Top 10 Most Anticipated Films at Sundance 2024 – Cinema in the Snow |

Top 10 Most Anticipated Films at Sundance 2024 – Cinema in the Snow

by Alex Billington
January 16, 2024

It’s January again, which means it’s time for yet another Sundance Film Festival. The 2024 festival is about to kick off in a few days, and FS is back in Utah, ready to start watching. Ready to dive into the enthralling line-up of new films this year. This is the 18th time we have covered Sundance, ever since 2007, bringing attention to good films and the festival experience. I am always looking forward to wading through all the good films the fest. Packing in as many as I can catch. Out of the 90+ films showing at the 2024 Sundance Film Festival, I’ve picked 10 films that I’m looking forward to the most. To keep things well balanced, I’ve chosen 5 feature films and 5 documentaries from the line-up. For 2024, the fest has once again programmed a compelling selection of unknown directors, first-time filmmakers, and potential hits that could breakout. As usual with Sundance, you never can really tell what’ll good or bad before watching anything, but here’s my early picks anyway. I recommend adding these 10 films to your festival schedule / or to your watchlist.

For the full line-up of films showing at Sundance 2024 – click here. Follow my reviews on Letterboxd. This will be my 18th year in a row covering Sundance, starting back in 2007 then ever since. I’m still excited to be watching the latest indie films, even from afar, and I’m hoping there’s some good discoveries despite the chaotic times we’re living in. The fest is just about to begin, here’s my Top 10 most anticipated 2024 films.

Alex’s Most Anticipated ~Sundance 2024~ Feature Films:

Exhibiting Forgiveness
Exhibiting Forgiveness
Directed by Titus Kaphar

This is perhaps my most anticipated film at Sundance 2024 because it really feels like it’s going to be one of this year’s cinema gems that will go on to have a beautiful life beyond the festival. It’s the feature directorial debut of an artist named Titus Kaphar, starring André Holland, John Earl Jelks, Andra Day, and Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor. What it’s about: “Utilizing his paintings to find freedom from his past, a Black artist on the path to success is derailed by an unexpected visit from his estranged father, a recovering addict desperate to reconcile. Together, they learn that forgetting might be a greater challenge than forgiving.” Yep that sounds like it’s going to be a winner. Sundance adds: “this soulful, sophisticated, and beautifully crafted debut feature blossoms a hard-to-tell story about destructive parenting, the seasons of angst weathered by an abused child becoming a successful human being, and the deep meaning and salve of creative practice.” I’ve heard enough! I’ve got my ticket, ready to watch this with the Sundance audience at the world premiere.

Love Me
Love Me
Directed by Sam Zuchero & Andy Zuchero

This is my favorite “wait, what?!” film of the festival line-up this year (since there’s quite a few). Here’s the synopsis: “Long after humanity’s extinction, a buoy and a satellite meet online and fall in love.” Okayyy I’m sold. I’ll be at the world premiere. I have to find out what this is, I have to see where story goes, I have to see how they visualize this in a film. The strange thing is it’s not just beeping machines, there are actors playing the two main roles: Kristen Stewart and Steven Yeun. I’m not sure which is playing which, the satellite or the buoy, but I’m intrigued to find out and watch their performances. Sundance drops this nice tease: “[the film’s] whimsically philosophical, shape-shifting structure ingeniously weaves together the real, the virtual, and the surreal.” Adding that after collecting data for all these years: “Awash in these mediated experiences and fabricated expressions of love and identity, they yearn to understand who they are, whether their feelings are real, and for that matter, whether they are real.” My kind of intelligent cinema – can’t wait.

My Old Ass
My Old Ass
Directed by Megan Park

Another favorite Sundance trope is: a stuck-in-life character reexamines themselves after going through a major (and usually hilarious) mind-opening experience. This one sounds like a fun one: “The summer before college, bright-yet-irreverent Elliott comes face-to-face with her older self during a mushroom trip. The encounter spurs a funny and heartfelt journey of self-discovery and first love as Elliott prepares to leave her childhood home.” So it’s about a woman encountering her older self and ending up on a coming-of-age love story journey. It could perhaps be another a lo-fi sci-fi concept, similar to the Sundance 2021 film How It Ends, but it actually just seems like another drug trip film with all the usual rediscover-yourself bells and whistles. Sundance adds this tidbit about the cast that should convince anyone to watch: “Maisy Stella and Aubrey Plaza have a terrific unlikely chemistry, as the sass and self-assuredness of the young Elliott, as played by Stella, blends and overlaps with Plaza’s sardonic humor as a more mature Elliott.” Yep I’m there.

Directed by Josh Margolin

A 93-year-old gets revenge! Ha! I’m all for this, it sounds like such a fun time, just the kind of film we all need right now. June Squibb taking on her first lead role in her very long career as an actor is incredible! I’m still amazed that this is even true. “When 93-year-old Thelma Post gets duped by a phone scammer pretending to be her grandson, she sets out on a treacherous quest across the city to reclaim what was taken from her.” Best part about this is it’s inspired by the filmmaker’s own grandmother, named Thelma, though I’m not quite sure if that actually means she went out for revenge and found the guys who scammed her, too. This is beginning a pretty common plot (Jason Statham’s The Beekeeper is also about him getting revenge on old person scammers) but I have a very good feeling this film is going to handle it just right, letting the actual elderly person (who got scammed) be the star of the show as she goes out on her own to make her mark. I definitely won’t be missing this – I think audiences at the festival are going to flip for this film, too.

Sasquatch Sunset
Sasquatch Sunset
Directed by David Zellner & Nathan Zellner

Wait, what?! A whole film about a Sasquatch family? With people in suits playing the Sasquatches the entire time? Get out of here! This is the kind of weird, wacky, have-to-see-it Sundance film that I love discovering and experiencing with an audience during the festival. The description is purposefully vague: “A year in the life of a singular family.” But early word is that it is as bonkers as we’re all hoping, and sticks close to the premise. More from one early review: “Sasquatch Sunset may be entirely conveyed through errant grunts, failed sexual overtures, and prolific amounts of pissing and shitting, but it somehow manages to cohere into a heartbreaking — and all too human — story about a species oblivious to its own demise.” If you need any more convicning this is worth seeing, the family of Sasquatches is played by actors Jesse Eisenberg, Riley Keough, Nathan Zellner, and Christophe Zacaj-Denek – all completely unrecognizable under their make-up and costumes. Yes, for the whole film. Yep, I’ve got my ticket for the premiere already ready to go.

