Six Films Down, Twelve to Go

By Alycia Brom

I have decided that Desiree and I need to stop waitlisting for movies together. The first three movies that we waitlisted for together we were unsuccessful in gaining access to the theatre. The only films that we did get to see together via the waitlist was Pervert Park and Results. The latter film was extremely disappointing. Although it had great actors (Cobie Smulders, Kevin Corrigan & Guy Pearce), the film was lost in between a romance and a comedy and neither were achieved. Results was a film that had me checking the time every ten minutes because the storyline did not develop into anything substantial. I was left feeling lost, mostly because I did not understand anything important to take away from the film. It was almost completely pointless.

On a happier note, earlier in the day I saw Digging for Fire which was directed by Joe Swanberg. His directing style is centered around improvisation from the actors in his films which allows for a very organic performance. This style has attracted many Hollywood stars because they are allowed to create their characters organically instead of being puppets memorizing scripts. This film had a plethora of stars including Jake Johnson, Orlando Bloom, Anna Kendrick, Rosemarie Dewitt, Brie Larson, Chris Messina, Sam Rockwell, Melanie Lynskey, Steve Berg, and Jane Adams. This film had a ten page outline of where Swanberg wanted the story to go, but he allowed his actors to improvise the scenes. His past films Drinking Buddies and Happy Christmas felt very improvised but I would have thought that this film was scripted if I did not know how Swanberg directs. This is partially due to the fact that Jake Johnson had a major role in developing the storyline based on his personal experience of renting a home and finding a rusty gun and bones in his backyard. This film proves that Swanberg’s directing style is not limited to independent film but has the potential to crossover to mainstream film as well.

Yesterday Desiree and I saw the documentary Pervert Park. This was a film done by directors Frida and Lasse Barkfors from Sweden and Denmark. This was filmed in a trailer park in Florida where sex offenders reside because they have trouble finding places to live once convicted. This film really brought humanity to sex offenders, people America views as monsters. It really brought light to the fact that sex offenders should not be boxed into one category because their crimes are very different. It was presented beautifully and non-biased, just allowing these people to tell their stories and the audience is allowed come to their own conclusions about how sex offenders should be treated. This film was really moving because the audience is allowed to see that sex offenders are humans too and perhaps if given proper mental health care could easily be integrated back into society. Many of the people in this film were abused and went through traumatic things that led them to commit their crimes, but oftentimes it was one mistake and now they have to live with that for the rest of their lives.

The films that I have seen thus far at Sundance have been amazing and I am so looking forward to seeing the majority of my films in the next five days.

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