trolling through the films screening at Sundance

An image from The Kids Are All Right (image courtesy of cinemagia)

Manohla Dargis, of The New York Times, discusses the latest slew of films to show at the Sundance Festival. This year Sundance has a new director, John Cooper, and has recommitted to returning to the festival’s “roots” of championing independent films. To see some of the notable films that garnered buzz and distribution after screening at Sundance, I recommend glancing at this list by moviefone.

One of the films that caught my attention is Lisa Cholodenko’s latest, The Kids Are All Right. I admit I’m unfamiliar with Cholodenko’s work – even though she’s directed notable films like High Art (1998) and Laurel Canyon (2002). Her latest film focuses on a lesbian couple (Julianne Moore and Annette Bening together !!!!) and how their world changes when their children (played by Mia Wasikowska – who is also starring in Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland – and Josh Hutcherson) decide to contact their biological father (Mark Ruffalo), a sperm donor now restaurateur. Dargis gave a glowing review of the drama/comedy noting that “Ms. Cholodenko has created a generous, nearly note-perfect portrait of a modern family that is, as its title suggests, political and insistently independent.” I can’t wait for The Kids Are All Right to be released, especially since it showcases a lesbian couple as the family unit and is directed by a lady!

Fanning and Stewart starring in The Runaways (image courtesy of iconvsicon)

Another film I’m eagerly anticipating is Floria Sigismondi’s The Runaways, a biopic about the all girl punk band starring Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart. If you haven’t read about the film or seen the trailer, check out Alyx’s take over at feministmusicgeek. So far the film has received mixed reviews (here’s Ella Taylor’s take on it from monkeysee). And while I’m trying not to get my hopes up, this little tidbit from Dargis on The Runaways has me freaking out:

“While the movie opens on a suitably punk note with a close-up of a drop of menstrual blood hitting the ground, a hopeful sign of some bad-girl attitude, it soon settles into a middle-of-the-road groove turning down the volume when it should go to 11.”

Yes Dargis says the movie should pump up the volume and rock out like it promises in the trailer – but still!!! The movie opens with a drop of menstrual blood!! This blows my mind given that films about girls – in which girls are the protagonists – are few and far between, and that even when girls are the focus, taboo subjects like Aunt Flo are almost never broached (unless used for an awkward comical moment in which we’re supposed to be grossed out by the female body). Moreover, rarely do we (the audience) ever see actual menstrual blood. This film could fail in many ways, but I have a feeling there will be some daring moments here and there that will make me stand up and cheer.

~ by actyourage09 on January 29, 2010.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: