Thursday, April 28, 2011

Quick thoughts on the SFIFF films

Man, April has FLOWN by. And all of a sudden, the San Francisco International Film Fest is upon us.

MUBI's coverage

The SFist guide

SFIFF Finds Life Among the Ruins

Meek's Cutoff

I'm sure I'll probably get behind on a lot of these, since the next two weeks will be pretty busy, but I'll try to at least post brief impressions of the films I see. [Ed update: oh, god. I'm already behind.]

Meek's Cutoff
I ended up really enjoying this a lot. It's a very minimalist film, and probably not everyone's cup of tea, but I think it ends up being an incredibly realistic telling of what life on the Oregon Trail must have been like. It would have been hard, tedious, and scary. There would have been a looming threat of not making it, and having your survival dependent upon the abilities of your traveling companions.

The other really interesting thing is that the film was not shot in wide screen, which was so unusual. I thought it ended up mimicking how the women would have seen the landscape out of their bonnets, and it worked well to focus your attention on the characters.

4/5 Stars

Stake Land
I LOVED this film. It is sort of The Road with a supernatural bent, or I've heard it described as a 'post-apocalyptic, vampire western.' And it is scary. Not because of the vampires, although those are good for a few good jump scares, but because of the picture it paints of how America would disintegrate in the wake of an apocalypse. It is horrifying because it feels true. As the protagonist explains, cults pop up everywhere and the religious right goes off the deep end (not that they have far to go, but I digress). It isn't the vampires you have to survive so much as the people. (The main religious cult actually ended up reminding me a bit of the cult that springs up in Lucifer's Hammer by Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle.) I think everyone likes to think that they'd be able to survive in a post-apocalyptic world, given that it is a popular genre. And while I think I might be able to feed myself and find shelter, the film taps into the primal fear that there isn't anything you'd be able to do against religious fundamentalism-crazy. Could any sense of goodness or culture survive when nutjobs drop vampires from helicopters to cleanse the world of sinners?

Anyways, the characters in the film are fabulous. It is mostly about a boy named Martin, who is taken under the wing of a vampire-killer, known only as Mister. Mister schools Martin in the finer arts of vampire killing and survival and along the way they meet up with other survivors. All of the character development is great. And there are some really fun killing vampire parts. But that sense of scary is definitely going to linger.

5/5 Stars

Le Quattro Volte
If Meek's Cutoff is somewhat of an art film which may not be for everyone, that goes double for Le Quattro Volte (quadruple?). I don't really want to describe it, because I think going in without knowing much adds to the experience. I will just say that there is almost no dialogue and, as the introduction at the film fest went, it "pushes the boundaries of what is possible cinematically." That said, I don't want the non-traditional plot to scare off potential viewers. There are moments that work as well as any Charlie Chaplin film (seriously - the whole theater was laughing). And it is incredibly well made. The only thing I will say about the subject matter is; Goats! Lots and lots of goats! (So, also a good film for those who enjoy Cute Overload.)

4/5 Stars

The Troll Hunter
This film has a really great premise, and is mostly executed well, but it really needed to be edited down more. 2 hours is a long time to be hunting Trolls. There are certainly a lot of clever touches, but I did get restless in parts. However, the found footage gimmick works well and the Troll CGI is great. It is worth checking out if you are so inclined.

3/5 Stars

The Future
I... am not sure I totally understood this film. But I liked it.

It is about a couple who will be picking up a stray cat from the vet in a month and adopting it. They realize that this means it will be their last true month of freedom and they decide to be open to the possibilities that affords while facing the uncertainties of... well, the future. However, a certain amount of magical realism creeps into the film which makes it feel much more original than your generic indie romance. And it features a talking cat.

I came into this film not knowing anything about Miranda July's performance background, and I haven't gotten around to watching her first film Me and You and Everyone We Know. She did a Q&A after the film and while those can sometimes just be awkward or not particularly informative, she was surprisingly charming and had a really unique perspective on film, since she is an artist who works primarily in other media.