Other Feature Films I’m Looking Forward To: The Outrun with Saoirse Ronan, Steven Soderbergh’s Presence, Thea Hvistendahl’s Handling the Undead, Jane Schoenbrun’s I Saw the TV Glow, the midnight horror In a Violent Nature, Krazy House with Nick Frost & Alicia Silverstone, Realm of Satan, Chiwetel Ejiofor’s Rob Peace, Mikko Makela’s Sebastian, Stress Positions, Suncoast, Tendaberry, The Moogai, The American Society of Magical Negroes (view a trailer), Freaky Tales, A Different Man with Sebastian Stan.

Alex’s Most Anticipated ~Sundance 2024~ Documentaries:

A New Kind of Wilderness
A New Kind of Wilderness
Directed by Silje Evensmo Jacobsen

I am a HUGE fan of the Sundance 2016 film Captain Fantastic, it’s one of my all-time favorites for many reasons (my original review). It seems a bit of an obvious pick for Sundance to now program A New Kind of Wilderness, which sounds exactly like the real-world documentary version of Captain Fantastic, and that’s why it’s one of my most anticipated docs. A family with a bunch of kids living off-the-grid (in Norway) on a sustainable, grow-everything-yourselves lifestyle must deal with life-changing upheaval when one of the parents passes away. Yeah this is exactly what Captain Fantastic is like, but I’m especially interested to see how an actual, real family deals with this and what insight the film will offer as it follows them through this moment in their lives. The Sundance description makes it sound like it’ll be an emotional experience. “[Director Silje Evensmo Jacobsen] crafts a sensitive, affectionate, and completely heartfelt experience that is as much about navigating grief as it is about graciously accepting change.” It’s one of my must watch docs.

Every Little Thing
Every Little Thing
Directed by Sally Aitken

I have no idea what this film is going to be like or what it’s going to show us, but a documentary about how hummingbirds have changed one woman’s life? Yeah I’m intrigued. I want to find out more. The initial Sundance intro: “Amid the glamour of Hollywood, Los Angeles, a woman finds herself on a transformative journey as she nurtures wounded hummingbirds, unraveling a visually captivating and magical tale of love, fragility, healing, and the delicate beauty in tiny acts of greatness.” They have only released this one hazy, glitzy image (seen above) of the hummingbird, so it’s really hard to tell where this film where go or what else it’s going to explore in its 93 minute runtime. But I want to be there at the premiere to find out, it might be another sensational, life-affirming doc just like last year’s Smoke Sauna Sisterhood (which I also highly recommend discovering). The birds even have names: “The viewer becomes emotionally invested in Cactus, Jimmy, Wasabi, Alexa, and Mikhail, celebrating their small victories and lamenting their tiny tragedies.”

Never Look Away
Never Look Away
Directed by Lucy Lawless

This film wins the award for 2024 for having the greatest got-your-attention promo images. The couple of shots they’ve released for Never Look Away are all I need to be convinced that this is a must see doc at Sundance 2024 (which is why the teaser image at the top of this article is one of these images). Kiwi actress Lucy Lawless (who was the original “Xena: Warrior Princess”) is making her directorial debut profiling an intrepid journalist. “New Zealand–born groundbreaking CNN camerawoman Margaret Moth risks it all to show the reality of war from inside the conflict, staring down danger and confronting those who perpetuate it.” I’m always fascinated by stories like this, about incredibly brave people doing incredibly brave things, especially journalists who risk it all to cover important stories. The Sundance intro makes it sound like a profound film about more than journalism: “Lawless creates a distinctively female, Kiwi lens to cover this titanic career, showing both the horrors & life-affirming dimensions of war from a woman’s point of view.”

Black Box Diaries
Black Box Diaries
Directed by Shiori Ito

I’m interested in this one solely from the description and also that it sounds like it’s going to an important, powerful film retelling a major #MeToo story. Here’s the initial intro: “Journalist Shiori Ito embarks on a courageous investigation of her own sexual assault in an improbable attempt to prosecute her high-profile offender. Her quest becomes a landmark case in Japan, exposing the country’s outdated judicial and societal systems.” It’s the story of the woman at the center of Japan’s #MeToo movement. Not only is it telling her entirey story in complete, unfiltered detail, it’s also directed by Shiori Ito herself, which hopefully means she will dig deep into showing us just how hard it is to confront patriarchy. This line from Sundance is what should make anyone want to watch this: “it is an impressively crafted, concise piece of filmmaking — guided by a strong sense of purpose and broken up by occasional moments of joy. Ito came forward to challenge her high-profile abuser despite knowing the risks.” this film’s premiere is going to be an emotional experience.

Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story
Super/Man: The Christopher Reeve Story
Directed by Ian Bonhôte & Peter Ettedgui

Early word is that this is going to be one of the best documentaries at Sundance 2024, right up there with last year’s Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie. It’s not as if we haven’t heard Christopher Reeve’s story, everyone knows what happened to him, and he made many, many appearances over the years before passing away in 2004. However, my hope is that this film expands upon his story, adding to it by giving us a more intimate, and more honest examination of his unique life than ever before. This seems to be the case, as the Sundance description hints at exactly that idea: “Never-before-seen home movies and extraordinary personal archives reveal how Christopher Reeve went from unknown actor to iconic movie star as the ultimate screen superhero. He learned the true meaning of heroism as an activist after suffering a tragic accident that left him quadriplegic and dependent on a ventilator to breathe.” This doc film is also not available to view online at all during the online portion of the festival, so it’s an important must-see-while-at-Sundance experience.

More Docs I’ll Be Watching: Amanda McBaine & Jesse Moss’ Girls State, Benjamin Ree’s Ibelin, Yance Ford’s Power, Skywalkers: A Love Story, moth doc Nocturnes, Bhutan’s Agent of Happiness, J.M. Harper’s As We Speak, Chris Smith’s music biopic Devo, Emily Kassie & Julian Brave NoiseCat’s Sugarcane, Luther: Never Too Much, Union about unionizing at Amazon, Johan Grimonprez’s Soundtrack to a Coup d’Etat.

For ALL of Alex’s Sundance 2024 updates: follow @firstshowing or follow

For more Sundance 2024 previews around the web, highlighting early picks and potential breakouts, also see: The Film Stage’s 20 Most-Anticipated Premieres, Indiewire’s 26 Must-See Films at This Year’s Festival, Rolling Stone’s 20 Most-Anticipated Movies from Sundance 2024, and also Nylon’s The 13 Most Anticipated Films of Sundance 2024. You never know what might be a big hit, and it’s vital to have a pulse on the early buzz – even before the fest starts. There’s plenty of intriguing films found in the selection this year, tons of discoveries from first time filmmakers and up-and-coming talent, so let’s jump right in and start watching.

You can follow our Sundance 2024 coverage and reviews right here and on Alex’s Letterboxd. The festival begins on January 18th and runs until January 28th, with films premiering online + locally. Glad to be back.


