In the first episode of our Sundance 2023 season, we preview the Sundance 2023 Film Festival and discuss the films we’re most excited for at the festival and why.
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Listen to the whole season
Today is the first of many episodes of the 2023 Sundance season of the Seventh Row podcast. Listen to all the episodes to discover the year’s best and worst films, and how this year’s program jives with past festivals.
About this episode: A preview of the 2023 Sundance Film Festival
Sundance 2023 runs from January 19-28, and we’ll be covering this year’s festival in a new podcast season about the films this year and how the programming fits into the festival’s history. This is Seventh Row’s second podcast season (the first was on Women at Cannes in 2022).
In this episode, we discuss the films we’re looking forward to at the 2023 Sundance Film Festivals based on directors we love, actors we love, and films we’re hearing buzz about. We talk about the festival’s importance in the film year, why we’re pleased the festival has continued to offer a virtual option when other festivals are all returning to in-person only, and more.
On the episode
- 00:00 Introduction
- 05:31 The accessibility of a virtual Sundance
- 11:13 The films we’re looking forward to at the festival
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Sundance 2023 Bingo Card
Because the festival loves to program films by slot and quota, we are also introducing our annual Sundance Bingo Card, as seen below. Play along during the festival (or look at past festival editions and the films you’ve caught which screened there).
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Show Notes on the E1 of the Sundance 2023 podcast season: A preview of the 2023 festival
Links to articles/books related to the 2023 selections
- Watch Lockdown Film School with Lily Gladstone. Gladstone has a new film, Fancy Dance, at Sundance 2023, and we’re excited to see it.
- Read an excerpt from our interview with Lily Gladstone from the ebook Roads to nowhere: Kelly Reichardt’s broken American Dreams. Gladstone talks about learning different languages, which is particularly relevant to Fancy Dance in which she speaks Cherokee.
- Read Orla Smith’s analysis of Thomasin McKenzie’s performance in Leave No Trace, which appears in our ebook Leave No Trace: A Special Issue. Leave No Trace premiered at Sundance, and McKenzie returns to Sundance this year as the lead of William Oldroyd’s Eileen.
- Read an excerpt of Alex Heeney’s interview with Matthieu Rytz on Anote’s Ark, which premiered at Sundance in 2018. The full interview appears in the ebook The 2019 Canadian Cinema Yearbook, which is available to purchase here. Rytz returns to Sundance this year with the documentary Deep Rising, which we’re looking forward to.
- Read Alex Heeney’s interview with Sebastián Silva on Magic Magic from 2015. He returns to Sundance 2023 with the film Rotting in the Sun.
- Get our ebook God’s Own Country: A Special Issue, about Francis Lee’s film which premiered at Sundance in 2017 and marked the debut of a major filmmaker.
- Read our interview with Eliza Hittman on Beach Rats, which starred Harris Dickinson in his breakout role. In 2021, we named Dickinson as one of the fifty screen stars of tomorrow. Dickinson appears in Scrapper at Sundance 2023.
Discover past Sundance coverage related to this year’s selections
- Read our past reviews of Sundance films starring Ben Whishaw: Lilting and Surge.
- Whishaw returns to Sundance this year with two films: Passages and Bad Behaviour.
- Read Orla Smith’s review of Fresh from Sundance 2022, which was one of the better Midnight films we’ve seen at Sundance. On the episode, Orla talks about not being impressed with the Midnight films that tend to screen at Sundance.
- Discover all of our past podcast episodes on films that screened at Sundance.
Related episodes to the Sundance 2023 preview
All of our podcasts that are more than six months old are only available to members. We also regularly release members only bonus episodes. Many of the episodes listed here are now only available to members (Members Only).
To listen to all of these related episodes, become a member.
- Ep. 116: Virtual film festivals: Taking stock of their past, present, and future (Members Only): Sundance is one of the only festivals in 2023 to continue to offer a virtual component. On this episode from 2021, we talked about the advent of virtual film festivals, why we like them, why they may struggle, and what we’d like to see in the future.
- Ep. 94: HBO’s Looking (Members Only): Raúl Castillo first impressed us in Andrew Haigh’s TV series Looking. He’s finally starting to get more traction as a film actor, almost a decade later, and he stars in Cassandro at Sundance 2023. In this episode, we talk about why Looking was one of the best shows of the 21st century, and why Castillo is such a great actor.
Sundance Film Festival episodes
- Ep. 123: Sundance 2022: Creative nonfiction (Free): At the end of Sundance 2022, we reflect on the creative nonfiction films at the festival.
- Bonus Episode 23: Sundance 2022: Fiction Films (Members Only): At the end of Sundance 2022, we reflect on the highs, lows, discoveries, and disappointments among the fiction films at the festival, from Sharp Stick to Living.
