Sundance 2023: Pianoforte is marvelous backstage documentary about Poland’s Chopin piano competition

Pianoforte, the documentary directed by Jakub Piątek about the International Chopin Piano Competition in Warsaw, is a marvelous backstage look at the young pianists that builds nicely to a riveting climax, where twelve musicians compete in the finals. For an individual who has had no formal music training and connected later in life with classical … Read more

Sundance 2023: Cassandro resonates with wit, emotion, authenticity in the story of lucha libre’s most celebrated exótico

“In lucha libre, the truly important matches, the bouts that make up one’s official record, are not even world championships,” William Finnegan wrote in a 2014 feature for The New Yorker magazine about Saúl Armendáriz, a gay wrestler who revamped the role of the exótico luchadores as Cassandro. “They are, rather, Mask vs. Mask matches, … Read more

Sundance 2023: Rich archival bounty defines historical significance of Indigo Girls in It’s Only Life After All

Some of the most impactful moments in the documentary, It’s Only Life After All, a comprehensive retrospective on Atlanta-based singer-songwriters Amy Ray and Emily Saliers who continue to perform as the Indigo Girls, appear in the first third of the film. The documentary received its Sundance premiere late last week. There are numerous fascinating clips … Read more

Sundance 2023: The Amazing Maurice is splendid adaptation of Sir Terry Pratchett classic

The late Sir Terry Pratchett, whose Discworld books epitomized his literary genius of irony and paradox in the realm of fantasy stories, wrote that Discworld was “relentlessly, solidly logical.” He added, “The reason it is fantasy is that it is logical about the wrong things, about those parts of human experience where, by tacit agreement, … Read more

Sundance 2023: Previewing eclectic sampling of documentaries, fiction, Sundance Kids, short film offerings

EDITOR’S NOTE: Part II summarizes the films and programs from Sundance 2022 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. An eclectic sampling from this year’s Sundance slate is on The Utah Review radar this year for … Read more

Sundance 2023: Making the Utah production stage ready for film: State’s cinematic industry made big strides in 2022

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 2023 feature-length and short films, which The Utah Review will cover. Like nearly 2,400 of their peers who are listed in a directory of Utah film industry professionals, … Read more

Sundance 2023: Volunteer in-person, online opportunities available for festival in Park City, SLC, Sundance Resort

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Utah Review’s 2023 Sundance Film Festival coverage begins Jan. 18 and will continue through Jan. 29. There are still opportunities for volunteers to assist either in-person or in online roles for the Sundance Film Festival, which opens Jan. 19. Anyone who can commit to at least 32 hours of service during the … Read more