Both she and Hamish Linklater (Groove!) give great performances and it certainly surprised me with the twists and turns the plot took.

4/5 Stars

Nostalgia for the Light
This film falls victim to what my brother and I like to call "Metropolis syndrome," in that it decides to BEAT. YOU. OVER. THE. HEAD. WITH. ITS. MESSAGE. DO YOU GET IT YET?!?

And I did not like it as much as I like Metropolis.

The film is about the Atacama desert in Chile. It is one of the best places on earth to observe space because of the lack of humidity. It is also where there are pre-Colombian mummies, mining camps that became detention centers during Pinochet's reign and the remains of those killed during his dictatorship. (I thought of them throughout the film as los desaparecidos, but that term may have only been used in Argentina. I'm not sure.) The film is beautifully shot, especially the space porn bits, but it just goes on for a very long time over the same material again and again. The director connects the astronomers, looking at the light of the past, to the local women who go out looking for remains and, thus, live in the past. And he talks about how the calcium in bones formed in stars. And how the vastness of the desert these women are hunting in compares to the vastness of space. Again. Some more.

It's impossible not to be moved as some of the women talk about family members they lost. But when we came out of the theater, I misread the clock and thought the film had been 2.5 hours, which seemed about right. It had actually only been 1.5. And we had two people fall asleep during the screening. I think the topic matter would have been better served by a short film. However, the director is clearly passionate about the history of his country. I'd like to see his Battle of Chile, and see if it is any better.

2/5 Stars

Cave of Forgotten Dreams
Oh god. This was the film I was most looking forward to in the festival. And it was everything I had hoped it would be. AND SO MUCH MORE!

First of all, Werner Herzog got unprecedented access to film inside the Chauvet cave in France, which has the world's oldest cave paintings. And they are stunning. Next, he realized that to properly appreciate the paintings, which make use of the topography of the cave walls, they needed to be filmed in 3-d. This is the first film I've seen that really necessitated the use of 3-d and it is wonderfully done. There are long stretches of the film that are just gazing at these paintings, beautifully filmed, while some wonderful choir compositions play. (A lot of the music was fabulous; some bits got a little too atonal, even for me, but a lot of the pieces were clearly written to play off of the acoustics in a cathedral, and accompanied the space inside a cave really well.) Also - just seeing the stalactites and stalagmites in 3-d is worth the price of admission on its own.

So all of that is awesome (in the original sense of that word) and completely makes it a 5 star film.

But then - THEN! - the fact that it is Werner Herzog means that you get his incredible musings on the nature of art and humanity. I giggled through long segments of the film. Plus, he gathers up several of the craziest French people he can find, which is just even more wonderful. And while some of the funny bits were clearly intentional, I also think he is just becoming more and more a parody of himself as he ages. It's no wonder he worked with Nicholas Cage on Bad Lieutenant. The postscript to the film might be one of the funniest things I've seen this year.

I just can't hear his voice now without thinking of this. Hello, my little friend.

5/5 Stars

And that's where I am so far. I stayed home sick today, so I missed the animated shorts program, which is really disappointing. Oh well. Hopefully they'll all make their way online at some point.

Monday, April 18, 2011

RIP Cinematical

The death of Cinematical:

AOL vs. Cinematical: the Final(ish) Chapter

AOL's Huffington Overhauls Online Brands Moviefone and Cinematical

Two of Cinematical's editors on what happened

What bums me out about this is that Cinematical was the first movie blog I discovered. I had noticed that the content had gone downhill since it merged with Moviefone and now it is dead. I'm pretty sure all of this happened over... 4 years? Ah internet life cycles.

One more thing on Sucker Punch Huh.

Scream 4 is getting surprisingly good reviews. I also liked this look back at the series, particularly this note; "There’s an interesting subtext behind the Scream movies, because the trilogy almost perfectly maps the creative rise and moral fall of Miramax."

Reactions to The Franchise (Hey! I like watching regular baseball!)

This is early days yet, and could very well change, but I think it is a perfect merger of director and project: Matt Reeves and The Passage.

