LOS ANGELES—Sex, the Internet and good, old fashioned rock ‘n’ roll will dominate the 29th Sundance Film Festival, the top showcase of independent cinema that opened recently in the snowy mountains of Utah.
Founded by Robert Redford, the annual festival in Park City aims to nurture independent filmmakers who might otherwise be eclipsed by output from the major studios—while Hollywood uses it to scout upcoming talents.
The Jan. 17-27 event will present 119 feature films from 32 countries, including 51 first-timers and more than 100 world premieres.
Sex and desire are key themes that will be explored at Sundance in fictional movies and documentaries, festival director John Cooper told AFP.
“It is undeniable that there are a lot of examinations of sexual relationships in this year’s line-up,” Cooper stated. “Filmmakers are dealing with sex as power, sex as basic human need and desire, sex from the male and female points of view.
“I chalk this up to the fact that indie filmmakers have always been at the forefront, as far as tackling fresh ideas and issues—even taboo subjects.”
Among the movies that are sure to create buzz are “Lovelace,” starring Amanda Seyfried in the title role, as 1970s porn star, Linda Lovelace of “Deep Throat” fame.
Also on the list are “The Lifeguard,” about the dangerous relationship between a pool lifeguard and a teenager, and “Interior. Leather Bar.”
—an X-rated art film directed by and starring James Franco.
Franco and co-director Travis Mathews have reimagined sexually explicit footage cut from William Friedkin’s 1980 drama, “Cruising,” in which Al Pacino played a New York cop who goes undercover in the city’s gay S&M scene.
Sundance will also feature several films looking at the world of high-tech and the Internet including “Google and the World Brain,” a documentary about the web giant’s plans to scan every book in the world.
On the documentary front, one of the festival’s strong points, about 40 films will be screened—including “Manhunt,” a look at the CIA’s hunt for Osama bin Laden.