In case you haven’t heard, two of our writers from The UnderSCENE will be covering the 2021 Sundance Film Festival. Andres and Alex couldn’t be more excited to have the opportunity to do so.
As the festival is about to begin officially, we decided to talk about some of the films that we’re the most excited about, so let’s talk about them!
Judas and the Black Messiah
I mean, this feels as if it’s a cop-out but of course Judas and the Black Messiah is on this list. It’s arguably the biggest title to play at the festival. I’ve spoken at length about watching trailers, at home or at work. One of the best trailers I’ve ever seen.
I’ve been a massive fan of LaKeith Stanfield since Short Term 12 and there hasn’t been a film where I thought he was either phenomenal or the best part of the film. And then there’s Daniel Kaluuya. I mean, Oscar Nominated Daniel Kaluuya. He should have been nominated just for the staredown in Widows but the Academy is stupid, but we’ll touch on that more when the nominations comes out. Alongside the cast is Jesse Plemons who is incredible in everything from i’m thinking of endings things to Game Night.
I haven’t brought up what the actual film is about yet. LaKeith Stanfield is William O’Neal, the petty criminal who worked the FBI to help take down the chairman of the Black Panther Party, Fred Hampton, played by Kaluuya. You know we’ll be watching this film at Sundance, and we’ll bring you a review. –AG
The Blazing World
I am a huge Carlson Young fan. I have been since I saw her portrayal of Brooke, who seems like your typical popular girl stereotype but is revealed to be so much more and defies what it means to be a final girl, in Scream the TV Series. So when I watched her short film of the same title, which she wrote, directed and starred in herself, I was in dire need of a feature film. Well, it’s finally here and will be premiering at Sundance this year and I could not be more excited. I actually feel very comfortable admitting this film right here is my most anticipated for the festival.
The story follows Margaret, a self destructive woman who returns home a decade after her twin sister’s drowning, only to find herself being attracted to an alternate dimension where her sister could be alive. This will be Carlson’s first time directing a feature film and by the look of the photos that have been released, it looks like this could be an excellent start in her career behind the scenes. -AP
On The Count of Three
I don’t know how many times I’m going to keep repeating myself, but anything with Christopher Abbott makes for a must-watch. He’s one of my favourite working actors. After seeing James White, I knew I would follow him anywhere. And then there’s Jerrod Carmichael who also directed the film. I’m a huge fan of Jerrod, even though I’ve never gotten around to watching The Jerrod Carmichael Show but that’s on my list of things to do this year. But his comedy is incredible and his conversation with Tyler, The Creator for his album Igor shows his personality more and more. So I’m estactic to watch this film. -AG
One For The Road
I am an absolute sucker for friendship movies. I mean, most of us are but I actually prefer them to any romance film that’s thrown my way. One For The Road follows Boss, a club owner in New York who receives a call from his friend Aood in Thailand saying that he has terminal cancer. The two take a trip down memory lane together, returning gifts to Aood’s exes and going over their own broken past together. Basically it sounds like a complete and utter emotional rollercoaster and I am so here for that. I often find that films tackling life long friends and their journeys coming to an end are extremely impactful, so this one seems perfect for my first premiere of the festival. -AP
In The Earth
I mean, between writing about Rebecca and Kill List, I brought up how I love Ben Wheatley. His films can definitely be divisive and there’s something about that excites me. I never know where I will fall with his films, but on top of that, where I would fall on them in the future. High-Rise is a film that I originally reviewed and couldn’t get into, but then it burrowed into my brain and now I have an inkling to watch at least once a month. On the other end of the spectrum, Free Fire is a film that I saw at TIFF and loved – only to rarely think about anymore. So I have no idea where I’m going to end up for In The Earth. Reading the synopsis of the film has me all sorts of excited and nervous for the project.
Also, the fact that he shot this in 15 days during the pandemic while prepping for Meg 2: The Trench is mind-boggling. I haven’t seen the first Meg but maybe I should because I need to be prepped for whatever he’s going to do with the sequel. -AG
John and The Hole
Now this one sounds like an absolutely twisted fun time. John and The Hole follows a thirteen year old boy who stumbles across an unfinished bunker in the woods. This results in him drugging him family, putting them in the bunker, and returning home to a life where he can do whatever he wants; leaving his family wondering when he’ll come back and how they’ll get out.
The concept of this film is so twisted and cool because as a kid, all you want is a life of no rules, a world of never hearing no; when in fact, that world is never greener on the other side. Not to mention this cast is fantastic. Michael C. Hall (Dexter), Jennifer Ehle (Zero Dark Thirty), Taissa Farmiga (American Horror Story), along with up-and-coming actor Charlie Shotwell as John; sign me up. -AP
Those are just some of the films we’re looking forward to the most at Sundance. What films are you excited to watch? Let us know below.