Highlights from this year’s Sundance Film Festival. By KEVIN MA

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While Hollywood studios continue to play it safe with sequels, reboots and remakes, the Sundance Film Festival, held in Utah in the US, remains the best showcase of original voices in independent cinema. This month, you can watch five excellent films from this year’s Sundance onboard.

Three years after premiering Obvious Child at Sundance, director Gillian Robespierre made it into the festival’s Dramatic Competition this year with Landline. Set in 1995, the dramedy is a portrait of a middle-class New York City family caught in a crisis when the dad is suspected of having an affair. Beneath the amusing ’90s details and crude sexual humour is a heartfelt tale of familial discord with an excellent cast anchored by John Turturro and Edie Falco as the parents.

A considerably more offbeat entry in this year’s competition is Brigsby Bear, the directorial debut of Saturday Night Live

segment director Dave McCary. Co-writer Kyle Mooney (also a cast member on SNL)

stars as James, an emotionally stunted 25-year-old whose life revolves around a kids’ TV show called Brigsby Bear. When the show suddenly ends, James sets out to find closure by creating his own ending.

Brigsby Bear is one of the oddest comedies in some time and a film best seen with as little knowledge of the plot as possible. It goes to very dark places, but McCary and his writers create a quirky comedic tone out of the disturbing subject by seeing the world through James’ childlike perspective. It’s the kind of oddly charming film that Sundance has long championed.

Another highlight is A Ghost Story.

After a diversion to commercial cinema with Disney’s Pete’s Dragon, David Lowery reunites with Casey Affleck and Rooney Mara, both stars of his previous work Ain’t Them Bodies Saint, to create this transcendent fantasy about a dead musician (Affleck) who returns to his home as a ghost to watch over his wife (Mara).

Funded with the pay cheque Lowery earned on Pete’s Dragon, A Ghost Story is light on plot but deals with heavy themes. His quiet, lingering shots are simple but convey myriad emotions. Even though Affleck is covered in a white sheet for most of the film (it’s not silly at all when you see it), he is able to express the solitude of being trapped in another realm.

A Ghost Story could be challenging for some viewers, but the heart-shattering catharsis is a payoff worth waiting for.

Also onboard this month are marital comedy Band Aid (read more about it on page 88) and breakout comedy hit The Big Sick, starring Kumail Nanjiani and Zoe Kazan.

當荷李活片商繼續打穩陣牌,推出集續 、啟重或翻拍作品系列之際,美國猶他州的辛丹斯電影節不忘初衷,繼續讓獨立電的影 原創風格放彩大 異 。今個月,你可以在機上觀賞到今年辛丹斯電的影節 五部精選作品。

導演 Gillian Robespierre 繼三年前的《Obvious Child》在辛丹斯首映後,今年再憑《Landline》入圍辛丹斯電影節劇情片競賽部分。這齣充滿幽默感的劇情片描寫1995 年一個紐約中產家庭,因爸爸疑似婚外情而陷入家變。危機 令人會心一笑的 90年代場景及粗俗的黃色笑背,的料 後講 卻是一個家家有本難念的的經 親情故事,並由 John Turturro 和 Edie Falco 兩位好戲之人擔起重任,演繹劇中一對父母。

今年入圍的另一部作品《Brigsby Bear》則以另類風格取勝。該劇是《Saturday Night Live》的短劇導演 Dave McCary 首次執導的長片,並由同樣來自《Saturday Night Live》的演員 Kyle Mooney擔任聯 合編劇並飾演主角 James。25 歲的 James反應鈍遲 、不善於察言觀色,將兒童節目《Brigsby Bear》視為活生 寄託,突節目 然停播後,決他 定自行創作結局來作了結。

《Brigsby Bear》是近年最另類古怪的喜劇之一,看觀 前最好不要預知先 道劇情,才會有更大的驚喜。它探索人生的黑暗面,但導演和編劇卻在一個令人不安的主題裡,抓住了怪雞喜調的 劇子,透過 James 有如孩子般的視角看世界。這類怪異卻獨具魅的力 作品,正是辛丹斯多年來所支持和推崇的風格。

《再見魅了緣》是另一部不容錯過的佳作。導演 David Lowery 拍畢迪士尼動畫電影《尋龍傳說》後回歸獨立電,影 與在前作《Ain’tThem Bodies Saint》合作過的 Casey Affleck 和 Rooney Mara 再聚一堂,拍出一個淒美超然的奇幻故事。片中的音樂家( Affleck 飾)意外生,喪 後化成鬼魂,回到家裡守候妻子( Mara 飾。)

Lowery 用執導《尋龍傳說》賺得的收入來拍攝《再見魅了緣》,以單情簡 的 節來處理沉的重 主題,鏡頭以樸實而謐的方式緩慢游移,傳卻 達出深刻的。情感 雖然大部分時間 Affleck 的頭上都蓋著白色床單扮,鬼 不單令沒有 人感到可笑,反而演繹出困被 在另一個空的間 孤獨感。電這齣 影可能會挑戰某些觀眾的耐性,但故事尾情聲的感爆發極具震,撼力 絕對值得等待。

其他精選作品還有探討婚姻的喜劇《箍煲 band 友》(詳情見第88頁) ,以及由Kumail Nanjiani 和 Zoe Kazan主演的爆冷大熱喜情裡劇《 人眼 巴基斯。》

Sundance stories Rooney Mara (left) comes to terms with tragedy in A Ghost Story; a family bonds in dysfunctional comedy Landline (above)辛丹斯電影節精選電影Rooney Mara(左圖)於《再見魅了一緣》 片中經歷喪偶之痛;《Landline》以喜劇手法講述一個脫序家庭如何重回正軌(上圖)

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