- Ep. 78: Sundance 2021 part 1 (Members only): At the end of Sundance 2021, we reflect on the highs and lows of the festival with guests Andrew Kendall and Lena Wilson.
- Ep. 79: Sundance 2021 part 2 (Members Only): At the end of Sundance 2021, we continue our discussion of the best and worst of the festival.
Ben Whishaw episodes
- Ep. 123: Sarah Polley’s Women Talking (Free): We went deep on the film and its problems, as well as discuss Ben Whishaw’s role and performance in the film.
- Bonus Episode 25: This is Going to Hurt and physician mental health (Members Only): We discuss how Ben Whishaw gave the performance of 2022 as the lead in the miniseries This is Going to Hurt, the best TV series of 2022. Whishaw returns to Sundance 2023 with two films.
- Ep. 69: Paddington and Paddington 2: We swoon over Ben Whishaw’s performance in the Paddington films and in Lilting, which premiered at Sundance almost a decade ago. Ben Whishaw returns to Sundance 2023 with two films.
Listen to all the related episodes. Become a member.
For exclusive access to all of our episodes, including all of our in-between season episodes:
Speakers on this episode
Host Alex Heeney is the Editor-in-Chief of Seventh Row. Find her on Twitter @bwestcineaste.
Host Orla Smith is the Executive Editor of Seventh Row. Find her on Instagram @orla_p_smith.
The transcript for the free excerpt of this episode was AI-generated by Otter.ai.
Alex Heeney 0:16
Welcome to the seventh row Podcast. I'm Alex Heeney, editor in chief of seven Thoreau and one of the hosts of the podcast along with Orla Smith, our executive editor who is here with me now. Hello. seventh row is a nonprofit online film criticism, publication and publishing house dedicated to helping viewers engage in political conversations through the lens of cinema. We are invested in how film can be a catalyst to help people understand and think about social structures and social change. Today, we are announcing our new Sundance 2023 podcast season. Orla and I are going to be covering the Sundance Film Festival, which starts later this week. It's happening both in Park City in Salt Lake City, Utah, in person and also online if you're in the US or if your press
Orla Smith 1:07
Yes. Throughout the world if your press Yeah, and mine just in the US. Yeah, and
Alex Heeney 1:13
some stuff isn't screening for like, if you're an American and you want to watch him or not an American, somebody living in the US and you want to watch films at Sundance, I think they're only screening the competition titles.
Orla Smith 1:26
Yeah. Oh, there's a select few premieres that are screening. Oh, are the screening all of the competition titles and, and then it's a bit more patchy outside of that. Whereas if you are press pretty much everything is screening. So we will, despite covering it virtually will be able to provide you thoughts on all of the films except for the new John Carney film, I guess. Yeah. Not that I'm like super hype for that. And
Alex Heeney 1:52
either it just has actors I like in it Jack green, or where have you been
Orla Smith 1:55
huge referring to Joseph Gordon Levitt and as an actor you like now because he's the lead?
Alex Heeney 2:01
Yeah, I also like Bano's daughter, if Eve Hewson. Oh, yes. Yeah. She's in it. Let the cat out of the bag there. Yeah. She's a nepo baby.
Orla Smith 2:11
Yes. And I do feel like the time has passed to have Joseph Gordon Levitt be the lead in your movie. But
Alex Heeney 2:19
yeah, maybe is he still an actor? Well, he
Orla Smith 2:21
was in the trial of the Chicago seven, Alex.
Alex Heeney 2:24
sorry, I didn't see it. Last thing I remember him in was looper and like Inception.
Orla Smith 2:31
And Don John, which he directed.
Alex Heeney 2:34
I try not to remember that. I was like, big fan of him when I was 12. But you know.
Orla Smith 2:39
I think I think his career tanked up to Don John. Maybe, maybe, right, maybe that was merciful. But I guess he's trying to make a comeback. Now. Anyway, we were watching that film, because for some reason, it's like the only film that's not available to press online. And, and I'm fine with that.
Alex Heeney 2:56
There's one other one I there were like two films added to the program at the end anyway, we don't really care about them. So while we're talking about them, but we will be watching as many films as can reasonably be taken in from the comfort of your home, own home without falling asleep.
Orla Smith 3:16
And we should say, this is a new thing for us like doing, like, usually we do like a wrap up episode for a film festival. This is the first time we're doing kind of like intensive coverage of a festival on the podcast as it's ongoing. And that will be our coverage focus this year, more podcast content rather than on site content. And it's it's new for us. I'm excited about this new approach to talking about films, it will mean we're able to kind of cover the festival a bit more broadly talk about a lot of different films and kind of pick up on patterns as the festival goes. So I'm excited to try this out.
