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  • Don’s Sundance 2013 Wrap-Up


    By | February 3, 2013

    Upstream Color

    I went to Park City, Utah with an overly ambitious list of over 50 films that I really wanted to see. Knowing that would be physically impossible to do in six-and-a-half days, I narrowed down my list to 12 feature films that were “absolute must see!” films for me; but even managing to see that entire list proved to be much more difficult to conquer than I could ever imagine.

    When the dust settled from my mind-boggling non-stop movie marathon, I had clocked in 27 screenings at Sundance 2013, of which I have already posted reviews of 22. Other than a few real doozies, I liked or loved almost everything that I saw. Of the eight of my 12 “absolute must see!” films, I divvied out five 9/10s, two 8/10s and one 7/10; as for the other 19 films that I saw, my average rating fell somewhere between a 7/10 and 8/10. So, a pretty impressive program of films overall, with my most unexpected surprises being The Spectacular Now, ConcussionIl Futuro, This is Martin Bonner and It Felt Like Love

    There has been much talk about the front and center role that sexuality played throughout the Sundance 2013 program. I definitely found kink to be a bit more of an eye-opener than I had ever expected, but I think most of the films I saw did an excellent job of normalizing sexuality, especially Pit Stop and Concussion; proving that no matter whom a person chooses to have intimate relations with, they are still a human being and deserve to be viewed and treated as such. And, while on the subject of equality, it was really great to see so many amazing female directors — as well as strong female roles — represented at Sundance 2013.

    I am truly honored to have been asked to participate in the Criticwire poll of the top films and performances of Sundance 2013. Below is a slightly amended snapshot of my votes — I figure this is a good way to give you an idea of what I am most excited about coming out of the first major film festival of 2013:


    1. Upstream Color
    2. Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
    3. Pit Stop
    4. I Used To Be Darker
    5. Concussion
    6. The Spectacular Now
    7. A Teacher
    8. Il Futuro
    9. C.O.G.
    10. It Felt Like Love

    Screen Shot 2012-01-25 at 11.35.23 AM | Jan 25

    1. Concussion
    2. It Felt Like Love
    3. Blue Caprice
    4. kink
    5. Fill the Void


    1. Shane Carruth, Upstream Color
    2. Yen Tan, Pit Stop
    3. David Lowery, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
    4. Kyle Patrick Alvarez, C.O.G.
    5. Matthew Porterfield, I Used To Be Darker
    6. Stacie Passon, Concussion
    7. Hannah Fidell, A Teacher
    8. Chad Hartigan, This Is Martin Bonner
    9. Alicia Scherson, Il Futuro
    10. James Ponsoldt, The Spectacular Now


    1. Lindsay Burdge, A Teacher
    2. Robin Weigert, Concussion
    3. Amy Seimetz, Upstream Color
    4. Rooney Mara, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
    5. Gina Piersanti, It Felt Like Love
    6. Shailene Woodley, The Spectacular Now
    7. Bill Heck, Pit Stop
    8. Casey Affleck, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints 
    9. Juno Temple, Magic Magic
    10. Manuela Martelli, Il Futuro


    1. Rutger Hauer, Il Futuro
    2. Kim Taylor, I Used To Be Darker
    3. Ben Foster, Ain’t Them Bodies Saints
    4. Michael Cera, Magic Magic
    5. Amy Seimetz, Pit Stop


    1. Pit Stop
    2. I Used to Be Darker
    3. C.O.G.
    4. Magic Magic
    5. Breathe In


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