Sundance Unveils Noncompetitive 2007 Lineup
Premieres will spotlight 17 features
'Away from Her'
'Black Snake Moan'
HOLLYWOOD -- A diverse slate of new works by such filmmakers as Tamara Jenkins, Craig Brewer, Antonio Banderas, Mike White, Steve Buscemi, Luc Besson, Anthony Hopkins, Tom DiCillo, Justin Lin, Gregg Araki, Tommy O'Haver, Crispin Glover, Jake Paltrow, Nina Menkes, Justin Theroux, Garth Jennings, John August, Rod Lurie and the late Adrienne Shelly peppers the noncompetitive Premieres, Spectrum, Midnight and New Frontier sections of the upcoming Sundance Film Festival.
Maintaining its trimmer size from last year, the Premieres will spotlight 17 features, all but one a world premiere. Among the stars on view in the section's attractions are Michael Douglas, Samuel L. Jackson, Penelope Cruz, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Queen Latifah, Kevin Kline, Laura Linney, Josh Hartnett, Christina Ricci, Julie Christie, Jim Broadbent, Samantha Morton, Danny DeVito, Catherine Keener, Brenda Blethyn and Jared Leto.
The Spectrum section consists of 24 films from around the world, both dramatic and documentary. Eight pictures fill the Park City at Midnight sidebar.
New Frontier represents an expansion of Sundance's longstanding focus on experimental work. The films shown in traditional theaters will be joined by ongoing media installations, media-based performances and panel discussions at a new venue called New Frontier on Main, located across the street from the Egyptian Theater in the Main Street Mall.
As previously announced, fest will kick off on Jan. 18 in Park City with Brett Morgen's "Chicago 10," while the closing night attraction will be Nelson George's "Life Support," about the AIDS/HIV crisis in the black community, starring Queen Latifah. Salt Lake City opener will be Sarah Polley's debut feature "Away From Her," about the impact of Alzheimer's disease on a long-married couple, which toplines Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent.
- "An American Crime," directed by Tommy O'Haver ("Billy's Hollywood Screen Kiss") and written by O'Haver and Irene Turner, based on the true story of a mother of seven who kept a teenage girl prisoner in her basement in '60s Indianapolis. Catherine Keener, Ellen Page, James Franco and Bradley Whiteford topline this world premiere.
- "Away From Her," the feature directorial debut of actress Sarah Polley, who wrote this adaptation of an Alice Munro story about a man dealing with the institutionalization of his Alzheimer's-afflicted wife. Julie Christie and Gordon Pinsent star in this Salt Lake City opening night attraction, which preemed at the Toronto fest.
- "Black Snake Moan," director-writer Craig Brewer's follow-up to "Hustle & Flow," a study of a reclusive black bluesman who makes it his mission to rescue a wild, promiscuous white woman from herself. Samuel L. Jackson and Christina Ricci play the leads in this Paramount Vantage release.
- "Chapter 27," director-writer Jarrett Schaefer's exploration of the deranged mind of Mark David Chapman and his obsession with "The Catcher in the Rye," leading up to the murder of John Lennon. Jared Leto gained 55 pounds to play the leading role, and Lindsay Lohan has a small part. World premiere.
- "Chicago 10," Brett Morgen's docu follow-up to "The Kid Stays in the Picture," which uses animation, archival footage, interviews and music to dramatize the antiwar protests at the 1968 Democratic National Convention and the subsequent Chicago Conspiracy Trial. This world preem will open the Sundance fest in Park City.
- "Clubland," a second feature from Australian helmer Cherie Nowlan ("The Wedding Party") and written by Keith Thompson, with Brenda Blethyn as an alcoholic old entertainer who becomes involved in her son's romance with a new girlfriend. Also features Khan Chittenden, Emma Booth and Richard Wilson. World premiere.
- "The Good Night," director-writer Jake Paltrow's feature debut, a romantic comedy about a young man, unhappy in his relationship, who falls in love with a dream woman, played by Penelope Cruz. Danny DeVito, Martin Freeman and helmer's sister Gwyneth Paltrow also appear in this world premiere.
- "King of California," director-writer Mike Cahill's tale about an unstable Don Quixote-like figure, played by Michael Douglas, who gets out of a mental institution and tries to convince his daughter, Evan Rachel Wood, that there is buried gold somewhere under suburban California. World premiere.
