By Beth Hanna | Thompson on Hollywood March 6, 2014 at 3:06PM
5.“The Immortalists." This in-competition doc looks at two men, lab biologist and long distance runner Bill Andrews and hirsute biologist Aubrey de Grey, both nurturing the same obsession: Discovering a medical breakthrough for eternal youth. They think of our current world as “blind to the tragedy of old age.” They clearly don’t live anywhere near Hollywood. But the premise has me totally hooked. (Trailer below.)
4. “Starry Eyes." Based on an enticing first trailer (watch below), this Midnighter tale of a young actress (Alexandra Essoe) struggling to make it in a grey and unsettling Hollywood looks to have shades of “Black Swan.” Directed by Dennis Widmyer and Kevin Kolsch, with the always welcome Pat Healy (“Compliance”) in a supporting role.
3. “The Heart Machine." From a recent turn in “House of Cards” to much more indie fare like Alex Ross Perry’s “The Color Wheel” and Rick Alverson’s “The Comedy,” actress Kate Lyn Sheil continues to be one to watch. Here she stars as one half of an online long-distance relationship; she’s in Berlin, while Cody (John Gallagher Jr. of “The Newsroom”) lives in Brooklyn. But paranoia brews between the two as we track their parallel lives. Zachary Wigon directs.
2. “Wild Canaries." Mumblecore apparently meets noir (Mumblenoir?) in this in-competition comedy following a newly engaged Brooklyn couple who suspect foul play when an elderly lady in their building winds up dead. Familiar indie faces pepper the cast like Sophia Takal, Jason Ritter, Alia Shawkat and Kevin Corrigan. Lawrence Michael Levine (“Gabi on the Roof in July”) directs.
1. “Vessel." First-time feature filmmaker Diana Whitten’s in-competition doc focuses on Dr. Rebecca Gomperts, who sails around the globe providing abortions at sea for women who have no legal alternative. Sounds like an unlikely cross between two strong docs from 2013, “Maidentrip” and “After Tiller,” with subject material too intriguing to ignore.