It’s that time of year again when the glitterati flock to the Mormon planes of typically humdrum Salt Lake City, hoping to strike cinematic gold. This year the not yet snowy mountains of the west will see throngs of Hollywood agents, actors, and wannabes looking up from their smart phones in search of the next Garden State.
Opening today, the documentaries on offer at Sundance this year range from Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry (Klayman), about the subversive Chinese artist’s tumultuous time, to Something From Nothing: The Art Of Rap (Ice-T & Baybutt), a critical exploration into the roots of one of the most prominent musical genres featuring Nas, Mos Def, Eminem, Dr. Dre, and Ice Cube. Skate boarding pioneer, Stacey Peralta, will surely snag some serious air with his documentary chronicling the rise of the sport in the 80s in Bones Brigade: An Autobiography (Peralta). In particular, we’re looking forward to the Egyptian youth in revolt documentary about the lives of several activists making and capturing history during Arab Spring in ½ Revolution (Shargawi & El Hakim). Then to follow a dose of powerful activism we’ll want to dance ourselves clean with a look at the final LCD Soundsystem concert at Madison Square Garden in Shut Up and Play The Hits (Southern & Lovelace) starring electro maverick and DFA creator, James Murphy.
Sundance darling and our new favourite Olsen, Elizabeth will surely shine in Liberal Arts (Radnor), as a college sophomore who brings purpose back to the life of a disillusioned thirty-something (Josh Radnor). Speaking of Liberal Arts, Arbitrage (Jarecki) paints a portrait of the financial world and its opinion of what is truly valuable with a stellar cast including Richard Gere, Susan Sarandon and Tim Roth.
Between rocking out at Bing Bar and tearing it up on the slopes, this Sundance Film Festival guarantees less ultra violet rays and more table dancing, hopefully with a few films in between. Now you have our list, let’s wait and see if we got it right…
More from Sundance coming soon! 19th-29th January 2012.
Text: Lily Avnet