Alex Heeney 4:03
Yeah, I think we're both kind of frustrated by the model of reviews that have festivals. Because it's like you have to know what the movie is to even look for the review. And who are the reviews good for aside from like, publicists trying to sell and sales agents trying to sell their films. But I got most people don't want to read a review of a film they haven't heard of, that they won't get to see for 12 months. And I think his critics was interesting to us, especially as looking at the whole program. And when we will try and do these rap episodes, they end up being like six hours long if we actually said everything we wanted to say. So I
Orla Smith 4:41
mean, well, sometimes they just are like, they are like, do we just chop this up into bits?
Alex Heeney 4:48
But so we're at least this lets us draw comparisons and try and find themes as you said themes and patterns as the festival is ongoing, which I think for us is credit axon viewers is more interesting to take a layout of the land as opposed to just like going deep on a film you can't see for six months, or a year or ever.
Orla Smith 5:11
So I think what you can expect from us is, you know, a little bit of coverage before the festival, mainly this episode. And then throughout the festival, we are going to be doing just some update episodes, shorter episodes, where we sort of talked about what we've watched so far. And then some wrap up coverage of overviewing, the festival overviewing, some patterns we've noticed. So it will be a little bit different from what we usually have on the podcast feed a little bit shorter and more frequent. But we will be putting out podcast content every few days during the festival. So just to like, get everybody excited. We wanted to as well as just telling you about the season. Talk about some of the films that we are excited to see at the festival, so you get a sense of what's to come. We've kind of divided it into like films we're excited about because of who directed them and films we're excited about because of who's in them. Maybe we should say that. We haven't had our best quiz the last few years. The last few years, we've both, like fully done Sundance in the online program. If you've been to Sundance before, like physically ready times. Yeah.
Alex Heeney 6:31
But I've been covering it every year since 2014. So I think that makes this my 10th year, which is terrifying.
Orla Smith 6:39
I think only in 2019. Did you not actually like go?
Alex Heeney 6:43
Yeah. Well, I didn't go in 2020 either. And then the pandemic hit.
Orla Smith 6:47
Oh, I think that yeah, that's what I was thinking. And then we've had since then to COVID era online Sundance's.
Alex Heeney 6:56
Yeah. And nobody wanted to give their films to Sundance because I wanted them to play on a big screen, which is a whole other thing we complain about which you can if you want to hear us pitch about that. We have an episode on virtual film festivals. And yeah, the bad idea is to never let your film play virtual.
Orla Smith 7:15
Yes. And and real credit to some that so that they have continued. Yeah, very extensive online access to their films to the public. And the press. Yeah,
Alex Heeney 7:24
I was really impressed with that this year, because everyone else has abandoned ship and said, Come get COVID or don't see any movies.
Orla Smith 7:32
Yeah. And I would never go to Sundance in person for like, obviously, there's there's a COVID reasons, but it's just it's like super expensive.
Alex Heeney 7:39
I mean, we like couldn't logistically just like fitting into our lives go to all the festivals that we cover in person, even if we were millionaires.
Orla Smith 7:51
But I do really respect the fact that Sundance has, like, has actually learned, like, learned a lesson from necessities. Like all the festivals, I had to work to Cannes and Venice, apparently, but most of them were like, well, we'll do online for a year, and then a little bit the next year. But so that seems to be the big festival that has really, actually tried that. But when it was considered necessary, obviously, you know, I think it kind of still is necessary. Yeah. But when it was socially accepted to be necessary, they did it. And then they actually thought, hey, this is a good thing that we don't need to get rid of. And they didn't. Yeah, hope they continue to do that. Because I think it's really great that they offer them Yeah,
Alex Heeney 8:41
it is really great. Because the thing is, too is Sundance is not an accessible Film Festival to a normal person. It's outrageously expensive. If you go to Park City during Sundance, you're gonna, like, six years ago would have been like $400 a night for accommodation at a shitty Hotel. So added inflation and we're now at like, what $600 A Night to stay at like a Holiday Inn. That's not accessible to your average person. Plus flights there from wherever if you're not coming from nearby. Plus, if you want advanced tickets, which if you're going in person, you basically need advance tickets or things sell out. I think they're like $50 A ticket minimum. And that's to have like the worst selection window after lots of stuff is sold out. So as it was like always a rich person Film Fest, well, not always when it started, it was more of a local person Film Festival. It somehow morphed into a rich person Film Festival and now that it's now that they've, you know, put a significant chunk of the festival online this year. In addition to being fully online in the past few years, it's become like, you know, it's not cheap. They're not I think tickets are like what 20 or $25 25 So it's not cheap, but like, it's affordable. And that's like three people could watch that at home.
