What You Missed at Sundance

A crowd sits outside of the Egyptian Theater in Park City.Before the festival began, we told you some of the films that you definitely should have seen at Sundance, and the films we recommended were certainly mostly gems, such as the Iranian horror film Under the Shadow, or the Jeremy Saulnier film, Green Room. However, there are certain films that come in and stay with you long after the festival that you may not have expected. If you have the chance, we highly recommend that you see these films when they become available on viewing platforms that you have access to. Here are some of the best films that you missed at Sundance this year…

The Birth of a Nation

 

The winner of the Grand Jury Prize this year was quite a stunning piece of filmmaking. The Birth of a Nation, ironically deriving its name from the 1915 D.W. Griffith film about heroism of the KKK, chronicles the story of the famed slave-turned-rebel Nat Turner. Directed by, written by, and stars African American actor Nate Parker, the film explores the ins and outs of Turner’s rebellion, and the strange personal enigma that he was. This film is certainly the best film about slavery since 2013’s 12 Years a Slave.

Manchester by the Sea

Kenneth Lonergan has has had an incredibly strange careers in the film industry. Originally the writer of indie fun flicks such as Analyze This and You Can Count on Me, he soon wrote the Martin Scorsese 1860’s crime epic, Gangs of New York, and then vanished for nearly a decade to write and direct his dramatic magnum opus, Margaret. This short list of credits is now joined by Manchester by the Sea, a heartfelt story of a boy’s uncle who must take him in after his father tragically dies. Featuring impressive performances by Casey Affleck, Kyle Chandler, and Michelle Williams (who, along with Certain Women, had an impressive festival showing). Manchester by the Sea is an incredibly powerful film about coping with grief and finding joy in endurance and moving on.

Swiss Army Man

If you’ve heard about one film from the festival, regardless of if you went or not, then chances are that it was Swiss Army Man. For those of you who never knew you wanted a buddy film between Paul Dano and a farting corpse (played with sincerity by Daniel Radcliffe) here’s a spoiler alert: you did. The proof of this is in the concept of this strange, funny, and oddly heartfelt film from co directors Dan Kwan and Daniel Scheinert.

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