Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
Indiewire logo

Fiercely Independent: "Simon Killer," "Beasts," "Keep the Lights On" at Sundance

ReelPolitik By Anthony Kaufman | ReelPolitik January 21, 2012 at 11:38AM

Not long ago on this blog I called for the celebration of non-corporate films in non-corporate theaters. Well, at Sundance, I've been pleasantly surprised by the committed and audacious indie filmmaking on display: it's defiantly non-corporate, indeed. (And I'd like to thank the Sundance organizers for limiting the sponsorship trailers before the screenings.) The three competition films I've seen so far, "Simon Killer," "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "Keep the Lights On" all show a surprising lack of interest in commercial viability. If Sundance has become synonymous with Harvey Weinstein-like bidding wars, here are three films that take much highter ground, aiming more for art than commerce.
1

Not long ago on this blog I called for the celebration of non-corporate films in non-corporate theaters. Well, at Sundance, I've been pleasantly surprised by the committed and audacious indie filmmaking on display: it's defiantly non-corporate, indeed. (And I'd like to thank the Sundance organizers for limiting the sponsorship trailers before the screenings.) The three competition films I've seen so far, "Simon Killer," "Beasts of the Southern Wild" and "Keep the Lights On" all show a surprising lack of interest in commercial viability. If Sundance has become synonymous with Harvey Weinstein-like bidding wars, here are three films that take much highter ground, aiming more for art than commerce.

I don't believe these films are not without faults, however. I would have to say I like "Simon Killer" the best of the three--with reservations. I can't tell if it's pretentions always work, but I was game for the ride. Still, I applaud all of these films' ambitions, whether "Wild's" completely realized fantastical world, "Killer"s austere, menacing tone and masterfully ironic music cues, or "Keep the Lights On's" tenderness, warmth and humility.

I can guess what the world outside of Sundance will think of these films--as I have to conjecture in my trade reviews (click on the links above)--but personally I'd rather not care about their commercial life. Let's embrace movies that defy the norms and go against the grains of conventional filmmaking, sympathies or narrative expectations and dare to do something different. Here's hoping the rest of Sundance will do the same.

Follow us

E-Mail Updates



Recent Comments

By Aminath Shaneez : Prosecutor General has repeatedly said that he and his famiky is under threat. All judges are under threat at the same time. As I hear the…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 6th, 2015 10:22pm

By Niccolo Ungaro: I support Presdient Nasheed and add my name to this letter of support for his release.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 6th, 2015 11:10am

By Niccolo Ungarp: I support Presdient Nasheed and add my name to this letter of support for his release.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 6th, 2015 11:10am

By Abdul Majid: President Nasheed is our only hope for democracy in my country. This country cannot go forward with him in jail. Please help secure his…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 6th, 2015 7:46am

By imran: As a maldivian myself I call upon the international community to fight against the fabricated accusations Against president nasheed.the real…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 6th, 2015 5:12am

By Ahmed Aslam: I support president Nasheed! He has been jailed and tortured several times over the last 25 years fighting for democracy and human rights

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 6th, 2015 4:38am

By Ahmed Iyaz: President Mohamed Nasheed is the only President who gave Maldivians freedom of expression. I'm totally against of unlawful arrest of him and…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 6th, 2015 3:58am

By Eugene Jarecki: I lend my voice passionately to this cause. It is of the utmost importance.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 6th, 2015 3:03am

By Ahmed: Former President Nasheeds regime was a disaster to Maldives. A real dictator. Forcefuly arrested the Chief Judge at midnight while sleeping…

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 6th, 2015 2:06am

By Mohamed Salih Hassan: Former President Mohamed Nasheed should get fair trial. Call current govt of Maldives to hear majority of people's voice.

Documentary Filmmakers and Activists Call for Release of "Island President" Nasheed

Mar 6th, 2015 2:01am