- "Life Support," directed by Nelson George and written by George, Jim McKay and Hannah Weyer, in which Queen Latifah stars as an AIDS activist in the black community. HBO film also features Anna Deavere Smith and Wendell Pierce. World premiere.
- "Longford" (U.K.), an HBO venture directed by Tom Hooper and written by Peter Morgan ("The Queen"), in which Jim Broadbent portrays Lord Longford, a controversial reformer whose support of serial killer and child torturer Myra Hindley in the late '60s caused a furor. With Samantha Morton, Lindsay Duncan and Andy Serkis. World premiere.
- "The Nines," the feature directorial debut of writer John August ("Go," "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"), a philosophical consideration of the mysterious connections between the lives of a troubled actor, a television showrunner and a videogame designer. Toplines Ryan Reynolds, Hope Davis, Melissa McCarthy and Elle Fanning. World premiere.
- "Resurrecting the Champ," directed by Rod Lurie and written by Allison Burnett, Michael Bortman, Chris Gerolmo and Lurie, in which a struggling sports reporter, played by Josh Hartnett, discovers that a homeless man (Samuel L. Jackson) he rescues is actually a former heavyweight boxing champion, long thought dead. Also with Teri Hatcher, Kathryn Morris, Rachel Nichols and Alan Alda. World premiere.
- "The Savages," directed and written by Tamara Jenkins ("Slums of Beverly Hills"), starring Laura Linney and Philip Seymour Hoffman as a self-absorbed sister and brother who come to know each other better when forced to assume responsibility for their hospitalized father who never cared for them. Fox Searchlight release will be seen in its world premiere.
- "Son of Rambow" (U.K.), directed and written by Garth Jennings ("A Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy"), about a strictly raised teen who makes a movie with strange fellow student during the summer. World premiere.
- "Summer Rain" (Spain), a personal second feature from director and actor Antonio Banderas ("Crazy in Alabama"), adapted from a novel by his childhood friend Antonio Soler, a coming-of-age story about growing up in Malaga in the late '70s. World premiere.
- "Trade," directed by Marco Kreuzpaintner ("Summer Storm") and written by Jose Rivera, a look at the sex trade in the U.S. that stars Kevin Kline as a cop who helps a 17-year-old search for his 13-year-old sister, who was kidnapped in Mexico City. Lionsgate release will have its world premiere.
- "Year of the Dog," directorial debut of writer Mike White ("Chuck and Buck," "School of Rock"), a comedy in which Molly Shannon stars as a young lady who embarks on a transformative journey after her dog dies. Paramount Vantage release will be seen in its world premiere.
- "Angel-A" (France), directed and written by Luc Besson, a fairy tale about a man who gets a new lease on life after he rescues a beautiful young woman from a suicide attempt in the Seine River.
- "Bugmaster" (Japan), directed by Katsuhiro Otomo and written by Sadayuki Murai, derived from an ancient legend and based on a famous Manga about an itinerant, mystical doctor who cures people from a plague caused by supernatural creatures called "Mushi."
- "Dark Matter," directed by Chen Shi-Zheng and written by Billy Shebar, inspired by real events, about a brilliant Chinese astronomy student whose dreams are challenged when he takes up studies for his Ph.D. in the U.S. Stars Meryl Streep, Liu Ye, Aidan Quinn, Blair Brown, Bill Irwin, Rob Campbell, Joe Grifasi and Eric Avari. World premiere.
- "Dedication," the feature directorial debut by actor Justin Theroux and written by David Bromberg, a comic drama about the problems of a socially dysfunctional children's book author forced to work with a female illustrator after he loses his longtime collaborator and only friend. Billy Crudup, Mandy Moore, Tom Wilkinson, Dianne Wiest, Bob Balaban, Martin Freeman, Christine Taylor, Bobby Cannavale, Peter Bogdanovich and Amy Sedaris head the cast. World premiere.
- "Delirious," directed and written by Tom DiCillo, about the odd dynamics in the relationships among a two-bit paparazzo, a young homeless man and a female pop star. Toplines Steve Buscemi, Michael Pitt, Alison Lohman and Gina Gershon.