"I feel like, just anecdotally, a lot of times when you get out, it’s that point of purchase moment at the theater, if you’re with your boyfriend or your husband, and they go, 'well I want to see ‘Transformers’,' and you go, 'O.K.' Ladies gotta say no to their husbands at the movies. They gotta say: 'No, we are watching back-to-back cancer movies. And then this movie about a cat.'" Tina Fey on how women can gain more economic control of the movie business. [Via]

More movies about cats!

Sunday, April 10, 2011

'Dishonour and Depredation!' said the Needles and Pins. 'Degradation and Dismay!'

A quick few random tidbits;

From this weekend's Ask Mick LaSalle;

Dear Mick LaSalle: I was amazed that "Never Let Me Go" was not one of the 10 best nominees of 2010. Why didn't it get any nominations?
Bob Zimmerman, Lafayette

Dear Bob Zimmerman: It can't have helped that it's about the most depressing movie imaginable. Academy voters get DVDs of the Oscar contenders, and a movie's chances go down if viewers feel like killing themselves after an hour.

Awwww.... poor Never Let Me Go. (You should still see it! It's gorgeous and sad.)

I think I may have posted this before, but in case not: you should check out Selene, an EP inspired by Moon (Moooooooooooon!). It even samples Clint Mansell's score.

The Giants get their rings. And members of the SF Symphony play Aaron Copeland. *snnnniff!*

Monday, April 4, 2011

Feminism and Sucker Punch

This was written pretty late at night. Or pretty early in the morning. I hope it makes sense.

Soooo.... I saw Sucker Punch.

I should preface this with the fact that I've been super excited for it for awhile. I was a huge fan of Watchmen and I really enjoyed 300. So I was thrilled when Zack Snyder decided to go all female ass-kicking for his next flick.

I saw the scathing reviews last week, interspersed with a few fan boy reviews that loved the action, so I tried to dial down my expectations. I figured it may not be great, like Watchmen, but it should be entertaining. It looks visually stunning. That's usually enough for me to enjoy a movie.

And then, throughout the last week, this entire, huge debate has sprung up around the film and whether it's portrayal of the heroines is empowering or objectifying. Frankly, I'm a little surprised that this is coming up now, not when the Sailor Moon-clad trailers first appeared. But I set these reviews aside until I could take a look and see for myself.

Now. I had already guessed that some of the disappointing reviews came from going into the film without giving the title a second thought. This was confirmed by the (not particularly well written) voice over in the first few minutes of the film.

So. If you haven't guessed what the film is getting at, and you want to go see it unspoiled - stop reading here.

I had guessed going in that the sucker punch is that Babydoll (the main girl) does not win her freedom, but gets lobotomized. I figured that she would go through all her fantasies and at the end we'd realize that she had been lobotomized early on and the whole thing had been a dream.

That isn't actually the way it eventually plays out, but I was close enough. And if there is anything that has taught us, it's that "it was all a dream" kinda sucks as a plot. Because there's no reason to be invested in the story (if you know it's a dream) or you're liable to be pissed off for getting involved for no reason (if you get sucker punched at the end).

Ok. So. Knowing that the fantasy sequences are going to be just that, without really advancing towards Babydoll saving herself and earning her freedom, did I enjoy the film?

Yes and no. Or, I enjoyed it in parts.

It's kind of a mess. And it is really frustrating because I feel that with just a few changes, it could have been awesome.

A quick synopsis of the film, for those who haven't seen it: Babydoll's mother dies, her step-father attacks her and her little sister, and as Babydoll tries to kill he step-father, her sister dies accidentally (it is a little unclear as to whether the step father had already killed the sister before Babydoll got there, or if the ricochet from Babydoll's bullet killed her). The step-father carts Babydoll off to an institution, where he bribes an orderly to forge the documents necessary for Babydoll's lobotomy in 5 days time.

