Sundance With Greg K

Sundance With Greg K

LIVE FROM UTAH, ENTERTAINTMENT EDITOR GREG KRELENSTEIN REPORTS ON THE BUZZIEST BREAKOUTS OF SUNDANCE 2016

LIVE FROM UTAH, ENTERTAINTMENT EDITOR GREG KRELENSTEIN REPORTS ON THE BUZZIEST BREAKOUTS OF SUNDANCE 2016

DAY ONE:Author: The JT LeRoy Story

Placing an untrusted narrator at the focal point of your documentary to tell the story of the greatest literary hoax of our time is brilliant—especially when that narrator is Laura Albert, also known as Speedie, or Emily Frasier or Terminator. Jeff Feuerzeig’ s riveting film,Author: The JT LeRoy Story(which at press time is nearing adistribution deal withAmazon) tells her story - a life spent seeking self acceptance, juxtaposed against the cult of celebrity she created by inventing the pen name, JT Leroy. That cult included the icons of the late 90s and early 00s—Courtney Love, Gus Van Sant, Asia Argento, Winona Ryder, Shirley Manson, Dennis Cooper, and Billy Corgan to name a few. The documentary does its best to humanize this stranger than fiction story, and even when the emperor’ s clothes are off, the mystery of JT remains.Goat

Based on real events,Goatfollows a group of pledges entering the fraternity ritual known as “Hell Week.” Bro culture on speed, the torture escalates as the pledges get closer to the final tests, and the film plays out like a horror movie and cautionary tale. A darker and mature turn for Nick Jonas is matched by a breakout performance by Ben Schnetzer. The best scene in the film features James Franco (who also produced the film) as a legendary frat brother visiting for a night, preaching brotherhood but more interested in keeping the party going.Wiener Dog

Celebrated cult director Todd Solondzadds another classic to his cynical canon with the uncompromising dark comedy,Wiener Dog. The title refers to the nickname given to his most famous character Dawn Wiener, the star of his first film,Welcome To The Dollhouse. The film is broken into four parts and even includes a musical intermission starring the title character. The ensemble cast includes Greta Gerwig (who plays the grown up Dawn), Ellen Burstyn, Julie Delpy, Danny Devito, and Zosia Mamet, all loosely connected by the dachshund featured in each vignette. The film’ s overall themes are no stranger to the director as he once again delves into childhood innocence and adult experience. He saves his darkest moments for the final story featuring Mamet, playing a darker version of her character on Girls, and Burstyn, as her caustic grandmother.

GOAT 

Credits: IMAGE COURTESY SUNDANCE

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