Orla Smith 10:07
So yeah, it is. And it's just it's good for the culture. Because yeah, it when when only rich people see your film on its premiere, then only rich people get to decide whether a thing is good. And that's a biased perspective. But it? I mean, what I was saying is, despite all these positive things you have to say about Sundance last year was not very good. No, no, no, no. Yeah. Although they they
Alex Heeney 10:38
were very good.
Orla Smith 10:41
Yeah, a really rich selection of documentaries. Yeah. But in terms of the sort of big ticket titles, the fiction films, it was kind of a slog to get through. Yeah. And we're obviously ever optimistic, hoping this year will be different. I think this year, there is a slightly a higher number of directors who we sort of know, understand as known quantities and trust, but not a hugely higher number amount, because that's not really a Sundance thing either. In general. So nuts is a lot of unknown quantity. Yeah, it's considered kind of a launchpad for new talent. And then you've got a smattering of like, of people with one film that we're both really excited for is the new Nicole Holofcener film, You hurt my feelings. Which is her reteaming with Julia Louis Dreyfus, and with the new edition of Tobias Menzies, which makes me very happy. Yeah,
Alex Heeney 11:46
my favorite posh tosser. I am sure he's a lovely man. He plays a lot of posh Tossers on TV.
Orla Smith 11:54
And that the sounds very good. It's about a woman who is a novelist who overhears her husband, saying that he doesn't actually like her book and the the conflict that arises from that, which I think is a very fun premise, and something that a whole officer could do a lot with. So is there another film that you would like to highlight?
Alex Heeney 12:19
Yeah, I mean, I'm looking forward to the dark, deep rising, which is directed by the Montreal photographer, turned filmmaker. So Canadian, Matthieu Rytz, who previously did Anote's Ark, which was a great documentary and is in our Canadian cinema yearbook ebook. Where I interviewed him about that, so I'm excited to see him do a new nature slash environmental Doc.
Orla Smith 12:48
I'm very curious about the new Sebastian Silva film. Me too. His films are always interesting, whether they, to whatever extent they work, they're always doing something in a way that a lot of Sundance films are not always doing anything.
Alex Heeney 13:02
Yeah. Always worth seeing, even if they're like not even if they don't quite work.
Orla Smith 13:07
Yes. And this one has a very, also a very fun premise. It says about Sebastian, so we're going missing.
Alex Heeney 13:15
So interesting concept when you're behind the camera.
Orla Smith 13:19
Yeah, I think he's missing behind the lens. But I'm very, I'm curious to see what that is. I'm sure he'll do something very fun with that with that promise.
Alex Heeney 13:30
Yeah, I'm interested in the second feature from Rachel Lambert. I actually haven't seen her first film in the radiant city. I've been meaning to watch it for five years since it premiered at TIFF and was well reviewed. I had a ticket for it at Tiff and I was I think I was sick by that point. And the festival I still haven't gotten around to seeing it. But she's gotten a new film in the US dramatic competition with Daisy Ridley, I think called sometimes I think about dying. Yes. So I'm interested in that.
Orla Smith 14:01
And actually, I want to I want to highlight this film called fantastic machine, which it's a documentary it seems like it's in the kind of creative nonfiction realm. And it is. I'm not quite sure what it is. It's like a some kind of essay film about cameras. We'll see but I'm getting
Alex Heeney 14:26
from the program notes.
Orla Smith 14:29
But it's directed by this directing duo. I think they are Swedish. Let's say they're Swedish. And about six or seven years ago, I saw a short film that they directed called 10 meter tower, which is just like a compilation of like, really cleverly edited together footage of people jumping off a diving tower at swimming pool and it's The they take something that simple, and through the way they shoot and edit it make it like, incredibly hilarious and interesting to watch. And so I hadn't heard from them since I saw that in 2016. But I'm really interested to see what they've done. Wow. Yes.
Alex Heeney 15:21
Did you everything they direct? Cinematograph? Direct the photography. Yeah. Produce. Oh, they have somebody else who helps with editing. But then both of them edit executive produced by Ruben Ostlund. They have a production company.
Orla Smith 15:43
Yeah, that's why I guess they were Swedish. Yeah, the film
Alex Heeney 15:47
is built as Sweden slash Denmark. So I'm gonna guess you're right.
Orla Smith 15:53
But there's also I think there's there's a lot of films starring people that we are interested in.
Alex Heeney 15:58
Yeah. Well, that's always true Sundance, right, like you look at the cast. And then, sadly, so horrible thing to say, because they're often great films with, you know, people you haven't heard of like God's Own Country. And that you would have dismissed because who's this director? And why do I want to be on a depressing farm? And who the hell is Josh O'Connor? So well? Yeah, as you said, there's always unknown quantities at Sundance. So you it's an end sometimes the movies that look like they're going to be a depressing slog become the highlight of the festival, God's country.