At this point, the trauma becomes too much for Babydoll and she shifts into the first fantasy world, where the asylum becomes a brothel. She meets four of the other inmates; Blondie, Amber, Rocket - who becomes Babydoll's closest ally, and Rocket's sister Sweet Pea - the leader of the asylum girls who is reluctant to fight alongside Babydoll. In the brothel, the girls are required to dance for men. While she is dancing, Babydoll escapes to a series of fantasy worlds, where a wise man (Scott Glenn! Woot!) sets her on a quest that will earn Babydoll and the other girls their freedom from the brothel, and thus, their freedom from the asylum.

Let's start with the elephant in the room. I'd rather just go see a silly fun action flick for what it is, but seriously? The blogosphere has gone nuts over this shit. So - is it objectifying? Empowering? Demeaning? What? In looking at this issue, I think we'll also hit on the bits that were problematic in the film from a movie-making standpoint.

A bit of background:

Faux Feminism in Sucker Punch

Why Ass Kicking and Empowering aren't always the same thing.

Joe Wright (Dir: Atonement, Hanna) called Sucker Punch "Bullshit Feminism". indieWire's review of Hanna is titled: “Hanna” is the Ass-Kicker that “Sucker Punch” Wanted to Be.

And a contrarian view; In Defense of Sucker Punch

Now, coming out of the film, here were my initial impressions: I don't really care how stylized the action sequences were, they were pretty ass-kicking. Also, each of the fantasy sequences takes place while Babydoll is dancing. The audience never sees Babydoll dance, but it is described by one of the other girls as "all that gyrating and moaning." Honestly? It comes off as fairly masturbatory. So Babydoll is fantasizing about shooting nazi zombies or killing samurai robots whilst she is moaning and gyrating on stage. What I got from those juxtaposed sequences is that girls get off on the same fantasies boys do.

My biggest problem comes from what a passive narrator Babydoll is. As mentioned above, it made sense to me, since I figured she was either already lobotomized or about to be. But she barely has any lines in the film. It's hard to understand what keeps her going because we don't get much exposition from her character. Furthermore, we hardly get any background on the other girls. I have zero idea why Amber and Blondie were in a mental institution. It makes it hard to root for them as protagonists if you don't really know them as characters. I never felt particularly connected to Babydoll.

And since Babydoll doesn't talk much, I think that is where a lot of people see a lack of agency in her character. She isn't giving rousing battle speeches to the other girls or explaining to the audience the motivation for her fights. Therefore, it is easy to think that she is doing these things simply because Zack Snyder thought they would look cool rather than because she is a quiet character, going about fighting on her own inner strength. Particularly because she doesn't look strong. It's one thing to see Angelina Jolie in Salt and not be given a lot of explanation as to her motivations, because she radiates tough and inner strength. Babydoll looks like her name. I think the expectation going into the film was that she would look sweet, but curse and rage like a (typical action film) badass. Instead, she stays sweet and quiet and pretty unassuming, and then kills a lot of orcs. It's weird. It's certainly not a character we are used to seeing. And I think a lot of women crave more badass action stars to look up to, and were disappointed to see the main character of the film be sort of passive and quiet.

I think another reason why people were upset with the film is that they were surprised by the brothel world, which was only hinted at in the trailer. I had no idea that a most of the film would be set there and that hardly any scenes would be set in the real-life institution. It becomes a problem because the film doesn't clearly delineate what is fantasy and what is reality. In theory, only about 10 minutes of the film take place in reality. The shifts into the fantasy worlds are abrupt and never explained well. Or, really, at all. It's unfair, but of course there are going to be comparisons to Inception at this point, what with the jumping between fantasy layers. But while the rules of the fantasy layers were spelled out in Inception, they never are here, so the audience never really knows where they stand; or, rather, how much importance to attach to the actions occurring in the different worlds. My other large problem with the film was that these jumps between fantasy layers were often accompanied by strange tonal shifts and weird pacing. It made it difficult for the film to gain momentum and it took me out of the story a bit.

Per Cinematical; "rumor has it the 7 trips to the MPAA to get a PG-13 rating killed that clarity." Well, there's a big problem, right there. It might explain a lot about why I couldn't figure out how things were translating from brothel-world to real-world, or fantasy-world to brothel-world. (Did the other girls understand Babydoll's fantasies? Did she just imagine them or were they there, too?)

