In the second day of announcements for its 2013 programme, the Sundance Film Festival has added the Australian feature project Coral: Rekindling Venus, written and directed by Australian installation artist Lynette Wallworth and produced by John Maynard. (See details below; pictured). It will be presented as part of New Frontier, the festival's section devoted to independent/experimental/multimedia art.
It somehow seems fitting that Alice Englert, Jane Campion's daughter, should be in one of the festival's films, given that Maynard had been the producer of Campion's early gems, Sweetie and An Angel at My Table. Englert, who so impressed alongside Elle Fanning in Sally Potter's Ginger & Rosa at the recent Toronto Film Festival, has a starring role in the U.K. film In Fear, directed and written by Jeremy Lovering. The film is part of the Park City at Midnight section, which includes horror, comedy and anything that's a little weird or adventurous. All world premieres, the films have been designed to keep audiences awake. Englert, in fact, has three films in the can and will first be seen here in the February release, Beautiful Creatures.
In today's announcements, sexual themes continue with the porn documentary kink, directed by Christina Voros and produced by James Franco, who has two films in the programme. Franco also takes the helm together with Travis Mathews to create Interior. Leather Bar, which includes a speculative recreation of gay S&M footage that was cut from William Friedkin's controversial 1980 film Cruising starring Al Pacino.
Spotlight, the third section announced, includes a selection of the programmers' favourite films, which had screened at previous festivals–and may get lost in the mix. Certainly Mud, directed by Jeff Nichols (Take Shelter), was one of the best movies in Cannes and features perhaps Matthew McConaughey's strongest performances to date, while Sarah Polley's highly personal documentary, Stories We Tell, greatly impressed in Venice.
Fill the Void
Director and screenwriter: Rama Burshtein
Cast: Hadas Yaron, Yiftach Klein, Irit Sheleg, Chaim Sharir, Razia Israeli, Hila Feldman
A devout 18-year-old Israeli is pressured to marry the husband of her late sister. Declaring her independence is not an option in Tel Aviv's ultra-Orthodox Hasidic community, where religious law, tradition and the rabbi's word are absolute.
Gangs of Wasseypur
Director: Anurag Kashyap
Screenwriters: Anurag Kashyap, Zeishan Quadri
Cast: Manoj Bajpai, Nawazuddin Siddique, Richa Chadda, Huma Qureshi, Tigmanshu Dhulia
Exiled and outcast for robbing British trains, Shahid Khan spurs a battle for revenge that passes down generations. Shahid's son vows to get his father's honor back, becoming the most feared man in the Indian town of Wasseypur. (U.S. Premiere)
The Gatekeepers (documentary)
Israel / Germany / Belgium / France
Director: Dror Moreh
Since its stunning military victory in 1967, Israel has hoped to achieve a long-lasting peace. Forty-five years later, this has yet to happen. Six former heads of Israel's Secret Service reflect on the successes and failures of the “peace process.”
Director and screenwriter: Jeff Nichols
Cast: Matthew McConaughey, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Reese Witherspoon (
Two teenage boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the bounty hunters on his trail and reunite him with his true love. North American Premiere)
Chile / U.S.A
Director: Pablo Larraín, Screenwriter: Pedro Peirano
Cast: Gael García Bernal, Alfredo Castro, Antonia Zegers, Luis Gnecco, Marcial Tagle, Néstor Cantillana
When Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet calls for a referendum to decide his permanence in power, the opposition persuades a young advertising executive to head its campaign. With limited resources and under scrutiny, he conceives a plan to win the election.
Director: Ben Wheatley, Screenwriters: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram
Cast: Alice Lowe, Steve Oram
Chris wants to show girlfriend Tina his world, but when events conspire against the couple, their dream caravan holiday takes a very wrong turn. (U.S. Premiere)
Stories We Tell (documentary)
Director: Sarah Polley
Sarah Polley is both filmmaker and detective as she investigates the secrets kept by a family of storytellers. She unravels the paradoxes to reveal the essence of family: always complicated, warmly messy and fiercely loving.