Orla Smith 16:30
I'm trying to see every British film so if the next gozone country is British film, then
Alex Heeney 16:36
I will say they do program generally they're British films that they program are good. Like, it's one of countries that they actually do good programming from like the souvenir was at Sundance, God's Own Country. There have been others, but now I can't.
Orla Smith 16:55
There's a lot of British films this year, and I'm hoping it's going to revitalize my faith in our country cinema, which has been shaky lately. There's, well, the one I'm looking forward to most is this movie scrapper purely because it says Harris Dickinson Yes. The best actor
Alex Heeney 17:15
when he had his his breakout role was in Sundance the Chinese. Yeah, American dinner. Yeah, yeah. Where he played an American and now he gets to play a Brit who he gets
Orla Smith 17:26
to play a dad the new trend for the for the young caught actors. Paul Mescal did it first now Harris Dickinson plays a dad. We'll see how that goes. But I mean,
Alex Heeney 17:39
technically Josh O'Connor did it first right in the movie we'd like to forget doesn't exist.
Orla Smith 17:43
Oh, God, the OH is you mean only? Does he do much parenting in that?
Alex Heeney 17:49
No, I think it ends close to like when the baby arrives but you just movie dreading the fact that he's going to become a parent. And he's quite young and that you believe
Orla Smith 18:01
that like he would have a child in in after sun and in his grappa. Harris Dickinson and homeschool both have like 12 year old children.
Alex Heeney 18:12
Yeah, but Paul Mescal was like a teenager when he had that kid so
Orla Smith 18:16
he's supposed to be 31 in that film.
Alex Heeney 18:20
Oh, poor guy should have worn some sunscreen or laid off the cigarettes. Harris Dickinson already has the triangle of sadness. So
Orla Smith 18:29
but I think Harris Dickinson is just so good. So underrated and he has such range and I've been just so consistently impressed by him. I think he's like, of the the young hot right now actors of his age. He's
Alex Heeney 18:46
one of the most under appreciated also. And one of the few that's really shown, as you said, like, he can range you can nail comedy, and he can nail drama.
Orla Smith 18:56
I think he's one of like, the best comedic actors right now. But he also he came to prominence with Beach Rats, which is a very serious performance, which is also great. Like he's he's just so multi-talented, so I'm really gonna watch anything that he's in for where the crawdads say, I guess. Oh,
Alex Heeney 19:18
you know what, I like that. It wasn't great. But yeah, he doesn't get a lot to do. But Daisy Edgar Jones, I like her. She's She's good in it was actually like, you know what? It was pretty good. It was a movie that I made fun of my mom for watching and then i i ended up liking so God was right.
Orla Smith 19:40
There you go.
Alex Heeney 19:45
Yeah, like like to your point though. Harris Dickinson. It's like him and Josh O'Connor right now are kinda like the two are the two the two. I do I am promising. Yeah, I did. The thing is Paul mescal was Irish, not British. Yeah, untested.
Orla Smith 20:02
I think Paul Mescal is incredibly talented. I don't think we've seen him do say comedy in the way we have seen Harris Dickinson and Josh O'Connor do comedy. We know they're masters of that, as well as dramatic acting and we don't know as much about Paul Mescal. Yeah, he hasn't really tried that to the same extent. So I am a fan of him. But I do think that like, we have so much evidence of the the greatness yes to well, like
Alex Heeney 20:29
normal people was the first thing he ever did on screen. And then he was a star whereas Harris and Josh toiled a bit.
Orla Smith 20:37
Yeah, I mean, think Harris is still toiling
Alex Heeney 20:41
triangle of sadness, and no one knowing about it,
Orla Smith 20:44
although he got up in the BAFTA shortlist, which I'm very
Alex Heeney 20:47
good. Oh, that's good. I thought everyone was gonna ignore his performances. So good,
Orla Smith 20:51
so to speak. In the movie? Yeah. He's he's one of the 10 best leading actors of the year according to BAFTA, which I'm very happy about.
Alex Heeney 21:01
Sometimes BAFTA delivers.
Orla Smith 21:03
Yes, thank you BAFTA.
Alex Heeney 21:04
Give Ben Whishaw his BAFTA Television Award this year, guys, come on [for This is Going to Hurt].
Orla Smith 21:08
Speaking of Ben. We have two Benoy show movies at the festival this year, we have bad behavior, which is interestingly directed by Alice Englert, who is an actress and the daughter of Jane Campion
Alex Heeney 21:24
who directed Whishaw in Bright Star and said, I don't think you're going to be a movie star, but you could play character parts.
