Sundance 2019: The Elephant Queen achieves gold standard in wildlife documentary genre

In the cinematic and literary genres, especially in the last decade, an impressive canon of creative nonfiction works has expanded that engages and motivates its audience to advocate for the cause of nature conservation and preservation more effectively than platforms that craft themes and messages primarily on data, empiricism and scientific findings. A substantial, well-informed … Read more

Slamdance 2019: Utah premiere of Dons of Disco, first-class documentary about previously little-known lip synching scandal in pop music

Some of the music industry’s most intriguing controversies have revolved around the lip-synched performances of singers. In 1991, Whitney Houston lip-synched the actual performance of the national anthem at Super Bowl XXV but the prerecorded version that millions heard that day became a top 10 Billboard single. The group Muse was instructed to lip sync … Read more

Sundance 2019: The Biggest Little Farm full of charm but even bigger important ideas about nature, environment

There is no question that the documentary The Biggest Little Farm, directed by John Chester, which chronicles how he and Molly, his wife, rejuvenated 200 acres of lands in the foothills of Ventura County into a vibrant agricultural ecosystem is an outstanding story that captures every imaginable emotion and quickly wins over the hearts of … Read more

Sundance 2019: Shooting The Mafia brilliantly sets larger context on the life’s work of courageous photojournalist Letizia Battaglia

Sicily is the ancient cradle of toxic masculinity and unconditional violence. The Mafia—the Cosa Nostra – signifies power in its utmost pathological form. For many Americans, The Godfather film trilogy has codified a particular frame of reference when it comes to discussing the Mafia. In an interview before his death in 1999, Mario Puzo admitted … Read more

Sundance 2019: Eight documentaries, three Sundance Kids films highlight Utah connections to festival selections

Editor’s Note: This is Part II of The Utah Review curtain raiser feature for Sundance 2019. Part I can be found here. It is a fixture in the annual slate of films for Sundance that the Utah Film Center, its cofounder Geralyn Dreyfous and the group to which she belongs Impact Partners Film as well … Read more

Sundance 2019: Utah’s film industry expands avenues for film culture, creative producers, state and local tourism

EDITOR’S NOTE: Part I covers a broad overview of the state’s film industry and Part II will focus on the fiscal sponsorship initiative of the Utah Film Center as well as an overview of the films with a Utah connection that are in the Sundance 2019 slate. Read part II here. As Utah prepares to … Read more

Ririe-Woodbury Dance Company’s ‘the live creature and ethereal things’ concert is rarefied collaboration of joy with Red Fred Project, Flying Bobcat Theatrical Laboratory

Artistic collaborations lead to many strategic benefits. They can make a lesser known creative group more visible, expand the potential audience base, secure additional financial resources and fine-tune longer term objectives for organizations that must prove their relevance in a community. Most importantly, they can lead to a unique performing and creative moment on the … Read more

RDT’s Emerge highlights company’s extraordinary status as major Utah arts institution

In its third annual edition, the Repertory Dance Theatre’s (RDT) Emerge concert revealed so much character and soul of the company’s dancers in the works they created for this concert that underscores why, indeed, this is an extraordinary period in RDT’s life as a performing arts institution. Every new piece offered a significant theme, personal … Read more

Setting work about what is important to them: Repertory Dance Theatre’s dancers to present new pieces at Emerge

Jaclyn Brown’s husband, Terry, may not be a professionally trained dancer but she says that her husband, “has expressed some strong opinions about [the] choreography” he sees when she and her colleagues perform on the Repertory Dance Theatre (RDT) stage. “He often has many detailed questions about why choreographers made certain choices, and disagrees with … Read more

Audacious, experimental, unflinching: Top Ten Moments of the Utah Enlightenment for 2018

More apparent every year, the Utah Enlightenment is audacious, experimental and unflinching in its artistic entrepreneurship. In 2018, the pool for considering the most definitive moments of the Utah Enlightenment was as expansive and diverse as ever. The Utah Review presents the top ten moments for 2018, precisely because of promise and strength among its … Read more