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Looking Ahead: 10 Movies Opening in 2024 That Will Blow You Away |

Looking Ahead: 10 Movies Opening in 2024 That Will Blow You Away

by Alex Billington
December 28, 2023

“Let me fight beside you.” The calm before the storm… 2024 is just around the corner, the New Year ready to welcome us whether we like it or not. In celebration of New Years and the begining of 2024, we’re taking a quick look ahead at some of our Most Anticipated Movies of 2024. Hollywood is in a tumultuous time, coming out of two big strikes in 2023 not to mention myriad other issues related to streaming & storytelling & beyond. So they don’t confirm release dates as far in advance as they used to. The December 2024 line-up is remarkable sparse right now, and plenty of other movies initially set for release in 2024 are just going into production due to the strikes preventing them from filming. The 2024 Release Schedule is always subject to changes and updates, as usual, but for now – these 10 exciting movies below should still arrive in theaters sometime next year. Plenty more to come as Hollywood reveals their surprises waiting in the wings. I tend to focus on sci-fi, since it’s my favorite genre, and 2024 has some sci-fi movies ready to rock theaters.

2024 will be FirstShowing’s 18th year in operation as a movie website. Hopefully it continues to be a good resource for updates and information on upcoming movies, as our goal is to remain a high quality site that is accessible to anyone (no paywalls and no locked content) without resorting to clickbait. It’s in our nature to always look forward to whatever the next highly anticipated “first showing” opening night is, so here we go…

Dune: Part Two (Dir. Denis Villeneuve) – Opening March 1st, 2024

10 Movies in 2024 - Dune: Part Two

THE BIG ONE!! While this sequel was originally supposed to be a 2023 movie, it will now be one of the best cinematic experiences of 2024 – guaranteed. I’ve got a very good feeling about this one. Most importantly, Denis Villeneuve seems confident as well. In a few interviews, he’s already been talking about how this is a “better” movie with more action, more of the sci-fi storytelling he has been waiting to get into after making the first half. I often still think about how Dune: Part One is one of the best sci-fi movies in a long time, and this is going to be even better. Sandworm armies! Emperor Shaddam IV! The rise of the Muad’Dib! If you haven’t read the book, you have no idea what we’re in for… The cast should be enough to get anyone excited: Timothée Chalamet, Zendaya, Rebecca Ferguson, Josh Brolin, Austin Butler, Florence Pugh, Dave Bautista, Christopher Walken, Tim Blake Nelson, Stephen McKinley Henderson, and Léa Seydoux. [Watch the trailer]

Furiosa: A Mad Max Saga (Dir. George Miller) – Opening May 24th, 2024

10 Movies in 2024 - Furiosa

Let’s go, George Miller! Bring on Furiosa! When this opens, it will be 9 years since Mad Max: Fury Road opened and instantly found its place high on the list of best action movies ever made. Much like Fury Road, Furiosa was plagued with production problems and setbacks. They finally shot it in 2022 down in Australia, and it has been getting ready for release ever since. Warner Bros held onto it and set it for 2024 instead of 2024, which might be the right move. This prequel is also based on a screenplay that was written years ago before Miller even made Fury Road, and apparently the crew have been anxiously awaiting this one. As it will be the real deal. A glimpse of footage from the first teaser confirms this is going to rock. Furiosa stars Anya Taylor-Joy as Imperator Furiosa, Chris Hemsworth as Dementus, with Tom Burke, Alyla Browne, Nathan Jones as Rictus Erectus, Angus Sampson as The Organic Mechanic. Can’t! Wait! [Watch the teaser]

Megalopolis (Dir. Francis Ford Coppola) – No Release Date Set Yet

10 Movies in 2024 - Megalopolis

Yep – 2024 is the year of Francis Ford Coppola. While he did make a few experimental indie films in the late 00s (Youth Without Youth, Tetro, Twixt), this is his first major production since 1997’s The Rainmaker. The early rumor is that this is expected to premiere at Cannes 2024, making it this year’s Killers of the Flower Moon – a beloved American filmmaker bringing his ambitious, expensive new project to debut at the festival. Coppola had to finance most of this himself, as the budget is rumored to be over $100M. The sci-fi spectacle is set in NYC and apparently deals a lot with what’s happening in the world now. “In New York, a woman is divided between loyalties to her father, who has a classical view of society, and her architect lover, who is more progressive & ready for the future.” Plus the massive ensemble cast is to die for: Adam Driver, Forest Whitaker, Nathalie Emmanuel, Jon Voight, Laurence Fishburne, Aubrey Plaza, Shia LaBeouf, Jason Schwartzman, Talia Shire, Dustin Hoffman, D.B. Sweeney, and Giancarlo Esposito. I am so curious about it.

Joker: Folie à Deux (Dir. Todd Phillips) – Opening October 4th, 2024

10 Movies in 2024 - Joker: Folie à Deux

Arthur Fleck is back for more mayhem. More clown masks. More jokes. More of… everything. Co-writer / director Todd Phillips got actor Joaquin Phoenix back to make this highly anticipated sequel, and it’s now set to open in October, same as the first Joker movie in 2019. Instead of calling it Joker 2, the new title is Joker: Folie à Deux, because it’ll be introducing Joker’s partner-in-crime: Lady Gaga as Dr. Harleen Quinzel aka the DC villain Harley Quinn. The main cast also includes Zazie Beets returning, with Brendan Gleeson, Catherine Keener, Jacob Lofland, and Harry Lawtey. Cinematographer Lawrence Sher returns, along with composer Hildur Guðnadóttir. Will this be less controversial, more entertaining? Doubtful. I expect it to be even more controversial, but that sounds good to me, as the obnoxious stir the first movie caused was annoying but also brought more people to it and helped cement it as a major moment in cinema.

Alien: Romulus (Dir. Fede Alvarez) – Opening August 16th, 2024

10 Movies in 2024 - Alien: Romulus

Another Alien movie is ready! This new one isn’t directed by Ridley Scott (he’s finishing up Gladiator 2 also scheduled for release in 2024). While the title Alien: Romulus isn’t official or confirmed yet, this is the working title they’ve been using. This standalone movie is set between the events of Alien (1979) and Aliens (1986), though not many other confirmed details are known about the plot yet. Perhaps another spaceship thriller where a crew is overrun by a xenomorph? Acclaimed Uruguayan horror filmmaker Fede Álvarez (of Evil Dead, Don’t Breathe) is writing & directing. In March 2022, it was announced that Álvarez would be making the film after pitching his own story, “unconnected” to the previous films in the franchise. Filming is finished, with an August opening in theaters. Starring Cailee Spaeny (from Priscilla), Isabela Merced, David Jonsson, and Archie Renaux. Expect to see a teaser trailer sometime in the first months of 2024.

