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Sundance: FilmDistrict Take Rights To 'Safety Not Guaranteed,' Magnolia Buy 'Compliance,' 'Nobody Walks,' '2 Days In New York'

  • By Joe Cunningham
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  • January 30, 2012 11:40 AM
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  • 2 Comments
Sundance may be over for another year, but as Gordon Gekko mercilessly taught us: money never sleeps. So even though Park City has born witness to their annual mass exodus, there are still some films hanging around waiting to be bought and we have news of six films that have snagged distribution deals.

Sundance: Director Craig Zobel Talks The Controversy, Criticism & Intent Of 'Compliance'

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • January 26, 2012 11:03 AM
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  • 2 Comments
The Sundance Film Festival has always included provocative films in its programming, as much to challenge attendees’ expectations as to introduce to the world new, visionary filmmakers who aren’t afraid to take risks. In 2012, the film that has caused the most controversy is “Compliance,” Craig Zobel’s fictionalization of a string of incidents in which a caller posed as a police officer asks a restaurant manager to detain an employee, kicking off a string of events that lead to the sexual assault of a young woman (our review here). Undoubtedly as much because of their ignorance of what they were walking into as the moral ambiguity of the content itself, audience members were shocked by the film at its first screening, and questioned Zobel and his cast at the accompanying Q&A about why they made it. And although attendees were better prepared to watch it at a second screening days later, they responded to its story with a mix of admiration and outrage, prompting another contentious, but much more respectful discussion of its ambitions and its impact.

Sundance Review: Controversial & Upsetting 'Compliance' Is Still Affecting & Real

  • By Todd Gilchrist
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  • January 24, 2012 6:59 AM
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  • 2 Comments
If there’s a thin line between presenting unpleasant material to an audience and openly antagonizing them with it, there are going to be a lot of people accusing “Compliance” of the latter, when really what it’s doing is the former. Craig Zobel, the promising writer-director who made “Great World of Sound” in 2007, returns to the big screening with his deeply unsettling second feature, the fictional account of a real incident in which a caller impersonating a police officer contacted a fast food restaurant manager and enlisted her in enacting a sexual assault under the pretense of a criminal investigation. After immediately provoking intense feelings both positive and negative among audience members at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival, “Compliance” seems destined to become a lightning rod for controversy, but its success is so great in depicting the damage that can be done through complicity and inaction that the movie’s takeaway message may eventually be confused with the technique used in order to create it.

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