Each year, Sundance London brings a carefully selected programme of films from Park City, Utah across the pond to Picturehouse Central. Among which are some heartfelt comedies, harrowing horrors, and the odd midlife crisis. With most of the line-up scheduled for a Summer release, here is our top 5 films that you do not want to miss in cinemas.
Apollo 11 (Todd Douglas Miller)
In Todd Douglas Miller’s soaring space documentary, we relive mankind’s historic first steps on the Moon. Opting not to use voiceover narration or cutaway interviews, the film will no doubt keep audiences tied to their seats with stunning 70mm restored never-before-seen archive footage. Miller portrays this monumental feat of humanity with endless amounts of just that: humanity.
The Farewell (Lulu Wang)
In Lulu Wang’s semi-autobiographical sophomore feature, first gen Chinese-American immigrant Billi (Awkwafina) is straddling two worlds. That of her home in New York, and her home in China. These worlds are united when she goes back to China to be with her grandmother, lovingly nicknamed Nai Nai, after she learns of her cancer diagnosis. One slight catch, everyone in the family knows Nai Nai has cancer, except Nai Nai. Wang expertly portrays the subtleties and nuances of familial relationships, especially those with relatives who’ve not seen one another in nearly a decade. Go for the superb writing, stay for Awkwafina’s pitch-perfect performance.
Late Night (Nisha Ganatra)
No one could have played this role other than Emma Thompson. In Mindy Kaling’s first written feature she plays Molly Patel, a young woman who finds herself on the writing team behind ‘Tonight with Katherine Newbury.’ Grappling with her own ambition and the idea of being a ‘diversity hire’, she attempts to update the show’s content before Katherine is replaced. With endless laughs and plenty of heart to spare, Late Night is 2019’s answer to The Devil Wears Prada.
Hail Satan? (Penny Lane)
Penny Lane’s latest documentary takes a bold and unconventional look at Satanism. Following the steady rise of The Satanic Temple and its various nation-wide chapters, Lane’s camera is open minded and non-judgemental. The documentary combines interviews with archive footage and is on-the-scene for some seminal moments as The Satanic Temple builds its reputation. Including that of the Baphomet statue conundrum, and various performance art stunts. The film is intriguing till the credits roll, and its subjects are all the more fascinating with their varying personalities and appearances, proving that Satanism is not to be put in a box.
Corporate Animals (Patrick Brice)
A sustainable cutlery start-up is caved in during a team-building retreat in New Mexico in this absurd satire. As days pass, relationships are tested, secrets are discovered, and some casual cannibalism may or may not occur. The film is at its best when really indulging in its balls-to-the-wall nature. Hallucinations, animations, and a surprising amount of gore are what will keep the audience in the game for Corporate Animals. With a whole host of familiar faces and a knockout performance from Demi Moore, this is the gory comedy you’ve been seeking for your next work night out.