In less than two months, the 2019 Sundance Film Festival will turning Park City into a hive of movie-oriented activity.
Besides the competition films, Dramatic and Documentary, announced by Sundance last week, a slate of 30 Premier films will pack audiences into the Eccles Center, and the Midnight program will freak out movie-goers during the late hours.
Among the Premieres, the dramatic film “Blinded by the Light” deals with a teen in 1980’s Britain finding inspiration in Bruce Springsteen. The film “late Night” teams up two actresses from different worlds, with Emma Thompson as a legendary talk-show host, who fears she’s slipping, and Mindy Kaling as the new diversity hire on her writing staff. A film from Norway “Sonja—The White Swan” tells the story of a native daughter—Sonja Heinie, who became a Hollywood star in the 1930’s.
And two separate films, “Official Secrets” and “The Report” blow the whistle on undercover government activities during the War on Terror.
Two Premieres are hitting somewhat close to home. Zac Efron plays Ted Bundy in “Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile.” Bundy’s trail of homicides went through Utah in the 1970’s where he was arrested for the first time. And the documentary “Untouchable” deals with the downfall of Harvey Weinstein formerly a Hollywood mogul and the attendee at many Sundance festivals.
The documentary Premieres focus on several famous names, including sex therapist Dr. Ruth Westheimer, fashion designer Halston, musician Miles Davis, author Toni Morrison, liberal Texas gadfly Molly Ivins, and Anton Yelchin, the young actor known as Chekhov in the new Star Trek franchise, who died in a freak vehicle accident in 2016.
Meanwhile, the Midnight program includes “Greener Grass” a demented look at suburbia; “Memory” a review of the cultural origins of the movie “Alien” and “Mope” about two low-level porn actors with big dreams. There are six films in the Spotlight section—movies that have premiered elsewhere—and three films in the Kids program. Those entries come from countries including Colombia, Serbia and Australia.