- "The Devil Came on Horseback," a documentary directed by Annie Sundberg and Ricki Stern ("The Trials of Darryl Hunt"), centered on a U.S. Marine's attempt to stir public interest in the genocide in Darfur, Sudan. World premiere.
- "Expired," directed and written by Cecilia Miniucchi, about the curious love affair between a lonely meter maid and a disturbed fellow parking officer. With Samantha Morton, Jason Patric, Teri Garr and Illeana Douglas. World premiere.
- "Fay Grim" (U.S./Germany), directed and written by Hal Hartley, a sequel to "Henry Fool" eight years on about a single mother who is drawn into a perplexing world of international espionage. Stars Parker Posey, Jeff Goldblum, James Urbaniak, Saffron Burrows, Liam Aiken and Thomas Jay Ryan.
- "Fraulein" (Switzerland), directed and written by Andrea Staka, which looks at how a tough Zurich restaurateur from the former Yugoslavia becomes unsettled by a younger, free-spirited woman who arrives after the Balkan War. With Mirjana Karanovic and Marija Skaricic.
- "The Go-Getter," directed and written by Martin Hynes ("The Big Split"), a road movie about a teen's trip in a stolen car to find his long-lost brother. Features Lou Taylor Pucci, Zooey Deschanel and Jena Malone. World premiere.
- "The Great World of Sound," directed by Craig Zobel ("Surfacing") and written by George Smith and Zobel, about a man who gets something different than he bargained for when he answers an ad to train as a record producer. With Pat Healy, Kene Holliday and Rebecca Mader, and produced by David Gordon Greene. World premiere.
- "If I Had Known I Was a Genius," directed by Dominique Wirtschafter and written by Markus Redmond, with the latter appearing as a young African-American man who discovers he has a high IQ and tries to forge a new life for himself while also struggling with his dysfunctional family. World premiere.
- "Interview," directed by Steve Buscemi and written by Buscemi and David Schechter, a remake of a film by the late Theo Van Gogh, about the dark secrets that surface when a political journalist is assigned to interview a glamorous television actress. Buscemi stars with Sienna Miller. World premiere.
- "Low and Behold," directed by Zack Godshall and written by Godshall and Barlow Jacobs, which looks at an insurance adjuster in post-Katrina New Orleans. With Jacobs, Robert Longstreet and Eddie Rouse. World premiere.
- "Miss Navajo," directed by Billy Luther, a documentary exploration of the role of women in Navajo culture as seen through one young woman's preparation for the Miss Navajo National Pageant. World premiere.
- "Red Road" (U.K.), directed and written by Andrea Arnold, a raw, disturbing drama about a female surveillance officer in Glasgow who eventually confronts a man she observes on her video screens. Winner of the jury prize in Cannes. Katie Dickie, Tony Curran, Martin Compston and Natalie Press topline.
- "Reprise" (Norway), directed by Joachim Trier and written by Trier and Eskil Vogt, which focuses on the life experiences of two competitive aspiring writers in their twenties.
- "The Same Moon," directed by Patricia Riggen ("Family Portrait") and written by Ligiah Villalobos, the story of a Mexican boy who, upon the death of his grandmother, struggles to join his mother in Los Angeles. Features Adrian Alonso, Kate del Castillo, Eugenio Derbez and America Ferrara. World premiere.
- "Save Me," directed by Robert Cary ("Anything but Love") and written by Craig Chester, Alan Hines and Robert Desiderio, which investigates the difficulties a young man has when he enters a Christian-run ministry to try to cure his "gay affliction." With Chad Allen, Robert Gant, Judith Light and Stephen Lang. World premiere.
- "Tuli" (Philippines), directed by Auraeus Solito and written by Jimmy Flores, about the alternate life created by a young girl from a remote Philippines village after being forced into an arranged marriage.
- "The Unforeseen," directed by Laura Dunn, a documentary about the battle between a Texas farmer planning a large subdivision in pristine hill country and environmentalists who feel enough is enough. World premiere.
- "Waitress," directed and written by the late Adrienne Shelly, her third feature as a director, about a pregnant, unhappily married waitress in the South who may have one last shot at happiness. Stars Keri Russell, Nathan Fillion, Cheryl Hines, Jeremy Sisto and Andy Griffith. World premiere.
