The purchase of the Sundance Cinemas chain by Carmike Theaters in October doesn’t seem to have had much of a visible effect on the Madison theater. Which is a good thing for fans who have been flocking to the Hilldale Mall theater during this very busy winter movie season.
And now comes word that another favorite Sundance tradition will survive the change-over — the Sundance Screening Room calendar returns on January 29 with a new slate of foreign, documentary and independent films. The calendar locks in some terrific films on the schedule through mid-March, and I’m planning to return to do some post-show chats after some of the films. Stay tuned.
“Oscar Shorts” (Jan. 29-Feb. 11) — As in years past, Sundance will screen all of this year’s Academy Award nominees in the Animated, Live Action and Documentary categories in separate screenings for each category. The nominees will be announced this Thursday. I’m planning to do a post-show chat on Wednesday, Feb. 3 for the “Live Action” films, so stay tuned for more details.
“A Perfect Day” (Feb. 12-18) — Spanish writer-director Fernando Leon de Aranoa (“Mondays in the Sun”) makes his English-language debut with this black comedy in the “Catch-22” vein about a group of harried UN workers (including Tim Robbins and Benicio Del Toro) in the Balkans in 1995 who must deal with an unusual challenge — a dead body blocking a well delivering vital water supplies to the locals.
“Mustang” (Feb. 19-25) — In Northern Turkey, five teenage sisters chafe under the repressive anti-woman authorities of their region when a neighbor accuses them of immoral behavior in this acclaimed drama.
“Peggy Guggenheim: Art Addict” (Feb. 26-March 3) — This documentary from the director of “Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel” looks at the free-spirited heiress and art collectors whose entanglements with artists (both cultural and sexual) helped “midwife” the modernist movement.
“Viva” (March 4-10) — A Cuban hairdresser yearns to enter the world of drag performing but has to deal with his estranged, disapproving father first.
“Hitchcock/Truffaut” (March 11-17) — If you miss this documentary when it plays at the UW-Cinematheque on Jan. 22, you can catch this look at the legendary interviews between two master directors at Sundance.
“Embrace of the Serpent” (March 18-24) — The culture clash between a foreign scientist and a local shaman in the Amazon in the early 19th century is dramatized in this lush film.