With the summer blockbuster season winding down (or, in the case of “R.I.P.D.,” grinding to a halt), the Sundance Screening Room calendar is re-launching for the first time since May. The series features foreign films, independent films and documentaries, all exempt from the theater’s usual amenities fees. Coming out and seeing these films is a great way to show Sundance that there’s still a healthy audience for challenging, smaller movies in Madison.
And I’m happy to announced that I’ve been invited back to host some Screening Room films and post-show discussions in the theater’s Overflow Bar. Those are always a lot of fun. I haven’t yet figure out which movies I’ll be hosting, but I will let you know soon in this space.
Looking at the schedule, which starts next Friday, it looks like there’ll be lots for us to talk about.
Friday, Aug. 2-8 — “At Any Price” — Just filmed over the border in the DeKalb, Illinois area, this new film from Ramin Bahraini (“Goodbye Solo”) is a suprisingly unsentimental look at modern farming, with Dennis Quaid playing a smooth-talking farmer desperate to hold on to what’s his, and Zac Efron as his disaffected son.
Aug. 9-15 — “Dirty Wars” — Investigative journalist (and Wisconsin native) Jeremy Scahill made this documentary about his dogged hunt for information on America’s covert wars.
Aug. 16-22 — “Love is All You Need” — A lighter film from Danish director Susannah Bier (“Brothers”), with Pierce Brosnan and Trine Dyrholm playing a widower and a divorced woman who fall for each other at their children’s wedding in Italy.
Aug. 23-29 — “The Act of Killing” — Werner Herzog and UW grad Errol Morris collaborated as executive producers on this disturbing documentary about death squads in Indonesia.
Aug. 30-Sept. 5 — “Ain’t Them Bodies Saints” — An outlaw (Casey Affleck), a sheriff (Ben Foster) and his wife (Rooney Mara) collide in this acclaimed film from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival.
Sept. 6-12 — “Stories We Tell” — This 2013 Wisconsin Film Festival sellout is one of the best films of the year, as actress-director Sarah Polley’s investigation into her own family’s secrets reveals insights about how we shape our own personal narratives.
Sept. 13-19 — “Crystal Fairy” — Michael Cera plays a callow tourist seeking a mysterious drug in Chile whose plans are waylaid by a free-spirited hippie (Gaby Hoffman).
Sept. 20-26 — “Hannah Arendt” — This documentary looks at the life of the acclaimed German-Jewish philosopher and theorist, whose coverage of the Eichmann trial shaped much of how we perceive the Third Reich.
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