Now, getting back into the problems people had with the brothel world. There has been a lot of debate as to whether the girls are using their sexuality and objectification to their own strategic advantage, or whether they are simply playing into being exploited further. I feel like this hits on the entire debate in our culture over whether sex workers who choose sex work willingly are being degraded or empowered. That, though, is a long and lengthy other discussion that I'm not going to get into right now, but I'm pretty sure Violet Blue has written about it.

Staying on whether the Sucker Punch girls are objectified: Well, pretty much all action stars are. The $335 million Prince of Persia made was due in large part to people willing to shell out to stare at Jake Gyllenhaal's abs. Ditto the $456 million for 300 (to stick with stylized Zack Snyder films. (Is that repetitively redundant?))

I feel like there has been far more hue and cry over the girls' costumes in Sucker Punch than for other action heroines, which I find odd. Angelina Jolie certainly wasn't wearing a ton of clothing for Lara Croft. Ditto tons of Bond girls. I haven't seen Luc Besson's La Femme Nikita, but doesn't she run around in a slinky cocktail dress? It didn't bare much skin, but Trinity's matrix outfits were pretty fetishized. And I'm pretty certain Milla Jovovich tends to run around in sexy fighting outfits for most of her films.

Was Hit Girl's schoolgirl outfit okay because she didn't have tits? Do we prefer Ripley because she dresses like a man, therefore her strength is easily categorized? Is it the sense that the girls don't choose their outfits in the brothel world which makes it objectifying and derogatory? Do those same slinky outfits become empowering in the fantasy worlds since the girls choose those clothes for themselves? (Since it's on my mind, are the girls who dress up for Wondercon feeling less powerful for being in skintight, short or skimpy outfits? It also makes me think of derby girls. Their outfits might be revealing or fetishized, but they are certainly empowering for the women picking them out and wearing them (and no, they don't look like the costumes in Whip It, but you can't say there isn't some overlap with a Suicide Girls page there)).

[And speaking of women dressing how they want to dress, I present; The Great Toronto Slutwalk.]

Furthermore, while we're talking about women living within sexualized fantasies, there wasn't exactly a huge uproar over Black Swan, which also depicts a mentally unstable, fetishized woman wearing revealing outfits. (How many times can I use the word fetishized in one post? Let's find out!) Now, this was very possibly due to the fact that Black Swan is a better made film. But there are a lot of similarities. Nina is objectified by her choreographer, who also demeans her sexually, which is pretty similar to the Sucker Punch girls in the brothel.

In fact, there have been a lot of comparisons in attempt to rank just where Sucker Punch falls on the empowerment-objectification scale. "But this isn't sex workers fighting for their turf in 'Sin City.'"(Cinematical) I'm sorry, what? We're using Sin City as an example of empowered women? Because did you see Jessica Alba in that? [For the record, I enjoy many parts of Sin City, but Frank Miller is practically misogyny defined.]

I want to address one criticism in particular I find confusing (from Cinematical); "It's ridiculous to think that either girl would fantasize herself as a sexpot asskicker once imprisoned and forced into prostitution. We should not project any personal desires of being an all-out sexy tough girl on these characters,... both because it's a problematic desire for sex trade victims and because it makes no sense for the environment of the film."

What? First of all, it's clearly a fantasy film. This is not a historical depiction of the 1950s. And just because these girls didn't have Wonder Woman on tv doesn't mean that they couldn't fantasize being sexy ass-kickers. They're fantasizing about alternate planets and orcs and nazi zombies. I think sexy matrix ninja falls well within the scope of their imaginations. As for the desires of sex trade victims... I don't think this is a documentary about what women forced into prostitution think about while turning tricks. Or (as io9 puts it); "Action movies spring from the imaginations of enslaved, mentally unstable prostitutes." The fact is, the girls aren't dancing. They aren't actually prostitutes. They're in a mental institution. It just feels as degrading and imprisoning as sex work, which Babydoll imagines her incarceration to be.