PARK CITY AT MIDNIGHT
Director: Chris Nelson, Screenwriters: June Diane Raphael, Casey Wilson
Cast: June Diane Raphael, Casey Wilson, Vincent D'Onofrio, Alicia Silverstone, Jon Cryer, Brian Geraghty
Loveable losers Kate and Chloe take a road trip back to their hometown to claim the beauty pageant crown that eluded them as children, only to discover what really counts: friendship.
Directors and screenwriters: Robert Ben Garant, Thomas Lennon
Cast: Rob Corddry, Leslie Bibb, Keegan Michael Key, Riki Lindhome, Paul Scheer, Rob Huebel
An expectant couple moves into the most haunted fixer-upper in New Orleans – a house with a demonic curse. Things spiral out of control and soon only the Vatican's elite exorcism team can save the pair – or can it?
Directed and story by: Jeremy Lovering
Cast: Alice Englert, Iain De Caestecker, Allen Leech
Trapped in a maze of country roads with only their vehicle for protection, Tom and Lucy are terrorized by an unseen tormentor exploiting their worst fears. Eventually they realise they've let the evil in – it's sitting in their car.
Director: Christina Voros
A story of sex, submission and big business is told through the eyes of the unlikely pornographers whose 9:00-to-5:00 work days are spent within the confines of the San Francisco Armory building, home to the sprawling porn production facilities of Kink.com.
Director and screenwriter: Calvin Lee Reeder
Cast: Dermot Mulroney, Lindsay Pulsipher, Natasha Lyonne, James Cady, Scott Sharot
After being released from prison, a man known as “The Rambler” stumbles upon a strange mystery as he attempts the treacherous journey through back roads and small towns en route to reconnecting with his long-lost brother.
Directors: Simon Barrett, Adam Wingard, Edúardo Sanchez, Gregg Hale, Timo Tjahjanto, Gareth Huw Evans, Jason Eisener, Screenwriters: Simon Barrett, Jamie Nash, Timo Tjahjanto & Gareth Huw Evans, John Davies
Cast: Adam Wingard, Lawrence Levine, L.C Holt, Kelsy Abbott, Hannah Hughes
Searching for a missing student, two private investigators break into his abandoned house and find another collection of mysterious VHS tapes. In viewing the horrific contents of each cassette, they realize there may be terrifying motives behind the student's disappearance.
Director: GJ Echternkamp
Screenwriter: Matt Yamashita
Cast: Robert Baker, Brent Chase, Katie Savoy, Mark Hamill, Ben Messmer
Two self-aware characters in a Call of Duty-style video game struggle with their screwy, frustrating existence. To find answers, one abandons his partner and mission, seeking to unravel the cheat codes of life.
We Are What We Are
Director: Jim Mickle, Screenwriters: Nick Damici, Jim Mickle
A devastating storm washes up clues that lead authorities closer and closer to the cannibalistic Parker family. Cast: Bill Sage, Ambyr Childers, Julia Garner, Michael Parks, Wyatt Russell, Kelly McGillis.
With media installations, multimedia performances, transmedia experiences, panels, films and more, New Frontier highlights work that celebrates experimentation and the expansion of cinema culture through the convergence of film, art, and new media technology.
Charlie Victor Romeo
Directors: Robert Berger, Karlyn Michelson
Screenwriters: Robert Berger, Patrick Daniels, Irving Gregory
Cast: Patrick Daniels, Irving Gregory, Noel Dinneen, Sam Zuckerman, Debbie Troche, Nora Woolley
An award-winning theatrical documentary derived entirely from 'Black Box' transcripts of six real-life major airline emergencies brought to the screen with cutting-edge stereoscopic 3D technology.
Director and screenwriter: M Shirvani
Cast: Levon Haftvan, Maryam Palizban, Hassan Rostami, Navid Mohammadzadeh
An obese father and his handsome, deaf son share extraordinary experiences in Tehran. Then a beautiful young woman upsets the balance of their relationship, forcing them to renegotiate their position with each other and the world around them.
Interior. Leather Bar.
Directors: Travis Mathews, James Franco, Screenwriter: Travis Mathews
Cast: Val Lauren, James Franco, Travis Mathews, Christian Patrick, Brenden Gregory
To avoid an X rating, it was rumoured that 40 minutes of gay S&M footage was cut from the controversial 1980 film, Cruising. Filmmakers James Franco and Travis Mathews re-imagine what was in the lost footage.
