Afterwards, I trekked to see Nobody Walks at the Marc and that’s where I saw my first Sundance film. It was a satisfying experience to say the least. Directed by Ry Russo-Young who has previously directed another Sundance entry called You Won’t Miss Me in 2009, Nobody Walks is a film about how a young artist visits a family friend and innocently provokes the family’s suppressed desires to come out to play. It was a great film that showcased the beauty of LA and life in Silverlake. The tangling of the family’s desires was exciting to watch as each character revealed very raw and very human feelings. The impressive cast delivered good performances all around with Olivia Thirlby (Juno and The Wackness) effortlessly charming every man in the movie to unfortunate results. Rosemarie DeWitt who was in the impeccable Rachel Getting Married and John Krasinski from The Office also deliver good performances.
I was quite fond of the script which included a powerful poem that began the repercussions that the characters experienced in the film. Russo-Young co-wrote the script with Lena Dunham who is known more for her comedic writing and voice in the wonderful Tiny Furniture and has an upcoming show called Girls on HBO coming out in April. (Not a shameless plug.) With that many talented people working on a film, it was easy to say that was the best first film I could have seen at Sundance.
Trying to see as many films as possible during my time here in Park City, I watched the midnight showing of Black Rock. Directed by Katie Aselton and written by Mark Duplass, this was a ridiculously fun thriller. Shot on a beautiful island in Maine, the cinematography definitely shines as a fun outing quickly becomes a fight for survival. This was Katie Aselton’s take on a thriller and I welcomed it with open arms. Known for her work as an actor on the FX show The League and the indie The Puffy Chair by the Duplass brothers, Aselton has stretched her directing muscles. She previously directed the raw and emotional Sundance entry The Freebie with Dax Shepard and has now expanded her credits to include a thrilling and emotional film dedicated to showing a girl strut her stuff instead of only the guy doing all the dirty work. It was a nice take on a familiar genre where the strong female cast that included Lake Bell, Kate Bosworth, and Aselton herself all delivered pleasing performances. Aselton’s great personality during the Q&A deserves a shoutout, much like her also very funny Q&A after The Freebie played at SCA in the fall of 2010.
I now understand the allure of midnight films. They are fun, ridiculous, and a fantastic way to end my first night (and a couple of hours) at Sundance. I recommend seeing at least one if you go to Sundance, if sleep isn’t that important to you.
More late night posts to come.