Sundance 2024: University of Utah film among select short documentaries; Midnight Program a feast of horror, dark comedy, psychological thrillers

This year’s Sundance Film Festival slate of 53 short films included a solid selection of nonfiction and narrative stories, in the documentary and Midnight program categories. The bar for juried selection was pitched higher than ever before, given the record number of 12,098 submissions for consideration. One of the nonfiction shorts came from Utah: dêtetsi … Read more

Sundance 2024: Devo documentary gives proper due to one of pop music’s most astute groups of social, cultural intelligence

In the excellent documentary Devo, directed by Chris Smith and the first such project which band members authorized, the definitive roots of a band which commanded an intense amount of attention with albums that were produced and released between 1978 and 1984 are properly elucidated in the film. Audiences at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival … Read more

Sundance 2024: Ondi Timoner’s DIG! XX refreshes a cult classic that raises its historical value as a rock music documentary

Fifty, seventy and a hundred years from now, musicians and students of rock history will be studying and appreciating the catalogs of The Dandy Warhols and The Brian Jonestown Massacre, thanks to the phenomenal documentary DIG! XX, directed by Ondi Timoner and co-produced with her brother David Timoner. Foo Fighters’ Dave Grohl called it the … Read more

Sundance 2024: Gaucho Gaucho is majestic, magnificent documentary portrait of Argentinian cowboys, cowgirls as stewards of tradition that defies modern society

With the three documentaries that filmmakers Michael Dweck and Gregory Kershaw have brought to Sundance in the last six years, the viewer has been encouraged to slow down and luxuriate in the whole cinematic experience of visuals, subjects, music and sound design. In 2018, the directors took audiences to the final stock car racetrack of … Read more

Sundance 2024: Frida is sumptuous tribute to Kahlo, highlighting her durable status as a major cultural icon

Seventy years after her death at the age of 47, Frida Kahlo remains as popular as ever in contemporary culture, with a durability that matches or even surpasses that of prominent artists of her time such as Georgia O’Keeffe.  The recipient of the Jonathan Oppenheim Editing Award in the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2024 … Read more

Sundance 2024: Superlative and gripping, Sugarcane takes viewers to elucidating plane of empathy, truth, reconciliation

In North America, the horrific legacy of federal Indian residential and boarding schools has never been new to Indigenous communities. In the superlative and gripping documentary, Sugarcane, which premiered at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival, we learn just how profoundly ingrained the trauma of that legacy continues to affect every Indigenous person in British Columbia. The … Read more

Sundance 2024: Union makes for well-paced documentary film, packing zip, punch and drama into story about independent labor organizing

In the 1930s, unions organized with tremendous success, eventually coming to represent more than one-third of the nation’s workforce by the mid-1950s. The same period saw unions able to shut down companies through strikes in order to force executives to the bargaining table. The General Motors strike in 1937, which autoworkers used to gain recognition … Read more

Sundance 2024: Porcelain War is extraordinary testament in new frame of documentary filmmaking about war combat, indispensable presence of art

A title card in the opening of Porcelain War reads: “Nearly all the footage you are about to watch was shot by the subjects in this film.” This film is extraordinary not only for its thematic structure and cinematography that offers a unique perspective on what the gravity of relentless combat entails but also for … Read more

Sundance 2024: Superb, spellbinding and unsettling, Eternal You documentary critiques technology’s quest to ‘keep the dead alive’

Up until 2007, Facebook deleted the profiles of any deceased persons but in the aftermath of the shootings in the 2007 Virginia Tech University massacre, many students at the school organized a grassroots campaign to persuade the social media giant to reverse its policy. Students talked about how they turned to Facebook to grieve those … Read more

Sundance 2024: Mesmerizing and riveting, Love Machina blends love story into earnest belief in benevolent possibilities of technology

After watching Love Machina (C41 Media), one of the films in the U.S. Documentary Competition at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival, one can truly hope that the benevolent vision of singularity which Martine and Bina Rothblatt espouse will come to fruition. Directed by Peter Sillen, the documentary traverses a lot of advanced technological territory — … Read more