Monday 28 Jul

Escape from Tomorrow

With Escape from Tomorrow, one fears the story behind the movie would loom larger than the movie itself. Luckily, that is not the case. After all, it opens with a decapitation on Disney World’s Big Thunder Mountain Railroad roller coaster.
05/06/2014 | Comments 0


William Friedkin spends a lot of time in his 2013 memoir discussing why Sorcerer didn't click with critics and audiences even though he believes it to be better than his previous film, The Exorcist. Now that Warner Home Video has reissued Sorcerer on Blu-ray, we can see what Friedkin's fuss is all about.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Broadchurch: The Complete First Season

Welcome to the coastal resort of Broadchurch, population … oh, who can keep track, what will all the corpses? Yes, Broadchurch is yet another British television procedural involving the search for a murderer in a quaint little town, just like the limited series The Fall and Top of the Lake.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones

Essentially part five in the ridiculously profitable horror franchise, Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones continues the found-footage conceit of the other films. The difference is instead of the scares taking place in rich white suburbia, they do so in a junky apartment complex on a largely Latino side of Oxnard, Calif.
04/23/2014 | Comments 0

Holy Ghost People

Holy Ghost People examines two sisters whose bond is torn — but by what? After her sibling has been missing for more than a year, Charlotte (Emma Greenwell, TV's Shameless) intends to find out.
04/15/2014 | Comments 0
Home · Articles · Movies · Features · Brevity, thy name is...

Brevity, thy name is Sundance

See seven stories for the price of one in this year’s crop of shorts from the Sundance Film Festival.

Rod Lott December 14th, 2011

2011 Sundance Film Festival Shorts
7:30 p.m. Thursday, 5:30 and 8 p.m. Friday-Saturday, 2 p.m. Sunday
Oklahoma City Museum of Art
415 Couch

In its continued celebration of stories, per Robert Redford’s introductory narration, the Sundance Institute has packaged seven acclaimed short films from its 2011 festival into one feature-length presentation. The results screen Thursday through Sunday at the Oklahoma City Museum of Art, and as with many such loosely themed compilations, the results comprise a mixed bag.

From England, “The Eagleman Stag” (pictured) is the only animated segment, not to mention the lone colorless entry. Although it begins promisingly with a fetus remarking, “Yes, this seems about right,” its story of a miserable life compressed into nine minutes is nothing special, even if the stop-motion papercut animation is. Sorrow continues in “The Strange Ones,” a tale about a man, the child traveling with him, and the stranger to whom the boy spills chilling secrets.

The first winner is Sweden’s “Incident by a Bank,” a re-creation of a real robbery, but shot from the street outside, leaving your mind to piece events together based largely on auditory cues. Sound familiar? It should if you attended OKCMOA’s Manhattan Short Film Festival in September, of which “Incident” was a part, but it’s worth seeing again.

Bound to be the audience favorite is “Worst Enemy,” starring “Saturday Night Live” veteran Michaela Watkins as an insecure, single artist who inexplicably believes she’s in need of a full-body girdle, in which she gets stuck. It’s written and directed winningly by Lake Bell, an actress (TV’s “Childrens Hospital”) who’s usually quite funny herself.

The only documentary is the five-minute “The High Level Bridge.”

Shown in competition locally at last summer’s deadCENTER Film Festival, it concerns a bridge in Canada notorious for a high rate of suicidal jumpers. Its highlight arrives at the end, when director Trevor Anderson flings his camera over the edge.

“We’re Leaving” chronicles what happens when an American redneck couple lose their rental and try to find new housing. It seems landlords don’t cotton to their decade-old pet alligator. Its dark-humored streak works to court audience favor.

The program should end there, but the longest has been saved for last. Unfortunately, it’s the weakest, too: “Deeper Than Yesterday,” a 20-minute Australian work about a Russian submarine crew who have been underwater for three months, and it shows. What they find floating late in the film should make you feel terribly queasy, especially since the not-quite-sane men deem it “a miracle.”

All told, the good minutes of the program outweigh the bad, enough for a slight recommendation.

  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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