The original tenets of Thanksgiving—the “thanks” and “giving” parts—are some times lost in the cooking shuffle. A holiday predicated on blessing the year’s harvest has become an exercise in gluttony, whether it be food or shopping. To align with the contemporary mores of the Thanksgiving holiday, check out these 5 Sundance-supported films that look at the good and bad of one of America’s favorite pastimes: eating.
Film stills courtesy of Sundance Institute Archives
Director Francesca Gregorini and actor Jessica Biel premiered The Truth About Emanuel during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. Gregorini also screened the film during the 2013 Sundance London Film and Music Festival (2014 dates just announced).
A hyperstylized and often darkly humorous film, The Truth About Emanuel vacillates between surrealism and realism while it incorporates suspenseful drama. Writer/director Francesca Gregorini’s tightly constructed script fuses pain with poetry and explores the complexity of being complicit in the lives of our loved ones.
The Truth About Emanuel won’t be in theatres until January, but you can watch it On Demand beginning November 26.
Photos by Tim P. Whitby and George Pimentel
Director Michel Gondry captured video of actor/musician Mos Def on the press line before the premiere of their film, Be Kind Rewind, during the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.
Gondry’s new documentary Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy?: An Animated Conversation with Noam Chomsky opens in theatres on November 22 and iTunes on November 25.
Photo by George Pimentel
Photographer and filmmaker Shaul Schwarz started his photographic career in the Israeli Air Force and after premiering his most recent documentary Narco Cultura, answered questions from the audience during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
To a growing number of Mexicans and Latinos in the Americas, narco-traffickers have become iconic outlaws and the new models of fame and success. They represent a pathway out of the ghetto, nurturing a new American dream fueled by the war on drugs.
Artfully lensed, Narco Cultura exquisitely manages to capture the horrific devastation wreaked by the drug cartels. Focusing on certain disparate individuals impacted by them, including a narco-corridos singer in the U.S. and a crime scene investigator in Juarez, the film vividly portrays both the allure and the human cost of it all.
Narco Cultura opens in NYC and Miami on November 22.
Photos by Amanda Wood Harris and Shaul Schwarz
Director Alexander Payne is a longtime Sundance alum, screening one of his early short films, The Passion of Martin, at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival and then Citizen Ruth, staring Laura Dern, at the 1996 Festival (Payne on set with Dern above). Payne also participated as a creative advisor during the 2002 Sundance Institute Directors Lab and served as a juror at the 2006 Festival.
Payne’s new film, Nebraska, stars Laura’s father Bruce Dern and opens in theatres on November 15.
Photo by Kimberly Wright
The Autry National Center of the American West, Sundance Institute, and University of California, Los Angeles American Indian Studies Center proudly present a sneak peek of a work-in-progress by filmmaker and Sundance Institute lab alum Sydney Freeland (Navajo).
On Saturday, November 9, in Los Angeles, Freeland will show clips from her feature film debut, Drunktown’s Finest and discuss her creative journey in a conversation with N. Bird Runningwater, Director of the Sundance Institute Native American and Indigenous Program.
Sydney Freeland attended the 2010 Sundance Institute Directors Lab where she workshopped her film with creative advisors, including Ed Harris.
Check out more information on the event here.
Photos by Fred Hayes
Nearly 20 years before the premiere of Thor: The Dark World, director Alan Taylor (left) alongside actors Adam Trese, Vincent Gallo, and William Forsythe answered questions following the premiere of Palookaville during the 1996 Sundance Film Festival.
Taylor premiered his first film, a short, That Burning Question, during the 1991 Sundance Film Festival and also attended the Sundance Institute Directors Lab in 1992.
Thor: The Dark World opens across the country on November 8.
Photo by Ken Regan
Director Chris Nelson (middle right), screenwriters/actors June Diane Raphael and Casey Wilson, and actor Paul Scheer pose for photos on the press line with Sundance Film Festival Director John Cooper (middle left) before the premiere of their film Ass Backwards during the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
Director Chris Nelson takes us on a raucous and wacky road trip that includes a rescued wild rabbit, a feminist wilderness commune, and amateur night at a strip club. Lead actresses June Diane Raphael and Casey Wilson have great laugh-out-loud chemistry, and their brand of stiletto-clad physical comedy brings an amusing and unique charm to this female buddy movie.
Ass Backwards is available on VOD and opens in select cities on November 8.
Photos by Sonia Recchia and Tiffany Roohani