Sundance 2020: On The Record undeniably a complete, substantial story that leads to deeper thinking about the stories of sexual assault victims

Setting aside the pre-Sundance controversy surrounding the film, On The Record, directed and written by Kirby Dick and Amy Ziering, is undeniably a complete, substantial story that leads to deeper thinking about the focus on the stories of Drew Dixon and Sil Lai Abrams, who accused Russell Simmons of raping them, and the other victims … Read more

Sundance 2020: Feels Good Man documentary lives up to its title as perfect entertainment with important lessons about ourselves in contentious times

Making its Sundance premiere, Feels Good Man, directed by Arthur Jones, is a perfect documentary of multidisciplinary value. In addition to being thoroughly entertaining, it offers an outstanding case study about social media, its role in politics, the framing of cultural identities, and the global dynamics of memes along with their strategic appropriation; the implications … Read more

Sundance 2020: The Killing of Two Lovers superbly crafted, beautifully filmed story about troubled marriage in tiny rural town

The town portrayed in the Sundance premiere of The Killing of Two Lovers is so small that David, who is staying at his father’s home while he and Nikki try to figure out if their marriage is salvageable, easily can see everything going on in the lives of his wife and four kids in the … Read more

Sundance 2020: Come Away exceptional entry to Kids slate with masterful storytelling

The exceptional Come Away, the first feature-length live action film directed by Brenda Chapman with first-time screenwriter Marissa Kate Goodhill, has the same extraordinary depth as a masterpiece from nearly 15 years ago, Guillermo Del Toro’s Pan’s Labyrinth (2006). Come Away is receiving its world premiere on the Sundance Kids slate, curated by the Utah … Read more

Sundance 2020: Epicentro marvelous, intriguing portrait of Cuba’s ‘little prophets’

Introducing her 1995 anthology, Bridges to Cuba / Puentes a Cuba, Cuban-American anthropologist and author Ruth Behar wrote that her collection is “a meeting place, an open space, a castle in the sand, an imaginary homeland. It is a space for reconciliation, imaginative speculation and renewal.” Receiving its Sundance premiere, the documentary Epicentro, directed by … Read more

Sundance 2020: Belgium’s Binti makes insightful gem of a U.S. premiere in festival’s Kids slate

Making its U.S. premiere in the Sundance Kids slate this year, Binti, an insightful gem from Belgium, directed and written by Frederike Migom, touches on an immigration issue of sociopolitical urgency that resonates in the U.S. just as powerfully if not more than in the country in which the story is based. Binti, 12, a … Read more

Sundance 2020: Happy Happy Joy Joy – The Ren and Stimpy Story absorbing, sharp, potent, immaculately researched documentary

If there was one episode from The Ren & Stimpy Show, the cartoon which aired on Nickelodeon in the first half of the 1990s, which encapsulated its creator’s mindset, it was the Christmas season episode Son of Stimpy. Stimpy breaks wind, convinced that he has given birth to ‘Stinky.’ Ren, of course, does not believe … Read more

Sundance 2020: Nine documentaries, a world premiere creative nonfiction biography, three dramatic narratives, 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 2020. 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 will be associated with some of … Read more

Sundance 2020: Utah’s film industry punches well above its weight class, opening doors for indie directors, producers

EDITOR’S NOTE: Part I covers a broad overview of the state’s film industry and Part II focuses on 16 films with a significant Utah connection that are in the Sundance 2020 slate. On the eve of the most inclusive and diverse Sundance Film Festival in its history (Jan. 23 – Feb. 2 in Park City, … Read more