LOTR: The War of the Rohirrim (Dir. Kenji Kamiyama) – Opening December 13th, 2024

10 Movies in 2024 - The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim

Yes, there’s a brand new LOTR movie in 2024! The Lord of the Rings: The War of the Rohirrim is an animated movie produced by Warner Bros Animation. It’s directed by Kenji Kamiyama, a Japanese anime director best known for the “Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C.” series, Star Wars: Visions short “The Ninth Jedi”, and the Blade Runner: Black Lotus series most recently. Set 261 years before the events of The Two Towers, The War of the Rohirrim movie tells the story of Helm Hammerhand, a legendary King of Rohan who must defend against an army of Dunlendings. He becomes the namesake for the stronghold of Helm’s Deep. How awesome does that sound?! Sola Entertainment is behind the animation, using hand-drawn animation in a style reminiscent of traditional anime, with visual inspiration from the original trilogy. WB seems confident this might be a huge hit, scheduling it for a theatrical release in December when the original trilogy opened.

Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes (Dir. Wes Ball) – Opening May 24th, 2024

10 Movies in 2024 - Kingdom of the Planet of the Apes

Apes together strong! Another Planet of the Apes movie, not too long after the last trilogy finished (with the brilliant War for the Planet of the Apes in 2017). The ambitious, talented VFX director Wes Ball takes over (after The Maze Runner trilogy), and continues the storyline about a descendant of Caesar far in the future when Apes have been ruling the planet for generations. The story in this next one seems to be similar to the original 1968 Planet of the Apes, where it’s about one ape befriending a human being and fighting back against other vicious ape tribes that do not want peace or prosperity. With most of the money being spent on VFX and production work, the cast is lead mostly by unknown or up-and-coming actors: Owen Teague as Noa, a young chimpanzee, Freya Allan as Mae, a feral young woman, Kevin Durand as Proximus Caesar, Lydia Peckham as Soona, a female chimpanzee, along with William H. Macy. [Watch the teaser trailer]

Twisters (Dir. Lee Isaac Chung) – Opening July 19th, 2024

10 Movies in 2024 - Twisters

They finally made a sequel to Twister! Yes, the 90s tornado movie starring Helen Hunt and Bill Paxton. After years in development with different filmmakers, Twisters finally went into production last year with Minari director Lee Isaac Chung. They started filming for a month, but then the actors’ strike shut down production. They only recently began shooting again and it’s likely they’ll push the release date back, as it will be tough to finish all of the post-production work and VFX by July (the May 2024 date seen on the fan-made art above was the original plan – no longer the case). You never know! This new Twisters stars Glen Powell, Kiernan Shipka, Maura Tierney, and Daisy Edgar-Jones. Powell states that it’s not really a sequel: “It’s a completely original story. There are no characters from the original movie back… It’s just its own standalone story in the modern day.” As a big fan of the original Twister, I have high hopes for this one.

Deadpool 3 (Dir. Shawn Levy) – Opening July 26th, 2024

10 Movies in 2024 - Deadpool 3

Another movie that had to pause production due to the actors’ strike in 2023. They filmed for a few months, then had to wait, and have JUST begun shooting again recently. It may be pushed back, but it’s also pretty clear Disney/20th Century wants this to be a big 2024 movie no matter what. Aside from Ryan Reynolds convincing Hugh Jackman to come back to play Wolverine again (with his vintage yellow costume), what I’m most excited about is the multiverse concept. Based on early set photos, Deadpool 3 looks to be riffing on the 20th Century Fox comic book movie era, with the old logo lying broken in the background of a set they’ve been filming on, and various characters from their movies appearing in this comedy crossover event. The rest of whatever happens we’ll wait to be surprised by whenever this lands in theaters. Whatever the case, even if you didn’t care for the other two Deadpool films, this is shaping up to be a clever comedic blast.

Mickey 17 (Dir. Bong Joon-ho) – Opening March 29th, 2024

10 Movies in 2024 - Mickey 17

A new Bong Joon-ho sci-fi movie!! Enough said. This is both written and directed by Bong Joon-ho, adapted from the high-concept sci-fi novel titled “Mickey7” written by Edward Ashton (described as “The Martian meets Multiplicity“). To be frank, I’m nervous abut Warner Bros handling this movie, as the Hollywood studio system could mess up Bong’s flow (Snowpiercer had a rough time). Nonetheless, I remain hopeful & excited to see what he’s cooking up, especially returning to science fiction with a story that’s intellectually intriguing. Robert Pattinson stars as Mickey Barnes, an “Expendable”: a disposable employee on a human expedition sent to colonize the ice world Niflheim. There can’t be more than two at the same time, but after he goes missing he comes back to discover another, and refuses to let his replacement clone take his place. Will Bong Joon-ho make some adjustments to the plot? We’ll have to wait and find out… [Watch the teaser]

Others not listed that we’re also looking forward to in 2024: Ridley Scott’s Gladiator 2, Reinaldo Marcus Green’s Bob Marley: One Love (out soon), Gil Kenan’s Ghostbusters: Frozen Empire (really hope it’s good), Adam Wingard’s Godzilla x Kong: The New Empire, Luca Guadagnino’s Challengers (held over from 2023), Alex Garland’s Civil War (will it be any good?), David Leitch’s The Fall Guy, Pixar’s Inside Out 2 (looking good), Kevin Costner’s Horizon: An American Saga (x2), Shyamalan’s Trap, Tim Burton’s Beetlejuice 2, DreamWorks Animation’s The Wild Robot, Leigh Whannell’s Wolf Man, Barry Levinson’s Alto Knights, Len Wiseman’s Ballerina Barry Jenkins’ Mufasa: The Lion King, Lynne Ramsay’s Polaris, and Robert Eggers’ Nosferatu. Plus of course the sequel Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse if they get it finished (it was set for March until the strikes, now it doesn’t have any release date – I hope they’ll take their time to do it right).

Keep an eye out for more updates on 2024 releases, and stay tuned for the latest trailers and reviews. Our mission with FirstShowing is to always keep everyone informed & excited about upcoming movies, year after year. Stay passionate, stay open-minded, stay interested. You never know which movies will surprise us (in good ways or bad ways), you never know which will end up really blowing us away. Maybe none of these 10 will? Maybe all of them will? It’s time to find out as we slide right into the New Year of movies that await us.