- "Wonders Are Many," in which vet docu filmmaker Jon Else looks at the collaboration between John Adams and Peter Sellars on their opera about Robert Oppenheimer and the Manhattan Project, while also examining the complex birth of nuclear weapons. World premiere.
- "Year of the Fish," directed and written by David Kaplan, a contempo Cinderella story set in the underbelly of New York's Chinatown rendered in rotoscope animation. World premiere.
PARK CITY AT MIDNIGHT
- "Fido," directed by Andrew Currie and written by Robert Chomiak and Currie, the story of a boy's effort to keep a 6-foot-tall pet zombie that eats the next-door neighbor. Stars Carrie-Anne Moss, Billy Connolly and Tim Blake Nelson.
- "Finishing the Game," directed by Justin Lin and written by Josh Diamond and Lin, about a film studio's search for a replacement for Bruce Lee who can finish the legendary martial arts star's unfinished picture, "Game of Death." With Roger Fan, Sung Kang, McCaleb Burnett, Monique Curnen, Mousa Kraish, Jake Sandvig, Sam Bottoms, Dustin Nguyen, James Franco and MC Hammer. World premiere.
- "It Is Fine! Everything Is Fine.," directed by Crispin Hellion Glover and David Brothers, and written by Glover and Steven C. Stewart, an autobiographical account by Stewart, who has severe cerebral palsy, of his experiences, particularly in regard to women. World premiere.
- "The Signal," directed and written by David Bruckner, Jacob Gentry and Dan Bush, a journey into the nature of violence from three distinct points of view. World premiere.
- "SK8 Life" (Canada), directed by S. Wyeth Clarkson and written by Clarkson and Elan Mastai, about 8 "sk8trs" who are brought together to make a "sk8 tape" but must work to save the legendary "Crashpad."
- "Smiley Face," directed by Gregg Araki and written by Dylan Haggerty, about the strange day of a slacker actress after she inadvertently eats her roommate's pot cupcakes. Toplines Anna Faris. World premiere.
- "The Ten," directed by David Wain and written by Ken Marino and Wain, which comically points up the risks of modern life in 10 episodes, each devoted to one of the ten commandments. World premiere.
- "We Are the Strange," directed and written by M dot Strange, an animated feature in which two outcasts struggle to survive in a dangerous fantasy world. World premiere.
- "River's Edge," director Tim Hunter and screenwriter Neal Jimenez's 1986 study of alientated teens, with Crispin Glover and Keanu Reeves.
- "X: The Unheard Music," W.T. Morgan's 1987 documentary about the L.A. punk band X.
- "The Last Mimzy," directed by Bob Shaye and written by Bruce Joel Rubin and Toby Emmerich, about two children who discover a mysterious box of "toys." World premiere.
- "Autism Every Day," directed by Lauren Thierry, a documentary short about families with autistic children. World premiere.
- "Artist Spotlight: Pierre Huyghe," a collection of short films by the French multimedia artist rarely seen outside of museum or art gallery contexts.
- "The Last Dining Table" (South Korea), directed and written by Roh Gyeong-Tae, an evocation of the issues of environmental pollution and family values decay in a minimalist/surrealist style.
- "Offscreen" (Denmark), directed by Christoffer Boe and written by Boe and Knud Romer Jorgensen, about an actor making an intensely private home movie about himself. World premiere.
- "Phantom Love," directed by Nina Menkes, a surreal tale about the personal liberation of a woman trapped in a family. Shot in Los Angeles and Rishikesh, India. World premiere.
- "Slipstream," directed and written by Anthony Hopkins, about a man thrown into a vortex where time, dreams and reality converge. Hopkins appears in the film along with Stella Arroyave, Michael Clarke Duncan, Fionnula Flanagan, Gavin Grazer, Camryn Manheim, Kevin McCarthy, S. Epatha Merkerson, Lisa Pepper, Christian Slater, Jeffrey Tambor, Aaron Tucker and John Turturro. World premiere.
- "Zidane: A 21st Century Portrait" (France), directed by Douglas Gordon and Philippe Parreno, for which 17 Super-35mm Scope-format cameras focused exclusively on the soccer star Zinedine Zidane.
(c)2006, DAILY VARIETY (Date in Print: 12/01/06)