Director: Sebastian Hofmann
Screenwriters: Sebastian Hofmann, Julio Chavezmontes
Cast: Alberto Trujillo, Lourdes Trueba, Hugo Albores
Alberto is dead and can no longer hide it. Before surrendering to his living death, he forms an unusual friendship with Luly, the manager of the 24-hour gym where he works as a night guard.
Director: François Delisle
Screenwriter: François Delisle
Cast: Noémie Godin Vigneau, François Delisle, Laurent Lucas, Brigitte Pogonat, François Papineau, Andrée Lachapelle
Forty-something Pierre, his mother and his wife are linked by crime, guilt and loneliness. Like casualties of love and desire, they are dying to stick their heads above water and breathe the air of life.
Artists: Yannick Jacquet, Mandril, Thomas Vaquié [AntiVJ]
AntiVJ artists Yannick Jacquet and Marc Ferrario blend painting with light projection to transform the walls of New Frontier into a luminous, three-dimensional cityscape that feels strangely familiar yet impossible to locate. With its disorienting sense of time and space, Cityscape 2095 places spectators on the observatory deck of a skyscraper, where they take in a sprawling, imaginary city as it glitters over the course of one day.
Coral: Rekindling Venus
Artist: Lynette Wallworth
Inspired by the first collaboration among the international science community to witness the celestial transit of Venus in 1761, Lynette Wallworth's visually stunning Coral: Rekindling Venus is an augmented-reality and full-dome planetarium presentation designed to nurture an emotional connection between a global audience and the planet's endangered coral reefs. This epic project features original deep-sea photography, augmented-reality artwork and music by Antony and the Johnsons. Presented at the New Frontier venue in Park City, Salt Lake City's Clark Planetarium and other locations nationally. Details to be announced.
E.M-bed.de/d, Datamosh, Augmented Real
Artist: Yung Jake
Rap artist Yung Jake is Net art incarnate, flowing lyrics about tweet culture, data-moshing, hashtags, and memes as he blows up on Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, and Instagram in his HTML5 music video, E.M-bed.de/d. This MC drops unexpectedly into your browser sessions, streams into Festival screenings, Skype-bombs live DJ performances, and pops out of floors and magazines in augmented-reality music videos.
Artist: Joanie Lemercier [AntiVJ]
Inspired by the 2010 Icelandic volcanic eruption that wreaked travel havoc across Europe, Eyjafjallalokull is a stunning, three-dimensional, audiovisual mapping installation that challenges audiences' perception of space by creating an optical illusion that transforms the walls of New Frontier into a sweeping digital vista that artistically recreates the seismic event.
North of South, West of East
Artist: Meredith Danluck
North of South, West of East enhances narrative storytelling by wrapping the film around the entire room. Presented to an audience in swivel chairs, Meredith Danluck's remarkable four-channel narrative feature deftly unspools a darkly humorous tale of small-town folks as they try to make sense of a posthope America. Shot on location in Detroit, Michigan, and Marfa, Texas, this unique film features fantastic performances by Ben Foster, Stella Schnabel, and Sue Galloway, and a soundtrack by Marfa local punk band Solid Waste.
Artist: Rafael Lozano-Hemmer
Rafael Lozano-Hemmer's beautifully resonant, interactive media installation swaths the central lounge of New Frontier with images of the warm, breathing flesh of its visitors. Pulse Index records the heart rates and fingerprints of participants and exhibits them in a beautiful Fibonacci pattern. Place your finger into the custom-made sensor, and your fingerprint appears on the largest cell of the display, pulsating to your heartbeat. Your print then travels down the sequence to join those of all the others who have visited the room, immersing the community space with the radiant glow of the human touch.
What's He Building in There?
Artists: Klip Collective
Ricardo Rivera and the Klip Collective transform the entire front of the New Frontier venue into an interactive, 3-D projection-mapped parable, inspired by the Tom Waits song. Sip a hot beverage in the outdoor lounge and watch the walls and windowpanes dissolve into a story about a man on a mysterious mission inside the building. Use the X-ray flashlight to peek at what he is up to.