Find more posts: Feat, Hype, Lists, Sci-Fi

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Fall Film Festival Season 2023 Begins – 10 Most Anticipated Premieres |

Fall Film Festival Season 2023 Begins – 10 Most Anticipated Premieres

by Alex Billington
August 29, 2023

It’s that time of year again! The fall film festival season is beginning. Starting with the 80th Venice Film Festival this week in Italy, along with the 50th Telluride Film Festival in Colorado – two of the most iconic festivals both celebrating major milestones. Then the 48th Toronto Film Festival will take over in mid-September, before Fantastic Fest in Austin, TX (starting on Sept. 21) and the 61st New York Film Festival in NYC (starting on Sept. 29). This is when all the movies that they’ve been saving for the end of the year finally make their first appearance, and it’s an exciting time for cinephiles who make the voyages to these cities to discover the latest that the world of cinema has to offer us. We’ve been covering these festivals for the last 17 years – can’t miss them. In the midst of the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes (which we fully support!) the finished films must premiere anyway. I’d prefer it if there weren’t any red carpets, so we can actually focus on the films, but a few of the premieres have been given exceptions from SAG. I’ll be back in Venice to watch films during the festival – though this list contains films from all of these upcoming fests.

The challenge with film festivals nowadays is that it’s impossible to see everything at every festival, and it’s unaffordable to go to every festival all over the world (as much as I wish I could). Each of these fests has its own set of world premieres & special presentations – I decided to pick my own Top 10 Most Anticipated from among the entire set of films debuting this fall. Not just the ones at Venice or at TIFF or otherwise. Alas, I won’t be able to watch all of these listed as I won’t be able to attend the Toronto and New York Film Fests. But I still think these are some of the most interesting premieres. Choosing only 10 films is always a daunting task – I could name 50 films I want to see right now. However, this is always what’s so enticing and exhilarating about festivals, and why I always go back year after year. Let’s go watch and discover something new and discuss cinema! Let’s celebrate all of these achievements – and make sure writers and actors and the entire film crew are paid fairly & treated with respect. Anyway, enough of my rambling, onto the films…

The Holdovers – directed by Alexander Payne – TIFF
The Holdovers - Alexander Payne

There’s something about this film that gives me a warm & fuzzy feeling. Especially with the first trailer out, I’ve got good vibe that this might just turn out wonderful. I wish it was also premiering at the Venice Film Festival, but Toronto got the scoop instead – and it’ll probably show up in Telluride, too. Not everyone is so fond of Alexander Payne much recently, after Nebraska and Downsizing, but I still think he’s a talented storyteller who makes engaging and thoughtful films. His latest, The Holdovers, seems like a wholesome, classic Americana drama with some feel good vibes – featuring Paul Giamatti turning from a grumpy ol’ teacher into a kind friend. “With no family and nowhere to go over Christmas holiday in 1970, Paul remains at school to supervise students unable to journey home. After a few days, only one student holdover remains — a trouble-making 15-year-old named Angus, a good student with bad behavior.” Joining Paul & Angus on the stay is the school’s head cook, Mary. It also stars Dominic Sessa & Da’Vine Joy Randolph as Mary.

Lee – directed by Ellen Kuras – TIFF

Lee - Ellen Kuras

As a photographer myself, I’m always interested films about photographers. This is another new one and the set photos (like the one above) have also intrigued me to find out more and watch this. From TIFF: “Oscar winner Kate Winslet stars in this fascinating portrait of the talented American photojournalist Lee Miller, whose singular talent and ferocious tenacity gave us some of the 20th century’s most indelible images.” The film is the first narrative feature directed by an acclaimed cinematographer named Ellen Kuras (she was DP on Summer of Sam, Bamboozled, Blow, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Be Kind Rewind, Away We Go). I’m excited that she’s telling the story of photographer Elizabeth ‘Lee’ Miller, a fashion model who became an acclaimed war correspondent for Vogue magazine during World War II. The impressive cast also includes Alexander Skarsgård, Andy Samberg, Marion Cotillard, Noémie Merlant, Andrea Riseborough, and Josh O’Connor. There’s not much more they can say that will make me any more interested in watching this than I already am. The world premiere is at TIFF (on Sept. 10), wish I could be there for that screening.

Poolman – directed by Chris Pine – TIFF
Poolman - Chris Pine

This year’s The Beach Bum? This year’s Under the Silver Lake? Both combined? With a dash of Chinatown thrown in? Or something else entirely? We’ll find out soon! Actor Chris Pine makes his feature directorial debut with Poolman, a film he shot and starred in and co-wrote and produced – filmed in Los Angeles in 2022. The one-liner for this does make it sound like some kooky mystery fun: “A kinetic noir comedy where he plays an anxious pool cleaner who uncovers a curious conspiracy in the city of Los Angeles.” The cast also includes Annette Bening, Danny DeVito, DeWanda Wise, and Jennifer Jason Leigh. Maybe I’m just hopeful, but I don’t think anyone should be writing this off yet. Sounds like it might be really good! Poolman “follows a hapless dreamer and would-be philosopher who spends his days looking after the pool of the Tahitian Tiki apartment block in sunny LA. When he uncovers the greatest water heist, he does what he can to protect his precious LA.” Who else is sold from that? Catch everyone at the world premiere at TIFF – if you’ll be there?

Woman of the Hour – directed by Anna Kendrick – TIFF
Woman of the Hour - Anna Kendrick

Now what we do have here? Another surprise appearance of a fresh film playing on 2023 film festival circuit is this feature debut of the actress Anna Kendrick. She has directed a crime film called Woman of the Hour, taking us back to the 70s for a very creepy story. I’m curious to see which tone she went with for this – more thriller or dark comedy or what. Since it sounds rather unsettling. Here’s the intro for Woman of the Hour: “In the 1970s Rodney Alcala went on a murder spree, luring women by posing as a photographer looking for models. Though [he was] already a registered sex offender and recently released from prison, he infamously appeared on The Dating Game, a show that introduced a set of three new bachelors each week, hidden from view as a woman asked them amusing questions before choosing a winner to go on an all-expenses-paid trip with her.” Uh wow, okay. The film also stars Tony Hale, Daniel Zovatto, & Nicolette Robinson. Premiering at TIFF first (on Sept. 8) as a “Special Presentation” there. Keep an eye out for this.

Foe – directed by Garth Davis – NYFF
Foe - Garth Davis

“I don’t want a robot living with my wife!” This wouldn’t have even been on my radar if not for the stellar trailer that MGM dropped last week. Foe is making a late appearance at the festivals – skipping a few others and heading straight to the New York Film Festival for its world premiere at the end of September. Then it opens in select theaters not too long after anyway. As many have already pointed out, this looks surprisingly similar to the recent “Black Mirror” episode “Beyond the Sea“, which debuted in Season 6 on Netflix. Foe is about: “Hen and Junior farm a secluded piece of land that has been in Junior’s family for generations, but their quiet life is thrown into turmoil when an uninvited stranger shows up at their door with a startling proposal.” That sci-fi proposal, revealed in the trailer, is to take the husband Junior up into space to work on a space station, and replace him with an exact android replica on Earth, to have him “be there” with his wife (even though he’s far away). It’s almost more of a prequel to this BM episode. The cast is mainly three people: Saoirse Ronan, Paul Mescal, and Aaron Pierre. I’m very much looking forward to watching it.

