Sundance fest still has clout
You can, if you choose, be cynical about fleeting visits from Paris Hilton and shaky definitions of “independent”. But the Sundance Film Festival continues to have influence. Last year Precious, currently one of the three front runners for best-picture Oscar, won the top prize and, back in 2007, John Carney’s Once began its global campaign by winning the audience award.
So Ken Wardrop, among Ireland’s rising cinematic novas, is right to celebrate the inclusion of his first feature, His & Hers, in the programme for January’s jamboree in snowy Utah. Wardrop’s utterly original picture, winner of the top prize at this year’s Galway Film Fleadh, asks a series of women – presented in order of age from infant to senior citizen – to describe the men in their lives. It comes to the conclusion that we (men, that is) are all eerily similar.
Other highlights of Sundance include Sam Taylor Wood’s Nowhere Boy, the artist’s film about the young John Lennon; Runaways, a study of that key pop-punk band, featuring Kristen Stewart as Joan Jett;, and – yet another biopic – James Franco playing an unusually pulchritudinous Allen Ginsberg in Howl.
The most intriguing prospect, however, sounds like Michael Winterbottom’s adaptation of James M Cain’s noir classic The Killer Inside Me, filmed in 19776 with Stacy Keach. Will Winterbottom draw a performance worth watching from lead actor Jessica Alba? Stranger things have, I guess, occurred.
Let’s talk about men: Galway Film Fleadh favourite His & Hers is going to Sundance