Sundance highlights inc. Shane Carruth's new film, documentary Blackfish and Short Waves
NEW FILM OF THE WEEK: UPSTREAM COLOR
Director Shane Carruth again delivers with Upstream Color, the hotly anticipated follow-up to his low-budget debut Primer. The boldly ambitious, atmospheric and fragmentary sci-fi sees the life of a woman (Amy Seimetz) quickly fall apart after she’s drugged by a thief and left with a mysterious worm in her body, which also moves through plant life and pigs. Her trauma draws her close to Jeff (Carruth himself) who’s experienced something equivalent. Screening at Sundance London at the O2 on 27 and 28 April.
NEW DOCUMENTARY OF THE WEEK: BLACKFISH
Harrowing documentary Blackfish by Gabriela Cowperthwaite will make you never want to visit a zoo again. A harsh indictment of SeaWorld entertainment park and its gung-ho approach to handing highly intelligent, sentient killer whales, it tells the story of Tilikum, a performing orca captured off Iceland in the ‘80s who was pushed into psychosis by his confinement in captivity and bullying by other whales and killed his trainer. Screening at Sundance London at the O2 on Saturday 27 April.
TRAILER OF THE WEEK: WHITE ELEPHANT
Argentinian director Pablo Trapero's tense, emotionally devastating drama White Elephant is about two priests working with disenfranchised youths in a slum amid the colossal ruins of what was once intended as a tuberculosis hospital on the Buenos Aires outskirts. Young French priest Father Nicolás takes a radically different view to his older counterpart on the violent drug wars ravaging the community, and is conflicted by his growing closeness to social worker Luciana. Out in the UK on Friday 26 April.
OLD FILM OF THE WEEK: STAR SPANGLED TO DEATH
This 2004 experimental film from legendary US director Ken Jacobs is a scathing depiction of the history of a dumbed-down and sold-out United States. Running at more than six hours, it splices together a huge amount of found archive footage – from American cartoons to information announcements to fiction and pieces of Jacobs’ own work - and opens with the intertitle: “Young man, you’ve got a lot of explaining to do.” Screening on Sunday 28 April at London’s Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club as part of Close-Up Cinema.
EVENT OF THE WEEK: SHORT WAVES FESTIVAL
The Short Waves festival of nine of the best Polish short films of the last year has been travelling across almost 50 European cities from Warsaw to Berlin to Helsinki, and this weekend hits London. The shorts range from documentary to fictional drama to animation. An audience vote will select the favourite, to receive a cash prize. A screening will be held at London’s Rio Cinema in Dalston on Saturday 27 April at 1.30pm.