Couch Potato Alert! The Sundance Film Festival is continuing their new Sundance Film Festival USA (which began last year), with a great slate of films that will be road-tripped across the country and allow you to see brand-spanking new films without a "pat-down" by the TSA! As everyone else descends upon Sundance for a week of cinema, snow, shivers and saucy celebs, a small group of filmmakers will be dispatched from Utah to nine cities, where their films will be screened as part of a sort of mini-festival that will give you the fest experience from the comfort of your own city.
Like most fests, one lucky credit card contingent can get special ticket access (for Sundance, it's Chase Sapphire), ads for the festival play before the films and the filmmakers are on-hand to introduce their feature and participate in Q&As after the screening. This year, the on-the-road festivities have been expanded to nine cities -- the previous Ann Arbor, MI, Brookline, MA, Chicago, IL, Brooklyn, NY, Madison, WI, Nashville, TN, Los Angeles, CA and San Francisco, CA -- plus the newly added Seattle, WA.
As for the films, they feature filmmakers like Miguel Arteta and Gregg Araki (yes, 'Kaboom' is still making the rounds) plus cast rosters that include a whole slew of big names like Paul Giamatti, Paul Rudd, Zooey Deschanel, Elizabeth Banks and more. Hit the jump to see which film is going where.
Tickets for the screenings -- all on January 27 -- are available at each theater's box office.
'Win Win' / U.S.A. -- Ann Arbor, MI -- Michigan Theater www.michtheater.org
Cast: Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Bobby Cannavale, Jeffrey Tambor.
Director and screenwriter: Tom McCarthy, based on the story by Tom McCarthy and Joe Tiboni -- When a disheartened attorney moonlighting as a high school wrestling coach stumbles across a star athlete, things seem to be looking up. That is, until the boy's mother shows up fresh from rehab and flat broke, threatening to derail everything. World Premiere
'My Idiot Brother' / U.S.A. -- Brookline, MA -- Coolidge Corner Theatre www.coolidge.org
Cast: Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Zooey Deschanel, Emily Mortimer.
Director: Jesse Peretz; Screenwriters: Evgenia Peretz and David Schisgall -- After serving time for being conned into selling pot, Ned successively moves in with each of his three sisters as he tries to get back on his feet. His best intentions quickly bring the family to the cusp of chaos and ultimately the brink of clarity. World Premiere
'Kaboom' / U.S.A. -- Brooklyn, NY -- BAM www.bam.org
Cast: Thomas Dekker, Haley Bennett, Chris Zylka, Roxane Mesquida, Juno Temple.
Director and screenwriter: Gregg Araki -- A science fiction story centered on the sexual awakening of a group of college students. U.S. Premiere
'The Music Never Stopped' / U.S.A. -- Chicago, IL -- Music Box Theatre www.musicboxtheatre.com
Cast: J.K. Simmons, Julia Ormond, Cara Seymour, Lou Taylor Pucci, Mia Maestro.
Director: Jim Kohlberg; Screenwriters: Gwyn Lurie and Gary Marks, based on the story "The Last Hippie" by Oliver Sacks -- A father struggles to bond with his estranged son who suffers a brain tumor that prevents him from forming new memories. He learns to embrace his son's choices and to try to connect with him through the power of music. World Premiere
'The Details' / U.S.A. -- Los Angeles, CA -- Vintage Cinemas Vista Theatre (323) 660-6639
Cast: Tobey Maguire, Elizabeth Banks, Laura Linney, Ray Liotta, Dennis Haysbert, Kerry Washington.
Director and screenwriter: Jacob Aaron Estes -- When a family of hungry raccoons begin feasting on the worms living under the sod of a young couple's backyard, the pest problem sets off a wild and absurd chain reaction of anxiety, infidelity, organ donation and other assorted mayhem. World Premiere
'Like Crazy' / U.S.A. -- Madison, WI -- Sundance Cinemas Madison www.sundancecinemas.com
Cast: Anton Yelchin, Felicity Jones, Jennifer Lawrence, Charlie Bewley, Alex Kingston.
Director: Drake Doremus; Screenwriters: Drake Doremus and Ben York Jones -- A young American guy and a young British girl meet in college and fall in love. Their love is tested when she is required to leave the country and they must face the challenges of a long-distance relationship. World Premiere
'Letters from the Big Man' / U.S.A. -- Nashville, TN -- The Belcourt Theatre www.belcourt.org
Cast: Lily Rabe, Jason Butler Harner, Isaac C. Singleton Jr., Jim Cody Williams, Fiona Dourif.
Director and screenwriter: Christopher Munch -- An artist and government hydrologist surveying a remote part of southwestern Oregon befriends a sasquatch man and must take bold steps to protect his privacy, as well as her own. World Premiere
'Connected: An Autoblogography about Love, Death & Technology' / U.S.A. -- San Francisco, CA -- Sundance Kabuki Cinemas www.sundancecinemas.com
Director: Tiffany Shlain; Screenwriters: Tiffany Shlain, Ken Goldberg, Carlton Evans and Sawyer Steele -- Connected is an exhilarating stream-of-consciousness ride through the interconnectedness of humankind, nature, progress and morality at the dawn of the 21st century. For centuries we've been declaring independence. With insight, curiosity, and humor, the film explores whether it's time to declare our interdependence. World Premiere
'Cedar Rapids' / U.S.A. -- Seattle, WA -- The Egyptian Theater and http://www.landmarktheatres.com/market/Seattle/EgyptianTheatre.htm
Cast: Ed Helms, John C Reilly, Anne Heche, Isiah Whitlock Jr., Alia Shawkat, Sigourney Weaver.
Director: Miguel Arteta; Screenwriter: Phil Johnston -- A wholesome and naive small-town Wisconsin man travels to big city Cedar Rapids, Iowa to represent his company at a regional insurance conference. World Premiere
Plus: Special post-festival screening for 'Cedar Rapids' in Ann Arbor, MI -- Michigan Theater (date TBA) www.michtheater.org