The Killer – directed by David Fincher – Venice
The Killer - David Fincher

Fincher!! It’s Fincher!! Need I say anything more?? The Killer is filmmaker David Fincher’s latest feature – with a nice 1-hour-58-minute running time. His last was Mank that premiered during the early pandemic in late 2020. Netflix teamed up with Fincher yet again to let him make this film, some kind of hitman drama. Based on a graphic novel, the actual Fincher plot remains a big mystery. There is only this: “After a fateful near-miss an assassin battles his employers, and himself, on an international manhunt he insists isn’t personal.” Michael Fassbender stars as the Assassin, along with Tilda Swinton, Charles Parnell, and Arliss Howard. From a screenplay by Andrew Kevin Walker, whom Fincher has been raving about. His “director’s statement” is a rather peculiar intro: “The Killer is my attempt to reconcile notions I’ve had for years about cinematic stories and their telling. I have always held: ‘What were you doing in Chinatown?… As little as possible’ — to be the single greatest evocation of backstory I’ve ever heard… I was also playfully curious about the revenge genre as a tension delivery-system.” Whatever it is, excited to find out in Venice.

The Beast (La Bête) – directed by Bertrand Bonello – Venice & TIFF & NYFF
The Beast - Bertrand Bonello

This film was originally expected at the 2023 Cannes Film Festival, but after a bit of longer wait – it’s now ready to make its mark this fall. The Beast, also known as La Bête in French, is the latest from acclaimed French filmmaker Bertrand Bonello (known for House of Tolerance, Saint Laurent, Nocturama, Zombi Child). It’s an intriguing new sci-fi film of some kind, though it seems to be more of a romantic thriller with a strong love story at its core. Léa Seydoux stars as a woman who decides to use new tech to stop having any emotions. “In the near future where emotions have become a threat, Gabrielle finally decides to purify her DNA in a machine that will immerse her in her previous lives and rid her of any strong feelings. She then meets Louis and feels a powerful connection, as if she has known him forever.” Here’s the real hype: it is set across three time periods. The film also stars George MacKay (a truly spectacular actor – always great) and Dasha Nekrasova. I have a really, really strong feeling this is going to be something special and completely win over the fall festival season this year (premiering in Venice on Sept. 3). I can’t wait to watch.

Evil Does Not Exist – directed by Ryusuke HamaguchiVenice & TIFF & NYFF
Evil Does Not Exist - Ryusuke Hamaguchi

Another mysterious fall festival surprise. Japanese filmmaker Ryusuke Hamaguchi is already back again with not one, but two, new films this fall season. So soon after he made a splash with 4 noms total and one Oscar win for Drive My Car early in 2022, which is why it’s especially exciting to see him back. His first big premiere is Evil Does Not Exist (悪は存在しない), debuting at the Venice Film Festival (on Sept. 4) before going on to show at TIFF & NYFF. The film seems to be an eco-drama about a community in Japan. “Takumi and his daughter live in Mizubiki Village, close to Tokyo. Like generations before them, they live a modest life according to the cycles and order of nature. One day, the village inhabitants become aware of a plan to build a glamping site near Takumi’s house offering city residents a comfortable ‘escape’ to nature. When two company representatives from Tokyo arrive in the village to hold a meeting, it becomes clear that the project will have a negative impact on the local water supply, causing unrest.” Hamaguchi also has a film called Gift, that might premiere at Belgium’s Film Fest Gent in October – the two films are said to be related somehow.

Aggro Dr1ft – directed by Harmony Korine – Venice & TIFF & NYFF
Aggro Dr1ft - Harmony Korine

Hmm. I don’t want to put this on the list, to be honest, but I have to. From cinema provocateur Harmony Korine (of Gummo, Trash Humpers, Mister Lonely, Spring Breakers, The Beach Bum), Aggro Dr1ft is filmed entirely with the infrared / thermal lenses. Yes, that’s the point, whatever it means. Whether this will work or not is part of the experience of watching this film (especially fresh at a festival before everyone else has something to say about it). I want to be clear – I am not sold on this infrared camera gimmick. I am not going to say that just because he’s tRyInG sOmEtHiNg NeW in cinema that it’s genius. It might be cool, it might be shit. But of course there is only one way to find out – and I’ll admit they really got my attention. I just have to see WTF is going on in this and if it’s any good. And it’s only 80 minutes. Korine’s director’s statement is hilarious & fascinating: “Wild days, wild nights. Wasn’t wanting to make a movie. Was wanting to make what comes after movies. Was wanting to be inside the world. More like a video game. But who’s playing who. GAMECORE. Edglrd. Something new on the horizon. Life is good. Without it we’d be dead. AGGRO DR1FT. In between worlds. Locked and loaded. An ode to the aggressive drifter.” Well, okay then.

Origin – directed by Ava DuVernay – Venice
Origin - Ava DuVernay

AvaDuVernay’s got a new film ready! Origin is premiering at the Venice Film Festival near the end of the festival, on the second Wednesday. There’s not too much known about it yet, or revealed so far. The film is described simply: “Origin chronicles the remarkable life and work of Pulitzer Prize winning author Isabel Wilkerson as she investigates the genesis of injustice and uncovers a hidden truth that affects us all.” The 2-hour-10-minute drama is also produced and written by DuVernay, who last directed her own feature in 2018 with A Wrinkle in Time (which didn’t get great reviews) along with the acclaimed films 13th and Selma before, and the acclaimed series “When They See Us” and “Colin in Black & White” after. The film explores “the hierarchy of injustice that has shaped America and unflinchingly examine society and its relationships with race.” Which is still vague, so I’m extra interested in really finding out what the narrative threads are. The superb cast features Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor & Jon Bernthal (seen embracing in the one-and-only photo), Niecy Nash-Betts, Vera Farmiga, Audra McDonald, Nick Offerman, Blair Underwood, and Connie Nielsen.