Orla Smith 21:32
And then he played Paddington the ultimate movie, so
Alex Heeney 21:35
yeah. And Q so obviously she was wrong.
Orla Smith 21:39
Yeah. So I'm hoping for the redemption of Whishaw after the second half of 2022. He doesn't need redeeming for the first half.
Alex Heeney 21:48
What? Oh, I see. We're blaming him for women talking
Orla Smith 21:52
on it. blaming him for women talking. I'm blaming women talking for him. There you go.
Alex Heeney 21:58
Orla Smith 22:01
But yeah, I
Alex Heeney 22:02
guess I should have said his BAFTA should be for this is going to hurt the TV show, which we did a whole episode on. Not for women talking, which we won't talk about. Yeah. Except in last week's episode.
Orla Smith 22:13
Yeah, we will talk about that for like over an hour. Last episode we released which you can listen to. Yeah, but we have two phones. One is bad behavior, which it stars. Jennifer Connelly. Yeah, yeah. And the other one that I'm particularly curious about and have been actually watching out for this film for over a year now is passages which is directed by Iris sachs, who is someone who I'm kind of agnostic about? Are we like his family? Like his family? We like his sister. Yeah, I think he has like an interesting. Like, he's not like a thoughtless director. So he'll be doing something. But um, I haven't totally connected with any film I've seen of his, but he has cast this film impactfully
Alex Heeney 23:08
it's kind of a It's a wild combination that I honestly never expected to see in a film together. Yeah,
Orla Smith 23:15
it's three different nationalities. I believe it is set in Berlin.
Alex Heeney 23:18
They're also just like very different actors. They're all really good, but they're very different.
Orla Smith 23:24
Yes. So we have Ben Whishaw. And then we have Franz Rogowski and Adele Exarchopolous.
Alex Heeney 23:32
I mean, all three of them are really kind of like top of their game actors.
Orla Smith 23:36
They're all really fantastic actors. And you're right, they're quite different. And I'm really curious to see like, what energies they'll be playing off of each other on screen. Yeah.
Alex Heeney 23:50
I'm really curious about what happens when Franz Rogowski and Ben Whishaw, or because
Orla Smith 23:58
it's about them all having sex with each other. I know this is gonna be happening. So I'm excited about that. And then actually, I think the other like big we're excited about this movie, because of this act and movie is set as a film starring Lily Gladstone. This year and we love Lily Gladstone. She's amazing. And she's in the first film by Erica Tremblay, fancy dance.
Alex Heeney 24:26
And one of the few actors we can say is like very smart and lovely.
Orla Smith 24:30
Yes. And she actually saw the short film that she was in directed by Erica Tremblay and she was wonderful in that. And I'm, I'm excited for anything she's in because she is amazing. And yeah, me severe in every movie,
Alex Heeney 24:50
really? Movie. Why isn't she in every movie?
Orla Smith 24:53
Every movie can make room for Lily Gladstone.
Alex Heeney 24:56
Get better casting directors, people. Then there's like a bunch of people Whew, we like that. We don't know what to think about the movies.
Orla Smith 25:03
Yes. I think I just don't trust horror movies at Sundance.
Alex Heeney 25:08
Oh, I don't either.
Orla Smith 25:09
I struggle to think of like a really good one I've seen you liked fresh. I liked it fun. I like it fine. That I think that's like one of the better harm. So that's horror movies. And that's not saying much. But I think in like, if you if you're gonna watch, like tried to trawl through the midnight section, a lot of them are kind of the most generic versions of horror movies. They follow very generic formulas. So I try not to get too excited about the midnight film. Yeah, I am, even though I have something good. And to be clear, I I love horror film. And it's out of love that I held them to this high standard and do not like what Sonos is offering, generally, I mean, there are obviously exceptions, but the one that I'm like, really crossing my fingers and hoping is good this year is run rabbit run because it is an Australian horror film. And it starts airistech and Sarah snuck is fantastic. Always. So I'm, I'm not counting on that being good because I don't want to get my hopes up. But I am excited to see her doing her thing. And there's is like you said a bunch of films where we don't want to get too excited about him. There's a there's a guy augustea banal vehicle drive
Alex Heeney 26:38
directed by the guy who did life animated so Yeah, real toss up there.
Orla Smith 26:44
So, I mean, we you got to watch it for a gale. Yeah, but unreal Castillo Yes. The best, but
Alex Heeney 26:53
it seems like he's getting some traction now, thanks to the inspection. So yeah, he's nominated him.
