Familiar faces make up NEXT and Spotlight selections for 2012 Sundance Film Festival
One day after announcing the full narrative and documentary slates for January's 2012 Sundance Film Festival, Sundance set the out-of-competition selections for its Spotlight, Park City at Midnight, NEXT <=> and New Frontier fields.
The Spotlight selection doesn't require that the films be world premieres, so that field includes festival favorites like Gareth Evans' "The Raid," Andrea Arnold's "Wuthering Heights" and Lynn Shelton's "Your Sister's Sister," which will all be having their U.S. premieres in Park City.
The Next slate is all premieres, but film and TV fans will have no trouble finding familiar faces. "True Blood" co-star Carrie Preston is the director on "That's What She Said," which features Anne Heche and Alia Shawkat, while Lauren Ambrose and Carole Kane are among the stars in "Sleepwalk with Me" from stand-up comic Mike Birbiglia (and featuring Ira Glass as a co-writer). "Big Love" co-star Matt Ross is another actor bringing a writing and directing effort to the Next program with "Twenty-Eight Hotel Rooms," featuring Chris Messina and Marin Ireland.
While the New Frontiers program is reliably focused on new talents, we're already especially intrigued by "Room 237," in which Rodney Ascher "explores the numerous theories about the real meaning of Stanley Kubrick's film 'The Shining.'"
Stay tuned for Drew McWeeny's breakdown of the Park City at Midnight program, but here are the full Spotlight, NEXT <=> and New Frontier rosters
"Corpo Celeste" / Italy
Director and screenwriter: Alice Rohrwacher
After moving back to southern Italy with her mother and older sister, 13-year-old Marta struggles to find her place, restlessly testing the boundaries of an unfamiliar city and the catechism of the Catholic church. Cast: Yle Vianello, Salvatore Cantalupo, Anita Caprioli, Renato Carpentiere.
"The Raid" / Indonesia
Director and screenwriter: Gareth Evans
All hell breaks loose when an elite SWAT team, given orders to raid a run-down Jakarta apartment building that houses the city’s most notorious crime boss, is forced to fight their way to freedom or die trying.
Cast: Iko Uwais, Yayan Ruhian, Joe Taslim, Doni Alamsyah. U.S. Premiere
"Where Do We Go Now?" / France, Lebanon, Italy, Egypt
Director: Nadine Labaki, Screenwriters: Nadine Labaki, Jihad Hojeily, Rodney Al Haddad, with the collaboration of Thomas Bidegain) — A group of Lebanese women try to ease religious tensions between Christians and Muslims in their village.
Cast: Claude Baz Moussawbaa, Layla Hakim, Nadine Labaki, Yvonne Maalouf, Antoinette Noufaily. U.S. Premiere
"Wuthering Heights" / United Kingdom
Director: Andrea Arnold, Screenwriters: Andrea Arnold, Olivia Hetreed) — A freshly conceived retelling of Emily Bronte’s classic novel about Heathcliff and Cathy, two teenagers whose passionate love for each other creates a storm of vengeance.
Cast: Kaya Scodelario, James Howson, Solomon Glave, Shannon Beer, Steve Evets. U.S. Premiere
"Your Sister's Sister" / U.S.A.
Director and screenwriter: Lynn Shelton
While still mourning the recent death of his brother, a bereft and confused man finds love and direction in a most unexpected place.
Cast: Emily Blunt, Rosemarie DeWitt, Mark Duplass. U.S. Premiere
"COMPLIANCE" / U.S.A.
Director and screenwriter: Craig Zobel
When a prank caller convinces a fast food restaurant manager to interrogate an innocent young employee, no one is left unscathed. Based on true events.
Cast: Ann Dowd, Pat Healy, Dreama Walker, Bill Camp, Philip Ettinger.
"I AM NOT A HIPSTER" / U.S.A.
Director and screenwriter: Destin Daniel Cretton
Set in the indie music and art scene, this is a character-driven story exploring themes of love, loss and what it means to be creative in the face of tragedy.
Cast: Dominic Bogart, Alvaro Orlando, Brad William Henke, Tammy Minoff, Kandis Erickson, Lauren Coleman.