Now, we can say that it is problematic that Zack Snyder decided to go with a brothel setting for most of the film rather than an institution because it looked prettier/sexier on film. (It certainly didn't help the clarity of the story.) Because Snyder spends the majority of the film using the brothel as the "real" world Babydoll returns to from her fantasies, I think a lot of reviewers became confused and reviewed it as if Babydoll actually were forced into prostitution.

But I think that denigrating the outfits the girls imagine themselves in their fantasy worlds is also problematic. It smacks of women who dismiss other women for having what they consider to be degrading sexual fantasies (usually any sort of fantasy that involves submission). The conceit of the story is this; Babydoll feels powerless and victimized. Her way of fighting back is to imagine herself as an epic heroine. If dressing herself, in her fantasy, in a schoolgirl outfit helps her feel empowered, who are we to knock it?

A final problem I have with some of the criticisms being lobbed at the film (and here in lies more spoilers). A lot of the critics have been saying that Babydoll doesn't actually do anything - she has exercises no authority over her own destiny since she is only fighting back in her imagination. As one reviewer so crudely put it; "the film's idea of treatment is telling rape victims in the moment to go to their happy place and all will be fine." But we learn in the end of the film that Babydoll was not merely fighting in her imagination. She was acting out in the institution; stealing objects, setting fires, stabbing orderlies and distracting guards. She absolutely was acting bravely and fighting for her freedom and that of the other girls.

Now, from a movie-making perspective, could the impact of Babydoll's actions have had more impact had we returned to the real-world asylum to see some of this playing out? Absolutely. C'est la vie.

A few other small notes on the film:

-The narration at the end of the film is terrible. Just completely god-awful.

-The soundtrack, however, is awesome. Really, completely fabulous.

-The visuals are great, but there is nothing particularly jaw-dropping or staggeringly new. (However, I do recommend checking out the short animations that accompany the film. They are a collaboration between Snyder and Ben Hibon, who was responsible for the Three Brothers animation in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows pt. 1.)

-Overall, the action scenes are fun, but dragged a little. The pacing was a little strange at times. This hearkens back to my earlier critique of the strange tonal shifts and weird jumps into and out of the various fantasy levels. This may all be due to kowtowing to the MPAA board.

I get where Zack Snyder was trying to go with all this. If the narrative had been more coherent, and if the heroines had been given more characterization, maybe his vision could have been realized. (Or, I should say, maybe his story could have been realized. I'm pretty sure his visuals were realized.) He's still a pretty new feature film director. As one review pointed out, do you remember what Steven Spielberg's 4th film was? 1941. Euch.

In sum, the movie would have worked with a more defined protagonist, less time in the brothel/more time in the actual asylum, and more understandable shifts between the fantasy worlds. And cutting out at least half of the final voice over.

On the other hand, how often is it that you hear college girls leaving a movie discussing the definition of post-feminism; so... well done Zack Snyder?

Or... to put it all another way:

(TGS Hates Women)

I'm tired. I'm going to bed.

Friday, April 1, 2011


Well, IFFBoston announced their line-up last week and I was getting a little bummed out. Such good picks! Such a great fest in general! Luckily, the San Francisco International Film Fest revealed their picks and tickets went on sale yesterday, which mitigated my disappointment.

A few notes on the differences between the festivals: SFIFF runs for 2 weeks instead of the one for IFFB. IFFB tends to come up with more features I'm desperate to see, so that week at IFFB is pretty intense. My schedule at SFIFF looks to be a lot more leisurely. A couple nights off, a lot of evenings with one film. I considered a marathon stretch one Saturday - they're showing the Mysteries of Lisbon - but I decided I'm unlikely to manage a 4.5 hour film on top of the other two I'm seeing that day. (Although I suppose it's like seeing Red Riding 1974 and 1980 back to back...)

IFFB has fest passes. SFIFF does not, which also means that it's going to end up being a tad more expensive. And annoying - since I can't adjust my schedule on the go - my screenings are locked in at this point.

