Documentaries on Nick Cave and of transgender singer Rae Spoon and a musical from Stuart Murdoch of Belle & Sebastian are among the 118 full-length films selected for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival’s U.S. and World Cinema Dramatic and Documentary Competitions and out-of-competition screenings.
Murdoch’s “God Help the Girl,” among the dozen films in the World Cinema Drama Competition, is described as “some messed up boys and girls and the music they made.” The cast includes Emily Browning, Olly Alexander, Hannah Murray, Cora Bisset and Pierre Boulanger.
The Cave film, “20,000 Days On Earth” from directors Iain Forsyth & Jane Pollard, and the Spoon film, “My Prairie Home” by director Chelsea McMullan, are in the World Cinema Documentary Competition. “Earth” captures a fictitious 24 hours in Cave’s life and provides an intimate portrayal of the artistic process. McMullan’s documentary uses images of the Canadian prairies as visual interpretations of Spoon’s songs.
Among other music-oriented films screening at the festival being held Jan. 16-26 in Park City, Utah, are “Song One” starring British musician Johnny Flynn and “Happy Christmas,” which stars “Pitch Perfect’s” Anna Kendrick and “Girls’” Lena Dunham. Both are in the U.S. Dramatic Competition.
Set in Brooklyn’s music scene, Kate Barker-Froyland’s “Song One” stars Anne Hathaway as an aspiring musician who tracks down her favorite singer, portrayed by Flynn.
Also in the Dramatic Competition is Damien Chazelle’s “Whiplash” about a talented young drummer who pursues perfection at any cost. It stars Miles Teller and JK Simmons.
The U.S. Documentary Competition includes “Alive Inside: A Story of Music & Memory,” director Michael Rossato-Bennett’s look at how songs embedded deep in memory can ease pain and awaken the minds of from Alzheimer's disease and dementia patients.
More selections of the 2014 Sundance Film Festival will be announced at a later date.
The 2013 edition included the premieres of “20 Feet From Stardom” and “Muscle Shoals”; a year earlier, eventual Oscar documentary winner “Searching for Sugar Man” premiered at the festival.