Sunday, 10 p.m. Eastern time: The arrival of snow in New York undoubtedly provides a style of genuine Park City-in-January ambiance, besides after all that I don’t must slog by means of the blizzard to get to screenings. Which is generally a reduction, even because it removes a vital ingredient of self-congratulation from the pageant expertise. Critics and journalists prefer to compete over who can see probably the most motion pictures in a single day. Four is fairly fundamental. Five offers you one thing to really feel smug about. Six is spectacular, although not everybody will consider you.
But at house, watching six motion pictures feels much less like a uncommon and heroic feat of journalistic stamina than an all-too-usual, considerably pathetic train in quarantine self-care, akin to taking in a complete season of “The Great British Baking Show” in a single sitting. That isn’t one thing I’d brag about and even admit to having achieved. Also not one thing anybody would pay me to do, I don’t suppose.
Anyway, for the report (and for the cash): Today’s viewing included 4 documentaries and two options. I didn’t make it to the top of every one — strolling out of flicks is among the responsible pleasures of festival-going. The highlights have been two documentaries about up to date American adolescence: Peter Nicks’s “Homeroom,” which follows a gaggle of Oakland highschool seniors by means of the tumult of the 2019-20 tutorial 12 months; and Parker Hill and Isabel Bethencourt’s “Cusp,” which observes a summer season within the lives of three Texas youngsters, Aaloni, Brittney and Autumn.
Monday, 11 a.m. Eastern time: This morning I’m unable to log onto the Sundance site to compensate for motion pictures I missed over the weekend, a frustration that mirrors the expertise of being shut out of a screening, with out the trek by means of ice and snow. While the tech assist individuals course of my plea for assist, I’m reviewing my notes from the weekend.
“Flee,” directed by Jonas Poher Rasmussen, is an animated documentary organized across the recollections of an Afghan refugee dwelling in Denmark. It’s harking back to “Persepolis” in some methods — a private, household story of displacement and self-reinvention set towards a background of struggle and political wrestle — however with its personal tactful, melancholy aesthetic.
“Wild Indian” is a robust debut by Lyle Mitchell Corbine Jr., the form of spare, regionally grounded, socially acutely aware drama that could be a Sundance staple. “Passing,” Rebecca Hall’s adaptation of the Harlem Renaissance novel by Nella Larsen, is a refined, considerably mannered meditation on race, id and want, shot in evocative black and white and anchored by the intriguing lead performances of Tessa Thompson and Ruth Negga as childhood associates who re-encounter one another as grown girls dwelling on reverse sides of the colour line.
The glitch has been corrected. Back to the screening room, to make up for misplaced time — as quickly as I shovel some snow.