There are SO many other films to see this year: Pablo Larraín’s El Conde (aka The Count) about a vampire Augusto Pinochet (trailer); Michael Mann’s Ferrari mainly to see Adam Driver; Bradley Cooper’s Maestro about composer / conductor Leonard Bernstein; Yorgos Lanthimos’ funky Poor Things with Emma Stone; Timm Kröger’s in-the-mountains philosophical thriller film The Theory of Everything (trailer); William Friedkin’s final work The Caine Mutiny Court-Martial; kooky French filmmaker Quentin Dupieux’s latest film Daaaaaali! about the artist Dali; Richard Linklater’s latest Hit Man with Glen Powell; Wes Anderson’s The Wonderful Story of Henry Sugar; a little film called Sidonie in Japan feat. Isabelle Huppert in Japan; obviously Hayao Miyazaki’s The Boy and the Heron; another little gem – the Ross Brothers’ Gasoline Rainbow; Taika Waititi’s new soccer movie Next Goal Wins also with Fassbender; Dream Scenario feat. Nicolas Cage; the extra peculiar Dicks: The Musical (trailer); Greek director Christos Nikou’s new sci-fi romance Fingernails; French director Ladj Ly’s latest film Les Indésirables; Mexican director Michel Franco’s latest Memory; Ethan Hawke directing a new film called Wildcat; and a dark horror comedy from Montreal titled Humanist Vampire Seeking Consenting Suicidal Person.

With the Venice Film Festival beginning soon, I’ll be dedicated entirely to this festival and catching films for the next two weeks and writing about them. Venice 2023 runs from August 30th until September 9th, ending Saturday night with the awards (the Golden Lion). Follow my daily coverage and instant reactions on Twitter/X as usual @firstshowing, follow my photography posts as always on Instagram @abillington, follow my reviews on Letterboxd, and check the site for daily updates on films + reviews. Back in 2016, I wrote an essay about Why I Can’t Stop Going to Film Festivals. What I said then is still true. It always is. I’m still totally addicted film festivals, and they still fill me with so much joy and inspiration. Let’s hope some of these films turn out to be all-timers – like Dune and Tar and First Man in the years before. I’m so glad to be back, so ready to start watching and analyzing, hopeful that this fest season will be another memorable one.


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Our 10 Most Anticipated Films at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival

Our 10 Most Anticipated Films at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival

by Alex Billington
January 17, 2023

It’s January again, which means it’s time for yet another Sundance Film Festival. After two years of only a virtual film festival, Sundance returns in 2023 to an in-person event in the snowy town of Park City, Utah. And we’re back again! Ready to start watching, diving into the impressive line-up of films this year. This is my 17th year in a row covering this film festival; I’m always looking forward to returning and watching all the new films premiering at Sundance. Packing in as many as I can catch. Out of the 100+ films showing at the 2023 Sundance Film Festival, I’ve picked 10 films that I’m looking forward to seeing the most. To keep things well balanced, I’ve chosen 5 feature films and 5 documentaries from the line-up. For 2023, the fest is leaning heavily on unknown directors, first-time filmmakers, and gems with breakout potential. As usual with Sundance, you never can really tell what’ll good or bad before, but here’s my early picks anyway.

For the full line-up of films showing at Sundance 2023 – click here. Follow my reviews on Letterboxd. This will be my 17th year in a row covering Sundance, starting back in 2007 then ever since. I’m still excited to be watching the latest indie films, even from afar, and I’m hoping there’s some good discoveries despite the chaotic times we’re living in. The fest is just about to begin, here’s my Top 10 most anticipated 2023 films.

Alex’s Most Anticipated ~Sundance 2023~ Feature Films:

Directed by Anthony Chen

This is one of my most anticipated just because it sounds so mysterious, as the festival doesn’t want to give away too much about what happens and where the film goes. The original Sundance description says: “Jacqueline escapes her war-torn country to a Greek island. She meets an unmoored tour guide and the two become close as they each find hope in the other.” It’s the first English language feature from an acclaimed Singaporean filmmaker named Anthony Chen, best known for his films Ilo Ilo and Wet Season previously. This one stars Cynthia Erivo as the woman who ends up on the island, along with a cast including Alia Shawkat and Honor Swinton Byrne. Sundance adds more buzz saying: “The film sensitively examines both Jacqueline’s fraught attempt to resume life in the aftermath of unimaginable tragedy and her growing bond with a fellow expat. Cynthia Erivo, who was nominated for an Oscar in 2019’s Harriet, vividly portrays Jacqueline’s bone-deep grief and all-too-fresh fears, as well as her guarded attempts at human connection.”

Rye Lane
Rye Lane
Directed by Raine Allen Miller

I can’t wait to watch this one!! Rye Lane looks like it might be the modern Before Sunrise/Sunset breakout from the 2023 festival. It’s another film about two young people who randomly bump into each other, and it follows them over the course of the day as they talk about romance and relationships and life and everything else. Searchlight Pictures has already picked this one up, with plans to release it in a few months (only on Hulu in the US – only in theaters in the UK). I’m set to attend one of the first screenings at the festival. “For her visually inventive feature debut, director Raine Allen-Miller launches us into a playful and vibrant world, shaping a romantic comedy that celebrates meeting the right person at the wrong time. Nathan Bryon and Tom Melia’s fresh characters leap off the page at breakneck speed in the hands of Oparah and Jonsson, channeling all the frustrations of swiping fatigue while holding onto the hope of finding the real deal.” It stars David Jonsson and Vivian Oparah as the two leads Dom and Yas. Watch the first full trailer here.

Polite Society
Polite Society
Directed by Nida Manzoor

Martial arts awesomeness!! Bring on the unveiling of Polite Society. I’ve got a feeling this might be one of the big breakouts from the Midnight section at Sundance this year. Polite Society is about a young woman from London who decides to disrupt her sister’s wedding because she doesn’t want her to become a trophy wife and give up on all of her dreams. Which is a great setup for an action comedy. “Aspiring martial artist Ria Khan believes she must save her older sister, Lena, from her impending marriage. With the help of her friends, Ria attempts to pull off the most ambitious of all wedding heists in the name of independence and sisterhood.” Starring Priya Kansara as Ria, and marking the feature directorial debut of filmmaker Nida Manzoor (also known for creating “We Are Lady Parts”), this has cult hit potential all over it. Maybe it will even end up being a mainstream hit, too! Only time will tell. I’ve got my ticket for the midnight premiere on the first weekend, I know the buzz from that first audience will make it the perfect experience at the festival.

All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt
All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt
Directed by Raven Jackson

Sundance is a festival where experimentation and innovation in filmmaking are encouraged, and this sounds like one of the films that will stand out for its originality and authenticity. This is another film produced by the very talented filmmaker Barry Jenkins (who also produced last year’s Aftersun). The short description is: “A decades-spanning exploration of a woman’s life in Mississippi and an ode to the generations of people, places, and ineffable moments that shape us.” But the longer intro from the festival adds a few more details: “Raven Jackson’s striking debut is an assured vision, unafraid to immerse us in moments of grief and longing, or within the thickness of things left unsaid. Her camera is patient and loving, capturing the beauty of Black bodies and life. Rural quietness is filled with the transportive sounds of crickets, frogs, and water in its many forms. Jackson’s nontraditional narrative borrows from the language of memory.” I’m definitely in.

