Yesterday morning we brought you six Sundance 2013 shorts already available to stream and today it’s time to take a preview at the feature length line-up with over a dozen trailers for films set to debut in Park City soon. We’ve got a batch of documentaries, including one that looks at Google’s mission to to digitize the world, another that dissects the Beltway sniper attacks in Washington D.C., one that may surprise, simply featuring children auditioning for a film, and many more. There’s also a look at the next drama from Matthew Porterfield, the director who gave us Putty Hill, as well as an intriguing 3D film that captures airplane black box transcripts word for word. Check everything out below, including official images and synopsis from the official Sundance site.
Google and the World Brain (Ben Lewis)
The goal of accumulating all human knowledge in one repository has been a dream since ancient times. Only recently, however, has that dream become a reality. Quietly and behind closed doors, Google has been executing a project to scan and digitize every printed word on the planet. Working with the world’s most prestigious libraries, the webmasters are reinventing the limits of copyright in the name of free access to anyone, anywhere. What can possibly be wrong with this picture?
As Google and the World Brain reveals, a whole lot. Some argue that Google’s actions represent aggressive theft on an enormous scale, others see them as an attempt to monopolize our shared cultural heritage, and still others view the project as an attempt to flatten our minds by consolidating complex ideas into searchable “extra-long tweets.” At first slowly, and then with intensifying conviction, a diverse coalition mobilizes to stop the fulfillment of this ambitious dream. Incisive and riveting as it uncovers a high-stakes multinational heist, Ben Lewis’s film voices an important alternative to the technological utopianism of our time.
Charlie Victor Romeo (Robert Berger and Karlyn Michelson)
When you board an airplane, who are those people in uniform to whom you entrust your life? What do they really do when things go horribly wrong? Derived entirely from the “black box” transcripts of six major airline emergencies, Charlie Victor Romeo puts the audience inside the tension-filled cockpits of actual flights in distress, offering a fascinating portrait of the psychology of crisis and a person’s will to live to the last second.
Codirectors Robert Berger and Karlyn Michelson’s chilling and groundbreaking production stretches the boundaries of film, theatre, and the traditional documentary with this stereoscopic 3-D film of a stage play that recreates transcripts word for word. Charlie Victor Romeo transports film audiences into the best seats of the theatre and delivers the intensity and gut-wrenching emotion of these emergencies via the unique approach of live performance. Berger and Michelson not only serve up raw cinematic tension but also set the stage for future collaborations with theatrical productions.
I Used To Be Darker (Matthew Porterfield)
When Taryn, a Northern Irish runaway, finds herself in trouble in Ocean City, Maryland, she seeks refuge with her aunt and uncle in Baltimore. But Kim and Bill have problems of their own: they are trying to handle the end of their marriage gracefully for the sake of their daughter, Abby, just home from her first year of college. I Used to Be Darker is a story of people finding each other and letting each other go; of looking for love where they have found it before; and, when that does not work, figuring out where they might find it next.
With his third feature, writer/director Matthew Porterfield focuses his delicate eye on this rip in a family’s fabric and the emotional fallout it causes. Cinematographer Jeremy Saulnier beautifully tracks the bubbling revelations and suburban Baltimore landscape in this quiet story that is enlivened by live performance.
Gideon’s Army (Dawn Porter)
In 1963, the landmark Supreme Court decision Gideon v. Wainwright guaranteed all defendants facing imprisonment the right to a lawyer. Now, every year millions of Americans facing trial rely on fewer than 15,000 public defenders, and the country’s justice system hangs in the balance. Gideon’s Army confronts this crisis head-on, tracking a group of young southern public defenders hell-bent on protecting the sanctity of human liberty.
Taut, visceral filmmaking plunges us into the unbelievably demanding lives of three fledgling public defenders in Georgia and Mississippi. Not only are they juggling hundreds of cases independently, but their offices don’t have adequate resources, and their salaries barely cover personal expenses—including six-figure law-school debts.
As all three lawyers harness ingenuity, perseverance, and adrenaline to fight for their indigent clients, we wonder: How long can they keep working in a constant state of emergency? Will they find the moral support to sustain this higher calling? And if not, what happens to our democracy?
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