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Film Feature

2014 Sundance Diary, Day 1: The Truth is in the Journey

I’m back in Park City for another week of premieres, interviews, and screenings of at least a few films that the community will be talking about all year. Last year’s Sundance produced “The Spectacular Now,” “Stories We Tell,” “Mud,” “Upstream Color,” “Before Midnight,” “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” and more. What will impact this year?

Film Feature: 10 Movies to Watch For From Sundance 2014

The Sundance Film Festival kicks off this Thursday night, January 16, 2014 and history tells us that one of your favorite films will premiere there. Last year, we covered the Sundance premieres of “Before Midnight,” “Upstream Color,” “The Way Way Back,” “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints,” “We Are What We Are,” and many more. And Chicago Critics Film Festival hits “Stories We Tell,” “The Spectacular Now,” and “The Kings of Summer” premiered in Park City in 2013.

Film Feature: 13 Films That Define 2013

Including films that achieve the correct button-mashing combo to earn fancy kudos and are positively lauded, there are only a select few from the whole bunch that have the significance of “definitive.”

Film Feature: The 10 Best Films of 2013, Part Two

CHICAGO – The year caught up with me. 2013 was characterized by a soft start and a strong finish, but overall there were impressive contenders throughout the year and some fine examples of great storytelling and filmmaking. Risks were taken, some truth emerged and even in more “mainstream” films, there were flashes of promise.

Film Feature: The Best Films of 2013

It was too good a year for ten. The best year in cinema since 2007 saw such a diverse, fascinating array of art that included amazing works from some of our most well-known directors (Joel & Ethan Coen, Martin Scorsese, Alexander Payne, Hayao Miyazaki) alongside its newer voices (Shane Carruth, Destin Cretton, Joshua Oppenheimer, James Ponsoldt).

Feature: 5 Films That Understand November 22, 1963

CHICAGO – Tomorrow, November 22nd, 2013, is the 50th Anniversary of President John F. Kennedy’s assassination. Beyond the numerous TV programs and tributes expected for the memory, which films have lent the best perspective over the years regarding that Day in Dallas? The following offers five films for consideration.

Film Feature: The 10 Best Films of Sundance 2013

CHICAGO – The general consensus in Park City this year was that the overall quality of films presented to critics, industry, and paying audiences was near the highest it’s ever been. There seemed to be a lack of true stand-outs — I heard people say “There’s no Beasts of the Southern Wild” repeatedly — but the overall picture was a pretty one.

2013 Sundance Diary, Day 5: Coming-of-Age Stories Dominate the Fest

PARK CITY, Utah – Perhaps it’s due to the success of the Sundance hit “Beasts of the Southern Wild” and its story of a girl who was forced to grow up too soon or just the fact that it’s a common theme of independent cinema but coming-of-age stories dominated this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

2013 Sundance Diary, Day 4: A Good Kind of Crazy

PARK CITY, Utah – Every film festival produces at least one film (hopefully more) that just blows audiences away, shattering expectations and leaving them breathless. The future Oscar nominee from Sundance Film Festival 2013 is Richard Linklater’s “Before Midnight,” a film that is quite simply perfect.

2013 Sundance Diary, Day 3: Let’s Run Away From it All

PARK CITY, Utah – Film festivals naturally encourage those who write about them to look for themes. A few years ago it was the end of the world. This year, it seems to be the coming-of-age story (“Kill Your Darlings,” “The Spectacular Now,” “Mud,” “Emanuel and the Truth About Fishes,” “The Way, Way Back”) on the surface and the journey from home a little deeper.

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