Orla Smith 27:00
He's like, he's like in a good amount of movies now where they're like movies people are aware of and then I'm like, oh, Raul Chrystia. is in this I didn't know. Just like that level down the feeling
Alex Heeney 27:12
I know. Well, but he has a key role in the inspection so the Oscars can get right with the Emmys didn't a nominee give him
Orla Smith 27:19
the off? The Oscars are not going I know that unfortunately. Crush my dream. Justice for Raul Castillo. Yeah, um, everyone should have watched Looking for many reasons, including him.
Alex Heeney 27:33
Yeah, I'll see. You might have heard if you've listened to our podcast before that. We are Andrew Haigh fans.
Orla Smith 27:38
Yeah, no. No. And then there's there's like, there's a big a big premiere, I think is Eileen is the new film by William Oldroyd. Which is funny. When the program was announced, literally like the day before, I was like thinking about British cinema. And I was like making a list of all of the filmmakers in the past 10 years who have like, made an acclaimed debut film and working out how many of them had actually made a second film. And not many. Yeah, it was like a long list. And there were a smattering of them that had it was like Francis Lee, and like one or two others. And it was really depressing.
Alex Heeney 28:27
to leech guys, when in the can
Orla Smith 28:29
with a mold word was on that list. And that triggered the next day. His second film was announced. I mean, and this is, this is six, the seven years after Lady Macbeth was a hit. I mean, I'm not a fan of Lady Macbeth. I don't think it was poorly directed. And he didn't write this film. And he didn't write that film. So it was just a project
Alex Heeney 28:54
that probably he shouldn't have written or, or she shouldn't. He shouldn't have made. And Alice Birch, who we otherwise like shouldn't have written, especially if they were going to quote unquote, race blind casting, and then ignore all of the racial implications of their casting.
Orla Smith 29:12
That was one thing I can say about that film though, is it gave us Florence Pugh, and it gave us Naomi Ackie Yes. Yeah. Who and they're both huge talents.
Alex Heeney 29:21
And Florence Pughwas fantastic in that like, if you saw Lady Macbeth back then you were like Florence Pugh: movie star. Guess what? We were right.
Orla Smith 29:31
And if you saw it back then you might have been like, Naomi Ackie she seems like she's good but yeah, having nothing to do here pretty much. And then it turned out later that she was really really good. Yeah. But yeah, I'm I am hope cautiously hopeful for Eileen it stars Thomasin McKenzie. And Anne Hathaway, two actresses I really like so
Alex Heeney 29:53
Thomasin McKenzie has not had the greatest scripts put in front of her lately.
Orla Smith 29:57
Yes, but she I mean We first fell in love with her with a Sundance premiere. So that's true. Leave No Trace. Wrote a book on it, Yeah, correct. And so I'm hoping we get some good good Thomasin.
Alex Heeney 30:14
Yeah. I'm excited for theater camp because it is co-directed by Molly Gordon, for whom I have a lot of goodwill right now, because she was really fantastic in there there. So right now, I'm like, Molly Gordon, you're there. I'm there
Orla Smith 30:29
yet. But yeah. Then like that filming recommended Andrew bujalski film that is full of amazing performances. And it's like, it's like a film entirely shot on phones in a very low fi way. So like, the level of the degree of difficulty for the performance is very high. There's like a, and I think that kind of shooting requires like a different degree of like, naturalism and ease in front of the camera.
Alex Heeney 30:58
Well, apparently, when they shot it, sometimes the other actor hadn't been cast. So they weren't even playing off another actor, there was just somebody feeding them lines. And they may not even know who the other actor was going to be. Yet. Some
Orla Smith 31:09
of the key thing about the film is that like each, there are a series of it's a series of conversations. But the each actor is shooting their side of the conversation in a completely different like location from the other one. So then not they're not really acting against anything, but they have to create chemistry. And
Alex Heeney 31:27
the jobs key is on Zoom directing them. Yes. Filmmaking at its best.
Orla Smith 31:33
And she's the youngest member of the cast. And she's against some, like really seasoned, amazing actors. And she's, yeah, yeah, she's, she's really fantastic. And I was saying to you of the podcast that she gave me some kind of like, have the same energy that I enjoy it and Greta Gerwig as a performer, and she's she's really charming and thoughtful and funny on screen. Yeah. So again, I also I feel that I have a lot of goodwill towards her, and I really want this to be good. She's in it as well. And it has a really good cast of like comedic actors, Patti Harrison,
Alex Heeney 32:13
and she stars in it.
Orla Smith 32:15
She stars in it with Ben Platt, Evan Hanson himself. And there's a lot of like Iowa dewberries. in it. Patti Harrison is in it. I like both of them. There's a bunch of
Alex Heeney 32:27
random stuff like Oh, went to the kid from Minari.
Orla Smith 32:30
Okay, I Well, I've heard about this film is that it's a kind of like, semi improvised film. So we'll see how that that could be fun. And that can be terrible. We will see. And
Alex Heeney 32:46
I think those are the known quantities. I think there's other stuff that's subject matter we're interested in.
