Later this week Cinematical will be landing in Park City, Utah, primarily to cover the Sundance Film Festival. But while there, we hope to check out some of the films screening at Slamdance, as well. Let's not forget that the smaller fest has hosted the debut features of Christopher Nolan ('Following') and Marc Forster ('Loungers') and the popular documentaries 'The King of Kong' and 'Mad Hot Ballroom.' So we're curious to see what or who will be the next big Slamdance discovery.
We've already previewed 'Atrocious,' the Mexican found-footage-style horror flick that sounds like this year's 'Paranormal Activity' (which was shown at Slamdance three years ago). Now we've got ten more Slamdance titles to spotlight, all of which we think sound and look pretty interesting. Where available, we've included trailers.
'Snow on tha Bluff'
Like 'Atrocious,' this fiction feature uses the documentary style to present its narrative, but unlike most mockumentaries it is not of either the horror or comedy genre. The idea is that an Atlanta drug dealer has stolen a video camera from a group of rich kids and has made a first-person, autobiographical doc about his life in the hood.
This film about regular people who dress up as superheroes may look like a mockumentary, but it's completely real. We've been following these real-life 'Kick-Ass' types for years, and thanks to Seattle's Phoenix Jones they've been very topical in the news recently. Jones isn't in this documentary, but at least thirty other costumed civilians appear to hopefully help us understand the phenomenon.
'Pete Smalls is Dead'
Alexandre Rockwell's latest stars Peter Dinklage ('The Station Agent') and the very underrated character actor Mark Boone Junior ('Batman Begins') in a Hollywood-set comedy that features eccentric supporting turns by Steve Buscemi, Tim Roth, Seymour Cassel, Rosie Perez and Michael Lerner.
Having already won Best Narrative Feature at the 2010 Woodstock Film Festival, this feature debut of Slamdance vets Eleanor Burke and Ron Eyal, about an unlikely relationship between a young woman and a homeless man, is already a proven film to watch for.
More than a decade before cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond won his Oscar for 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind,' he shot this lost indie film from 1965, "an early work in the American New Wave" that looks quite obviously influenced by Fellini and Antonioni.
'Last Fast Ride - The Life, Love and Death of a Punk Goddess'
GG Allin has his own documentary (Todd Phillips' 'Hated'), so now it's time for his possible West Coast, female equivalent to get hers. Marian Anderson fronted the San Francisco punk group The Insaints and was known for stage antics that can't be fully described politely on this blog (let's just say they involved illegal sex acts and public urination). Like Allin, she died of a heroin overdose in her 30s. Henry Rollins narrates the film, and a new incarnation of The Insaints will be performing in Park City as a tribute to Anderson.
Sorry, Terrence Malick, but this film might now be the most gorgeous and poetic film shot in the Badlands of South Dakota. Okay, maybe not, but it does look beautiful. See for yourself:
Long in the making, this documentary follows meth addicts who sneak onto government property to pilfer scrap metal in the form of used (and not always detonated) weaponry. The trailer we came upon is a few years old, but it makes the film look potentially as thrilling as embedded Afghanistan War docs 'Restrepo' and 'Armadillo.'
'The Beast Pageant'
We would explain the plot of this bizarre surreal film, but it probably wouldn't make any sense to you. So just watch the trailer.
'Modern Imbecile's Planet World'
Based on the Slamdance website's measure of audience buzz, 'Planet World' is the most anticipated film of the fest. From the comedy team known as Modern Imbecile, the film seems like an absurd cross between 'Tropic Thunder,' 'Space Camp' and 'Capricorn One,' as it follows two Hollywood stars researching roles by accompanying a NASA space mission, which crashes them on a strange "planet world."