Zoolander 2

Really, really, ridiculously disappointing.

The Assassin

There are martial arts movies and there are martial arts movies. The Assassin isn't either.

Batman v Superman

A bold, mature exploration of myths and epics - followed by a two-hour mess.

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Tag:sundance london
For Ellen - Sundance London review
Director: So Yong Kim
Cast: Paul Dano, Jon Heder, Shaylena Mandigo

A man and a young girl sit together at a table. He has long, straggly hair. She has a blue coat. They say nothing. Every now and then, he strokes his pathetic excuse for a beard. Then, she leans forward. "Why did you not come see me before?"

A quiet, moving film, For Ellen follows Joby's (Dano) attempt to connect with his daughter, Ellen (Mandigo), before he loses her completely. He's a washed-up rock musician. He hasn't visited home since she was born. He's about to sign divorce papers that will see his wife, Claire, take full custody of her. Ellen, meanwhile, is - well, what?

He knows absolutely nothing about her. He tries, awkwardly, to find out. She doesn't like ice cream. She doesn't like school. What does she like? Does she like him?

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An Oversimplification of Her Beauty
Director: Terence Nance
Cast: Alisa Becher, Jc Cain, Dexter Jones

Terence Nance’s An Oversimplification of Her Beauty is an experimental film. Taking footage from an existing film made by Nance in 2010, titled How Would You Feel?, the director layers it with animation and a seductive baritone narrator, who promises to add factual context to the events on screen.

A boy expects a girl to come round to his house. She phones him to say that she won’t be coming round. He feels bad. Then it starts all over again.

Looping the scenario over and over, Nance treats us to occasionally interesting visuals and constant monologuing, as the boy’s increasingly neurotic concerns about his feelings become increasingly neurotic about his feelings, which become increasingly neurot– you get the idea. Yes, the idea behind the project is interesting, but only for about 11 seconds.

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Josh Radnor - Sundance London (Liberal Arts)  

"I don’t think you ever have to grow up. You just have to stop being an asshole."

Wise words from the bearded bundle of cheerful neuroses that is Josh Radnor, the man who met your mother, made a film called Liberal Arts and brought it all the way to England for Sundance London. Chatting to us before and after the UK premiere of his campus mid-life crisis comedy, he explains what it's like to go back to your old university, the difference between acting on TV and writing/directing your own film, and why Elizabeth Olsen is so amazing.

Here's what he had to say:

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Top films to see at Sundance London

As every bloke and his granny knows, Sundance London starts tomorrow night with Bobby Bedford bringing his indie festival all the way from Utah to the quiet, intimate venue of The O2.

It's an exciting introduction to a US event that has long eluded British eyes. Introducing us to the best of the American festival's line-up, it's a fusion of film and music, with old Sundance Kid himself leading the way in a string of events that celebrate the relationship between sound and screen. Love Elizabeth Olsen? She's got a film showing. Prefer Placebo? They're playing as well.

But given that tickets are on the pricey side, which events are worth your hard-earned cash? Our coverage of London's hippest new festival will tell you. A film's not worth £7.50, let alone the full £15? We'll warn you in advance - and point you towards this handy two-for-one ticket offer.

But that still leaves you with 14 flicks (and gigs, and some interesting panels debating indie filmmaking) to choose between. If you can only afford to see a couple, which do you pick?

Here are the 6 films you should see at Sundance London:

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Sundance London logo 

You may recall a few weeks ago when I rounded up the numbers, did the math, put it all in a pretty table and worked out that Sundance London ticket prices were far more expensive than the UK's other festivals, particularly in comparison to London's Raindance Film Festival.

My reaction went something like:

"Individual tickets for films (not just music events) would be a good start. £18.75 for a UK premiere isn't too bad - but you shouldn't have to pay for 10 films to get that price. I just hope that the booking system involves flying monkeys or unicorns."

Well, good news! You can now finally get individual tickets for gigs AND films. They cost £11.50. Plus a booking fee of £2.50. And another fee of £1. So that's actually £15 a ticket, which is slightly closer to what could be deemed as "affordable". 

Now, I don't want to take full credit for Robert Redford's decision to reduce prices by a whopping £3.50 and let all the commoners into The O2. Instead, I'm willing to share a co-credit with good old-fashioned arithmetic.

For tickets and more information on the festival, which takes place at The O2 from Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th April, see the official Sundance London site



Sundance London announced its line-up earlier today. Featuring UK premieres of 14 selected films from this year's Sundance Festival, the brand new event will treat British moviegoers to Julie Delpy's 2 Days in New York, Paul Dano's new film, For Ellen, America's-biggest-house documentary, Queen of Versailles, and others.

Also introducing a range of music gigs to the Sundance brand, founder Robert Redford promises that the event will bring the best of indie cinema to British audiences. You know, like that other excellent indie film festival we get every year in London. The one with the Sundance-inspired name. Raindance Film Festival, you may recall, opened last year with the UK premiere of Mike Cahill's Another Earth, which wowed audiences at Sundance several months earlier.

Of course, there's nothing to say we can't have both events every year (increased exposure for indie filmmakers is a very good thing), especially with Sundance's reputation and dedicated US focus. But there is one key distinguishing feature of Sundance London: the price.


Here's a breakdown of the numbers:


Sundance London logo   Raindance Film Festival 2011 logo


The O2 Arena


Apollo Cinema, Piccadilly Circus


Inaugural Year



Inaugural Year




US indie films



Indie films from around the world 



4 days



2 weeks


Number of Films



Number of Films



Ticket Price

£250 (+£12.50 booking fee) - festival pass

£140 (+£9.80 booking fee) - four films in a day (for 2 people)

£175 (+£12.25 booking fee) - 10 film pass

£50 (+£4 booking fee) - one film and a gig


Ticket Price

£149 - festival pass 

£10 - evenings and weekends

£5 - weekdays before 5pm



Average Price Per Film



Average Price Per Film



£18.75 per film? That's a bit steep when you put it next to £55 for 11 films at last month's FrightFest Glasgow, or Raindance's £1.58 per film average for 2011's festival.

The movie line-up looks exciting, the inclusion of music (including Placebo) is promising and The O2 does have one heck of a massive cinema screen, but Robert Redford will have to do something pretty special to convince folks that a four-day event involving 14 films is worth £175 + exorbitant booking fee.


Individual tickets for films (not just music events) would be a good start. £18.75 for a UK premiere isn't bad - but you shouldn't have to pay for 10 films to get that price. I just hope that the booking system involves flying monkeys or unicorns.

Sundance London runs from Thursday 26th to Sunday 29th April. Here's the full line-up at the official site. It's undoubtedly a big event for the UK cinema calendar, but can you afford to go?  

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