"KID-THING" / U.S.A.
Director and screenwriter: David Zellner
A rebellious girl whose existence is devoid of parental guidance, spends her time roaming the land, shoplifting, and vandalizing. Her routine is broken one day while playing in the woods when she hears a woman calling from a mysterious hole in the ground, asking for help.
Cast: Sydney Aguirre, Susan Tyrrell, Nathan Zellner, David Zellner.
"Mosquita y Mari"/ U.S.A.
Director and screenwriter: Aurora Guerrero
A friendship between two 15-year-old Latinas becomes complex as they struggle to recognize the sexual undercurrent in their relationship.
Cast: Fenessa Pineda, Venecia Troncoso, Joaquín Garrido, Laura Patalano, Dulce Maria Solis.
"My Best Day" / U.S.A.
Director and screenwriter: Erin Greenwell
Karen’s life as a small-town receptionist is turned upside down when the father she never knew calls for a refrigerator repair. That day she encounters a sister addicted to off track betting, a brother struggling with grade school heartache and bullies, and a load of fireworks.
Cast: Rachel Style, Ashlie Atkinson, Raúl Castillo, Jo Armeniox, Robert Salerno, Harris Doran.
"Pursuit of Loneliness" / U.S.A. (Director and screenwriter: Laurence Thrush
An elderly patient dies in a county hospital leaving no known next of kin. Over the next 24 hours, four central characters try to find a family member to contact regarding the death of this anonymous individual.
Cast: Joy Hille, Sandra Escalante, Sharon Munfus, Kirsi Toivanen, Natalie Fouron.
"Sleepwalk With Me" / U.S.A.
Co-directors: Mike Birbiglia and Seth Barrish, Screenwriters: Mike Birbiglia, Ira Glass, Joe Birbiglia, Seth Barrish
Reluctant to confront his fears of love, honesty, and growing up, a budding standup comedian has both a hilarious and intense struggle with sleepwalking.
Cast: Mike Birbiglia, Lauren Ambrose, Carol Kane, James Rebhorn, Cristin Milioti.
"That's What She Said"/ U.S.A.
Director: Carrie Preston, Screenwriter: Kellie Overbey
Armed with nothing but their addictions and lots of personal baggage, two best friends and a mysterious young interloper battle a series of misadventures on their quest for love in New York City.
Cast: Anne Heche, Marcia DeBonis, Alia Shawkat.
"TWENTY-EIGHT HOTEL ROOMS" / U.S.A.
Director and screenwriter: Matt Ross
Seen only as fragments in the secret world of hotel rooms, a long-term affair becomes perhaps the most significant relationship of a couple’s lives.
Cast: Chris Messina, Marin Ireland.
"Bestiaire" / Canada, France
Director: Denis Côté
The boundaries we place around animals are provocatively and formally explored in this meditation on the relationship between nature and humanity. World Premiere
"An Oversimplification of Her Beauty" / U.S.A.
Director and screenwriter: Terence Nance
A quixotic young man humorously courses live action and various animated landscapes as he tries to understand himself after a mystery girl stands him up.
Cast: Terence Nance, Namik Minter, Chanelle Pearson. World Premiere
"THE PERCEPTION OF MOVING TARGETS" / U.S.A.
Director and screenwriter: Weston Currie
A segmenting journey into the dreams of four neighbors.
Cast: Brighid Thomas, Cherie Blackfeather, Gerald Casey, Tom Wood, Jin Camou.
"Room 237" / U.S.A.
Director: Rodney Ascher
This experimental documentary explores the numerous theories about the real meaning of Stanley Kubrick's film The Shining. World Premiere
"whiteonwhite:algorithmicnoir" / U.S.A., Kazakhstan
Directors: Eve Sussman | Rufus Corporation
Screenwriters: Eve Sussman, Kevin Messman, Jeff Wood
A computer program assembles raw elements of music, dialogue, sound and footage shot in Kazakhstan into a generative noir mystery film in this live algorithmic performance.
Cast: Jeff Wood, Marina Fedorenko.