Orla Smith 32:53
Yeah, I'm gonna take what it's worth just saying that. Like, the way that Sundance works is you so much of it is an unknown quantity that you make come out the other end talking about completely different films that were from what were on your radar, meaning,
Alex Heeney 33:07
your favorite film is likely to be something you never heard of. your least favorite film is likely to be something that was on your most excited to see list.
Orla Smith 33:17
And also, it's like worth noting that like we've talked about mostly fiction films here, because it's easier to kind of connect them to a director or an actor we're interested in. But one of our key focuses in watching and our coverage will be nonfiction because we have experienced that they're often the most interesting films at Sundance and does a really good job of programming, interesting, creative nonfiction. So that you know, even though those films are kind of a lot of them are unknown quantities to us right now. We will be going out of our way to watch them. But I think
Alex Heeney 33:50
the other thing we focus on, historically, and this even ended up happening last year two has been the international films, which tend to get short shrift at Sundance, but they do premiere really great films like Flee was, was at Sundance. That was one of the actual good films in 2021 or the only good film. And so we will be watching out for both the documentaries there. And I mean, I've been covering the world dramatic competition at Sundance pretty much since I started going. It was a disappointment last year was a huge disappointment last year, but the year before gave us one great film which made up for a lot of dreck. So I'm hoping that it will be back in form and we'll get several good and maybe a couple of really exceptional films. God's own country was in the world dramatic competition as a souvenir which won the World keep Britain Yeah, so they do have films.
Orla Smith 34:53
And then one last thing that we'll be focusing on in our coverage and making sure we report to you is There's usually a very small number of indigenous films at Sundance. And there's a slightly less more number this year. But still small, fancy dance, which is actually I mentioned before was starring Lily Gladstone is one of those. Yeah, it's
Alex Heeney 35:16
actually directed by an indigenous filmmaker, which is not true of all of the other quote unquote, indigenous films.
Orla Smith 35:23
Yes. But we will, we will be watching as many of those as we can. And we will be having some sort of discussion whether in its own episode, or just within the context of all of us, and that's coverage. The kind of films or indigenous filmmakers and films about indigenous people that are at the festival because they usually a small number, and it's worth discussing what kinds of things the festival is programming in that respect.
Alex Heeney 35:52
Oh, no, we forgot to do with our Sundance bingo card. Oh, yeah. Do you need to add one last year?
Orla Smith 35:59
Yeah, you need to provide it to people so that we can all play along.
Alex Heeney 36:02
Yeah. Okay, I'll dig out. I'm gonna dig out my Sundance bingo card, and we'll post it with this episode. So you can play along, they have their categories, and they like to fill them.
Orla Smith 36:12
Yeah, yeah. It's very fun. So that's the
Alex Heeney 36:16
end of our preview episode. Tune in in the next couple of days. We'll have our next episode up and we'll be reporting throughout the festival. So stay tuned, make sure you have hit subscribe on the seven throw podcast so that you do not miss an episode. You can also sign up for our newsletter if you want to get notified there as well about new episodes at email dot seven dash rho.com. I'll put a link to that in the show notes as well.
Orla Smith 36:47
You can find me at all mango on Twitter, and at all the underscore p underscore Smith on Instagram and I will be posting intermittently throughout the festival about my thoughts on films if you want to catch up with me there. I'm not someone who will tweet about every single film I see because I think films need to percolate in. Its you know, I don't like the expectation of giving an instant reaction. I don't think it serves the film's. But sometimes I think of a pithy comment, and I will make it
Alex Heeney 37:20
well. Sometimes you kind of like a film when you see it and then two days later, you've forgotten it exists. And exactly instant reaction kind of means nothing. Like for
Orla Smith 37:29
example, at the London Film Festival. I didn't tweet about ton of films, but when I left the eternal daughter like I was sort of overflowing with thoughts and so I wrote a couple tweets, strongest lights from Louie. Yeah. So, you know, I'll tweet about some things follow me there. If you want to see those things.
Alex Heeney 37:50
You can find me on Twitter and Instagram ish at the Westin ask BW e s d c I N E A Ste same caveat Zorrilla and you can find both of us on the seven throw Twitter and Instagram accounts at seven throw SCV NTHRO W. And you can find links to this episode our other sentence episodes any written coverage, our past sentence coverage, etc etc. On our website at seven dash ro.com
Orla Smith 38:24
and obligatory disclaimer that we're recording this few weeks in advance so if Twitter no longer exists, out ignore that.
Alex Heeney 38:36
Alright, thanks for listening and we hope you'll tune in later during the festival to hear more of our thoughts as we've actually seen the films by
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