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Sundance 2012: Reviews of "The Other Dream Team," "The Law in These Parts" and "Love Free or Die"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • January 27, 2012 5:30 PM
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As a documentary fan and critic who discovered so many great nonfiction films at Sundance last year, including some of 2011’s very best, it’s been extremely painful not being in Park City this week. To make things easier I could have tried to ignore the festival, stayed off Twitter, not read reviews, definitely not researched and talked about films ahead of time let alone written about the resulting most anticipated docs in my last Doc Talk column. Hearing enormously positive buzz on "The Imposter," "Searching for Sugar Man," "Detropia," "The Queen of Versailles," "The Ambassador," "West of Memphis and others is driving me absolutely bonkers.

Sundance 2012: Managing Cynicism - This Year’s Great Crop of Sundance Online Shorts

  • By Daniel Walber
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  • January 26, 2012 11:15 AM
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Maybe I’m a bit cynical. That’s not true. I’m excessively cynical. I could claim it comes naturally once you’ve seen too many movies, but that doesn’t seem like a good enough excuse. And the 2012 Sundance Film Festival’s online shorts are a perfectly illustrative example of why any exhausted approach to new movies is a bad idea.

Sundance 2012: Top Online Shorts "Long Distance Information" and "The Debutante Hunters"

  • By Daniel Walber
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  • January 25, 2012 7:23 PM
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  • 1 Comment
All of the nine shorts Yahoo and the Sundance Film Festival have put on the web are pretty good. It’s an impressive crop, and I’d say more consistent than a lot of the stuff festivals have put online in the last year. Yet in any batch of films a few rise to the top. I’ve rounded up the other seven, and the oddly consistent problem they have. Here are my two favorites and some gushing about why I think they’re absolutely worth your time.

Sundance 2012: "Teddy Bear" is a Sweet Drama With a Lovably Large Breakout Performance

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • January 23, 2012 3:28 PM
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The main conceit of Mads Matthiesen’s “Teddy Bear” (aka "10 Timer til Paradis") which was previously established in his 2007 short film “Dennis,” is that its protagonist is a bulging bodybuilder who ironically isn’t macho at all. The idea that this guy, Dennis, is introverted, awkward with women and for all we know a 40-year-old virgin is expanded upon in the feature, and though it’s a simple idea with little extra going on the film never overextends its welcome.

Sundance 2012: "Compliance" is a Bloodless Horror Film That I Couldn't Resist

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • January 21, 2012 3:06 PM
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  • 2 Comments
For a good portion of Craig Zobel’s twisted new single-setting drama, “Compliance,” I had difficulty believing what was happening. The film, which is based on a true story, depicts a busy night at a Midwest fast food restaurant during which a teenage employee is accused of theft, detained in a stock room and consequently strip searched in the process of investigating her alleged crime. The problem is there’s no police detective in sight, though there is supposedly one on the phone dictating irregular procedures to the chicken joint’s manager and staff. And to them it all seems a strange yet acceptable idea to conduct such an outlandish probe by proxy with only the word and authority of an unfamiliar “cop.”

Sundance and Slamdance 2012: Documentary Preview

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • January 12, 2012 2:26 PM
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  • 1 Comment
As I look back on my “Sundance Documentaries People Will Be Talking About” column from last January, I realize this is my equivalent to other bloggers’ annual “Most Anticipated Movies of [the Coming Year]” list. Partly because to preview the docs playing at Sundance is usually to preview the docs we’ll be seeing in theaters in the next twelve months, as well as to spot some of what will contend for the Oscar in the following year. And partly because in retrospect I similarly had high hopes for films that didn’t really meet expectations.

Sundance Stories of Yore: "Little Miss Sunshine"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • January 16, 2009 11:58 AM
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Sundance Stories of Yore: "Pi"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • January 15, 2009 11:16 AM
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Sundance Stories of Yore: "Shine"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • January 14, 2009 11:33 AM
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Sundance Stories of Yore: "Clerks"

  • By Christopher Campbell
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  • January 13, 2009 11:39 AM
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  • 0 Comments

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