IFFB uses Festival Genius. SFIFF is retarded in this respect. (How do you have a film fest website without an easily customizable personal calendar?)

They both are in great venues - IFFB mostly at the Somerville and the Brattle, SFIFF mostly at the Kabuki, which I ususally won't shell out for otherwise, but it is swank. Also the Castro.

So - SFIFF's lineup this year: there are a few Sundance/TIFF titles I'm really excited about, but then a lot are ones that I probably wouldn't seek out otherwise, particularly documentares. I think it should make for a really great fest. I'm sure I'll see Tyrannosaur by Paddy Considine at some point, but would I take the time check out the Redemption of General Butt Naked otherwise? I haven't decided whether to buy a ticket to Beginners - the opening night film. On the one hand, I don't want to miss opening night - especially for my first time at this particular fest. On the other hand, tickets are expensive and I've heard pretty mixed reviews for it. Hmmm.

Otherwise - here is what I am looking at for films:
Meek's Cutoff - From director Kelly Reichardt (of Old Joy and Wendy and Lucy). Oregon Trail drama.
Stake Land - Recommended by a friend who caught it at TIFF. Post apocalyptic vampire western road trip. Or something.
Le Quattro Volte - An Italian fable about goats. I think. The first line of the NYTimes review was something along the lines of; Le Quattro Volte is so full of surprises that even to describe it is to risk giving something away. So I haven't read any more. It was an indieWire critical consensus pick of the week.
The Troll Hunter - Got good reviews coming out of Fantastic Fest. Trolls! Dun dun dun.
The Future - Another buzzy sundance pick. From Miranda July. Also stars Hamish Linklater, whom I'm not sure I've seen in anything since Groove. Groove!
Nostalgia for the Light - Stars! Pretty, pretty stars. And probably something about light pollution.
Cave of Forgotten Dreams - 3-d Paleolithic cave paintings! WITH WERNER HERZOG NARRATION! I AM SO EXCITED FOR THIS!
Get with the Program - Animated Shorts program
The Whistleblower - No idea if this will be any good, but it stars Rachel Weisz.
The Redemption of General Butt Naked - Got great reviews out of Sundance. About reconciliation in Liberia.
La Dolce Vita - What? I've never seen it.
Page One; A Year inside the New York Times - Could be interesting. Probably fluffy, yet entertaining.
Another Earth - One of the buzziest films out of Sundance. Per indieWire; "The 2011 Sundance Film Festival has played host to a slew of fresh faces with multiple films in the lineup. British up-and-comer Juno Temple appeared in “Kaboom” and “Little Birds.” The other Olsen sister, Elizabeth Olsen, had lead roles in “Martha Marcy May Marlene” and “Silent House.” Kyle Gallner, meanwhile, came to Park City to hype his work in “Red State” and “Little Birds.” But none can hold a candle to blonde, brainy beauty Brit Marling, who quickly emerged as this year’s Sundance marvel by arriving with two critically acclaimed films under her belt (sci-fi romance “Another Earth” and the tense thriller “Sound of My Voice”), both of which she co-wrote, co-produced and stars in."
Irresistible Impulses - Shorts program. One with Brendan Gleeson!
Cicumstance - Audience award winner at Sundance about two Iranian teenage girls.
My Joy - I'm not sure if this a darkly comic or just dark look at post USSR-Russia.
The Trip - Winterbottom, Coogan, and Brydon. Hoping I like it more than I liked Tristam Shandy.
Submarine - Supposed to be an awesome coming-of-age tale, and I'm hoping that by seeing it at the fest, I'll avoid any cuts Harvey Weinstein was planning on making. Stars Sally Hawkins, Noah Taylor, Paddy Consindine and Craig Roberts (whom I only know as a whiny teen vampire from Being Human, but he's supposed to be quite good in this).
Incendies - Won all the Canadian Oscars last year. Should be good, eh?

So - most likely 19 films in 14 days (compared to 14 films in 7 days at IFFB last year). WOOT.