The 5 Most Interesting Sundance Acquisitions, In My Opinion

Sundance Acquisitions - Kill Your Darlings

Sundance is always a pretty exciting time for movies starring already famous people, made by already successful filmmakers, with films that don’t have distribution yet. It’s a great opportunity for them to hang out together, do a lot of interviews and pimp themselves out, and feel like they’re still keeping that indie spirit alive. Now, the film that premiered at Sundance that I am most anxious about seeing as soon as humanly possible is Shane Carruth’s new feature, Upstream Color, which is his first film since my favorite time travel movie of all time Primer. I’m sure I’ll find plenty of opportunities to talk about Upstream Color leading up to its release in April, but unlike the five films I’m about to talk about, Carruth is doing D.I.Y. distribution. Which I think is radically cool, but it means I can’t write about it on this list. Back on the topic of more traditional distribution methods, lots of films got picked up this past week, and here’s the top five I’m most excited I’ll get a chance to see…

1) KILL YOUR DARLINGS (Dir. John Krokidas)


Kill Your Darlings premiered at Sundance and was picked up by Sony Classics for “just south of $2 million.” It stars Daniel Radcliffe as a young Allen Ginsberg, leaving home for the first time study at Columbia university. He meets Lucien Carr (Dane Dehaan), Jack Kerouac (Jack Huston), William Burroughs (Ben Foster), and David Kammerer (Michael C. Hall), and they decide to start a movement. Then things get messy.

It’s a little unfair of me to list this one, because I’ve already seen it.. several cuts ago. I was actually a post-production intern on this film, doing little tasks in Avid for the assistant editor, and making gift runs for the director and editor when they needed to buy a producer a bottle of tequila as a thank you. It was only a couple days a week, but it was still really awesome to see just how small this movie was despite how big the stars, the subject matter, and the soundtrack was. And watching them piecing it all together was really exciting. So, as I haven’t seen the final cut yet, I’m really excited this has been picked up! I can go see it with my friends and when the credits role (if my name is in them at all? I don’t actually know), point at myself and scream.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

2) THE LOOK OF LOVE (Dir. Michael Winterbottom)


IFC Films bought the rights for this new Michael Winterbottom film, which was expected, but still awesome, especially for me, as a New Yorker, with the IFC Center nearby. They’ve handled five of his movies already. This biopic stars Steve Coogan as Paul Raymond, a british porn tycoon. The Look of Love tells the story of Paul Raymond becoming a millionaire through the publishing of adult magazines, and how it destroyed his relationships with all the people around him. And it’s not a comedy, which is very interesting considering Coogan’s usual fare. I’ve loved every film featuring Coogan and Winterbottom working together thus far, with a big emphasis on Tristram Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story. The more heartfelt moments with Coogan in that film are really beautiful; his character, who has spent much of the film stubborn and arrogant, begins to open up and become emotionally involved with those around him. So, if this can reach that level in any way, I will be quite thrilled.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

3) PRINCE AVALANCHE (DIr. David Gordon Green)


Prince Avalanche is David Gordon Green’s new film, a remake of an Icelandic movie that I’ve never heard of, starring Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch. That’s a great combination, and the word from all the lucky folks who got to watch this at Sundance is that the film lives up to it. The two leads play road workers developing a friendship on the job in the summer of 1988. Although from the description, this sounds like a left turn from the big budget comedies Green has been making recently, and much more akin to his early films, like All The Real Girls. Magnolia will be distributing Prince Avalanche, so we can expect a decent limited theatrical run.

Source: Indiewire

4) WE ARE WHAT WE ARE (Dir. Jim Mickle)


We Are What We Are is a remake of a low budget Mexican horror film from 2010 concerning a family of cannibals attempting to keep their traditions alive in a difficult, modern world. I feel weird about this one because, despite not being completely in love with the original film, it was a very unique and beautiful film that I can’t quite imagine existing in any other form. But I also have grown pretty fond of the director, Jim Mickle, since seeing his post-apocalyptic zombie-esque vampire film, Stake Land. Curiosity has me keeping my eye on this. eOne Distribution will be handling this one, we’ll have to wait and see what kind of release it gets.

Source: The Hollywood Reporter

5) PUSSY RIOT – A PUNK PRAYER (Dir.  Mike Lerner & Maxim Pozdorovkin)


Lots of documentaries found homes at Sundance, and I have no idea what most of them were because I only have so much time and brain power, but I really feel shame about not knowing more about documentaries right now, I really do. Anyhow, this specifically caught my attention, because I am fascinated by the story of the Russian female punk band, Pussy Riot, and how they were arrested, held trial, and imprisoned for singing an anti-Putin song in a church. It’s a scary thing, but also an amazing story about these badass women standing up for their rights. HBO picked this up to be shown as part of their television documentary series.

Source: Slash Film

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