founded the Sundance Channel, Sundance Resort, Sundance Catalog, and Sundance Cinemas and the non-profit Redford Center. Though very different in their activities and independent in their operations, all of Mr. Redford’s Sundance entities share the same core mission he has always held dear: a passionate connection to new artists, new voices and new perspectives.'

Ok. So now you know what it is, and who's responsible for bringing it to Ye Olde London Town, I guess the next thing that you really want to know, is what's on, right? But be careful My Pretties (it must be the film legacy, I've been almost every Wizard of Oz character at some point today...but I digress), not all is as it seems. Though tickets are on a 'first come, first served basis' SOLD OUT actually means 'waitlisted' in American. On this occasion. Only... So queuing up approximately 30 minutes before a screening time on this here schedule won't cost you quite as much courage as you think - you've just gotta have the heart...Here comes Day One:

Cineworld 6, 18:15 Start
Kumiko, The Treasure Hunter

(Director: David Zellner, Screenwriters: David Zellner, Nathan Zellner) — A lonely Japanese woman becomes convinced that a satchel of money buried in a fictional film is, in fact, real. Abandoning her structured life in Tokyo for the frozen Minnesota wilderness, she embarks on an impulsive quest to search for her lost mythical fortune. Cast: Rinko Kikuchi. Winner of a U.S. Dramatic Special Jury Award for Musical Score at the 2014 Sundance Film Festival. UK Premiere.

Cineworld 7, 18:45 Start
Axiom

(Director: NYSU, Screenwriters: David Gambero & NYSU) — Axiom is an island in the middle of nowhere, steep cliffs on all sides. On the island there is an underground city dominated by a bell, the bell decides the fate of the city's inhabitants. Cast: Jonathan David Mellor, Santi Senso, Cova de Alfonso, Silvia Vacas, Pablo Menasanch, Julia Llerena. World Premiere.

Includes a live performance and DJ set by South London collective Archive on Friday, 25 April, who will also participate in a post-screening Q&A.

Cineworld 8, 19:00 Start
Under the Electric Sky

(EDC 2013) (Directors: Dan Cutforth, Jane Lipsitz) — This 3-D film chronicles the love, community, and life of festivalgoers during Electric Daisy Carnival Las Vegas, the largest music festival in the U.S. Behind-the-scenes footage and exclusive interviews with Insomniac's Pasquale Rotella reveal the magic that makes this three-night, 345,000-person event a global phenomenon. Cutforth and Lipsitz previously directed Katy Perry: Part of Me and produced Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. (Documentary) UK Premiere.

Cineworld 9, 18:30 Start
Drunktown's Finest

(Director and screenwriter: Sydney Freeland) — Three young Native Americans—a rebellious father-to-be, a devout Christian woman, and a promiscuous transsexual—come of age on an Indian reservation. Drunktown’s Finest is Sydney Freeland’s feature film debut and her response to a news story that characterized her hometown of Gallup, New Mexico, as “Drunktown, USA.” Cast: Jeremiah Bitsui, Carmen Moore, Morningstar Angeline, Kiowa Gordon, Shauna Baker, Elizabeth Francis. International Premiere.


SKY Superscreen, 18:30 Start
Frank

(Director: Lenny Abrahamson, Screenwriters: Jon Ronson, Peter Straughan) — Frank is an offbeat comedy about a wannabe musician who finds himself out of his depth when he joins an avant garde rock band led by the enigmatic Frank—a musical genius who hides himself inside a large fake head. Cast: Michael Fassbender, Domhnall Gleeson, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Scoot McNairy. UK Premiere.


Cineworld 6, 21:00

Finding Fela

(Director: Alex Gibney) — Fela Anikulapo Kuti created the musical movement Afrobeat and used it as a political forum to oppose the Nigerian dictatorship and advocate for the rights of oppressed people. This is the story of his life, music, and political importance, from the award-winning director of Taxi to the Dark Side and We Steal Secrets: The Story of Wikileaks. (Documentary) European Premiere.

In conjunction with the film, the festival will host a free performance from Dele Sosimi, one of the original members of Fela Kuti’s band, alongside an Afrobeat orchestra on Sunday, 27 April.


Cineword 7, 20:45

Obvious Child


(Director and screenwriter: Gillian Robespierre) — An honest comedy about what happens when Brooklyn comedian Donna Stern gets dumped, fired, and pregnant, just in time for the worst/best Valentine's Day of her life. Cast: Jenny Slate, Jake Lacy, Gaby Hoffmann, David Cross, Gabe Liedman, Richard Kind. UK Premiere.   


Cineworld 8, 21:30 Start
Memphis

(Director and screenwriter: Tim Sutton) — A strange singer drifts through the mythic city of Memphis, surrounded by beautiful women, legendary musicians, a stone-cold hustler, a righteous preacher, and a wolf pack of kids. Under a canopy of ancient oak trees and burning spirituality, his doomed journey breaks from conformity and reaches out for glory. Writer/director Tim Sutton crafts an impressionistic folktale framed around the enigmatic musician/poet Willis Earl Beal and the city of Memphis. Cast: Willis Earl Beal, Lopaka Thomas, Constance Brantley, Devonte Hull, John Gary Williams, Larry Dodson. International Premiere


Cineworld 9, 21:15 Start
Blue Ruin 

(Director and screenwriter: Jeremy Saulnier) — A mysterious outsider’s quiet life turns upside down when he returns to his childhood home to carry out an act of vengeance. Proving to be an amateur assassin, he winds up in a brutal fight to protect his estranged family. Cast: Macon Blair, Amy Hargreaves, SidnĂ© Anderson, Devin Ratray, Kevin Kolack.


SKY Superscreen, 21:30 Start
The Trip to Italy

(Director: Michael Winterbottom, Screenwriters: Rob Brydon, Steve Coogan, Michael Winterbottom) — Michael Winterbottom reunites Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon for more delectable food, some sharp-elbowed rivalry, and plenty of laughs. Cast: Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon. European Premiere.


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ARCHIVE LIVE AT SUNDANCE LONDON OPENING NIGHT PARTY. DOORS 20:00



And that my friends, is your night sorted!

Enjoy!
ES ;)

All images courtesy of The Sundance Institute.