Landscape with Invisible Hand
Landscape with Invisible Hand
Directed by Cory Finley

After raving about the Hugh Jackman film Bad Education a few years ago, I’m now a big fan of filmmaker Cory Finley. He should already be a mainstream name, but I think this film will finally put him on the map in a big way. He also premiered Thoroughbreds (with Olivia Cooke & Anya Taylor-Joy & Anton Yelchin RIP) at Sundance in 2017, returning with this sci-fi story in 2023. It’s adapted from the book of the same name by M.T. Anderson, about aliens on Earth. “The Vuvv, a species of hyper-intelligent extraterrestrials, brought wondrous technology to Earth, but only the wealthiest can afford it. The rest of humanity, their livelihoods now obsolete, have to scrape together money in the tourism industry. In the case of Adam and his budding love interest Chloe, that means livestreaming their courtship for the amusement of the coffee-table sized Vuvv, who find human love exotic and interesting. When Adam and Chloe’s scheme goes sideways, Adam and his mother have to find their way out of an increasingly nightmarish alien bureaucracy.” I must see this.

Other Features I’m Looking Forward To: Sometimes I Think About Dying with Daisy Ridley, Sophie Barthes’ sci-fi The Pod Generation, Susanna Fogel’s Cat Person (based on that one article), Ira Sachs’ new film Passages, Roger Ross Williams’ Cassandro, Elijah Bynum’s Magazine Dreams with Jonathan Majors.

Alex’s Most Anticipated ~Sundance 2023~ Documentaries:

Deep Rising
Deep Rising
Directed by Matthieu Rytz

Not to be confused with the cruise ship monster horror movie from 1998 also titled Deep Rising, this is a whole other film – though it’s also about the ocean. I’m a sucker for any films about our planet and how we should be taking better care of it, so I’m already sold on this one. Very curious to learn about what’s in the deep. It sounds like it might be profoundly important in discussing even more exploitation and destruction. The festival introduces this as: “Narrated by Jason Momoa, Deep Rising illuminates the vital relationship between the deep ocean & sustaining life on Earth. The documentary also follows mining startup The Metals Company, as it pursues funding, public favor, and permission from the International Seabed Authority to mine wide swaths of the Pacific Ocean floor.” I definitely won’t be missing this documentary at the festival.

Fantastic Machine
Fantastic Machine
Directed by Axel Danielson & Maximilien Van Aertryck

Yet another film about how social media is ruining society. One of the best docs from Sundance 2022 that no one watched after the fest was All Light Everywhere, examining of the origins of the camera and how it connects to police body cams. This one sounds like it follows up on that doc with another fascinating visual study. “A meticulous dissection of image-making and a mapping of its movement through society, directors Axel Danielson and Maximilien Van Aertryck use a mind-boggling array of archival footage to collage this sociological study by tracking the transmogrification of photographic philosophy and technology over human history.” The festival won’t say it outright, but it sounds like it’s extra critical of our society today. Their shorter description says “the visual sociologist filmmakers widen their lens to expose both humanity’s unique obsession with the camera’s image and the social consequences that lay ahead.” I’m definitely in.

Kim’s Video
Kim's Video
Directed by David Redmon & Ashley Sabin

Any of you remember Kim’s Video? The famous video store in New York City? This documentary is about Kim’s Video, but it seems to be another one of these “stranger than fiction” stories about what happened to Kim’s and all of the 50,000+ movies they used to have. So where did they go? Did this disappear? Are they locked up somewhere? Find out in this documentary film. “In a bid to revitalize tourism, the small Italian village of Salemi, Sicily became home to the archive. But after the initial publicity faded, so too did any sign of the collection. Enter filmmaker David Redmon, who credits Kim’s Video for his film education. With the ghosts of cinema past leading his way, Redmon embarks on a seemingly quixotic quest to track down what happened to the legendary collection and to free it from purgatory.” I’m so curious what he finds over there and Italy and if he can somehow get his hands on all these lost movies. Very curious to see what this shows.

The Eternal Memory
The Eternal Memory
Directed by Maite Alberdi

I am big fan of Chilean director Maite Alberdi’s previous film, The Mole Agent, which ended up with an Oscar nomination in 2021. Alberdi is back at Sundance again with another lovely documentary about elderly people, though this one sounds a bit more heartbreaking and sad. “Augusto and Paulina have been together for 25 years. Eight years ago, he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. Both fear the day he no longer recognizes her.” It’s yet another film about Alzheimer’s disease and how harsh it is, especially with this story about a couple. “Day by day, the couple face this challenge head-on, adapting to the disruptions brought on by the taxing disease while relying on the tender affection and sense of humor shared between them that remains intact.” I’m nervous this doc will be really emotional to watch, but I can’t miss it at the fest anyway.

Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie
Still: A Michael J. Fox Movie
Directed by Davis Guggenheim

Everyone knows & loves Michael J. Fox! Of course they finally made a documentary about him, and about his struggles with Parkinson’s disease. It’s made by the acclaimed director of the doc films An Inconvenient Truth and Waiting for Superman before. “Fox’s improbable story sounds like the stuff of Hollywood, so what better way to tell it than through scenes from his own work, supplemented with stylish recreations? Owning his own narrative, the actor playfully recounts his journey with intimacy, candor, and humor. In the hands of Davis Guggenheim, Still reveals what happens when an eternal optimist confronts an incurable disease.” This will also be sad and tough to watch at times, but I also have a feeling it’s going to lean more into being triumphant and uplifting, as Fox seems like the kind of guy who wants us to be empowered by his story not brought down by it. Looking forward to being at the world premiere of this doc on the weekend.

More Docs I’ll Be Watching: Tracy Droz Tragos’ Plan C, Laura McGann’s The Deepest Breath, Rebecca Landsberry-Baker & Joe Peeler’s journalism film Bad Press, Milisuthando Bongela’s poetic Milisuthando.

For all of Alex’s Sundance 2023 reviews and updates:

For more Sundance 2023 previews around the web, highlighting early picks and potential breakouts, also see: The Film Stage’s 20 Most-Anticipated Premieres, Indiewire’s 27 Must-See Films at This Year’s Festival, Rolling Stone’s 20 Movies We Can’t Wait to See at Sundance 2023, and Hidden Remote’s 2023 Sundance most anticipated movies. You never know what might be a big hit, and it’s vital to have a pulse on the early buzz – even before the fest starts. There’s plenty of intriguing films found in the selection this year, tons of discoveries from first time filmmakers and up-and-coming talent, so let’s jump right in and start watching.

You can follow our Sundance 2023 coverage and reviews right here and on Alex’s Letterboxd. The festival begins on January 19th and runs until January 29th, with films premiering online + locally. Glad to be back.

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