Sundance 2024: A New Kind of Wilderness is pensive, intimate documentary of virtues of pastoral life, sustaining memories of mother’s legacy

There is a persistent pensive tone in the ode to the virtues of pastoral life in A New Kind of Wilderness, a Norwegian documentary directed by Silje Evensmo Jacobsen, which received its premiere at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival. The film won the Grand Jury Prize in the World Cinema Documentary Competition. The film opens … Read more

Sundance 2024: From Mexico, Sujo is astounding, brilliantly acted, superbly written narrative feature

Few journalists covering the relentless violence of cartels, narcos and sicarios in Mexico were closer to chronicling the direct human impact of the ferocious drug wars than the late Javier Valdez, who was assassinated because of his investigative reporting. In his weekly column Mala­yerba, which was slang for marijuana, he brought to light stories about … Read more

Sundance 2024: Scott Cummings’ Realm of Satan makes for aesthetically pleasing, absorbing experiential documentary

In January 2021, a historic home in Poughkeepsie, New York, which was built in 1900 and used by members of the Church of Satan (COS), was destroyed by arson. Known as the Halloween House which was a popular spot for trick or treaters, it was owned by Joe “Netherworld” Mendillo, a church member whom COS … Read more

Sundance 2024: Documentaries predominate list on deck for The Utah Review festival coverage

EDITOR’S NOTE: Part II summarizes the films and programs from Sundance 2024 that are part of The Utah Review coverage. For Part I which is an overview of the state of the film industry in Utah, see here. One of the potential advantages in this year”s slimmer slate for the 2024 edition of the Sundance … Read more

Sundance 2024: Milestone anniversaries for Festival (40th), Utah film and television history (100th), Utah Film Commission (50th)

EDITOR’S NOTE:  Part I is an overview of the Utah film industry in the current moment. Part II (tomorrow) will offer a summary preview of the Sundance 2024 films, which The Utah Review will cover. There is a fortuitous historical confluence to celebrate this year, as the Sundance Film Festival is set to open tomorrow … Read more

Sundance 2024: Marking 100 years of Utah film and television history

NOTE: This feature about 100 years of film and television in Utah is linked to the Part I curtain raiser for the Sundance Film Festival.  When James D’Arc came to Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah as a student, he already knew some of Hollywood’s most famous names such as John Ford and John Wayne … Read more

Whip-smart Pioneer Theatre Company production of Karen Zacarias’ Native Gardens makes for dazzling Utah premiere

The trials and tribulations of neighbors, especially involving property line disputes, have been among the most widely applied tropes in practically every television sitcom series since the 1950s. Many of these scenes have followed the tenets of “Hollywood Law,” which carves out the spaces for acceptable breakaways from reality. There also have been a handful … Read more

Three downtown Salt Lake City scenes for a holiday season

As a downtown Salt Lake City resident, there are three holiday scenes this year that stand out to me for resilience of faith, the tradition of Santa Claus and an impressive depth and breadth of elegant seasonal decoration. La Morena: The Virgin of the Park, Taufer Park, 700 South 300 East On Dec. 12, which … Read more

Courage, creative fire, innovation, enterprise: The Utah Review’s Top 10 Moments of the Utah Enlightenment in 2023

This year’s selections in The Utah Review of the top ten moments of the Utah Enlightenment in 2023, the ninth annual edition, were the easiest to curate in the nine years of publishing this annual list. Likewise, selecting the top moment among the ten was just as easy. In Utah, there are creative producers in … Read more

Four young newcomers to live ballet performance find their own connections to the timeless magic of Ballet West’s historic production of The Nutcracker

For many in Salt Lake City, one of the greatest sources of pride in the local performing arts scene has been Willam Christensen’s efforts to make the first American version of The Nutcracker. As The Utah Review documented recently in a historical feature, he transported this version from its San Francisco premiere in 1944 to … Read more