Day two at Sundance had a great lineup of premieres and films from newcomers that I was very much looking forward to hunkering down and watching. Alas, time was of the essence it wasn’t able to watch a few during their scheduled slots. However, thanks to Sundance’s great app and options for second screenings – I’ll be sure to catch up on a handful of those films over the weekend.
One film in particular that I was able to catch the live premiere for was Watcher, directed by Chloe Okuno and written by Zack Ford – who also happens to have written a fantastic article about breaking into Hollywood for Script last year, you can read it here. I’ve been following the progress of this film since Zack sold the spec to Spooky Pictures in 2020, to the announcement of it being in production in Romania to the grand announcement it was showing at Sundance. I must admit, I was very much looking forward to seeing this one in particular on the big screen with Zack and his team in Park City. In any case, I still had the opportunity to watch it and be completely enthralled from the comfort of my couch. The film fully leans into the thriller genre, twists and turns at every corner, with a strong central female character at the forefront. It harkens to many familiar thrillers from the likes of Hitchcock’s Rear Window and Polanski’s Rosemary’s Baby. It’s visceral, haunting, and really heightens the feeling of being a woman that is alone left with the feeling of uncertainty. Check back soon for an exclusive interview with Zack Ford in the coming days!
Call Jane had its online premiere, which I happened to miss but was able to catch within my ticketed window – another great thing about the Sundance app. This movie immediately juxtaposes the haves and have nots, the inequality women faced during that specific period in the late 60s, and the movements that transpired from one incredible organization, Jane. It’s a topical and a poignant story about womanhood and taking control while the whole world is watching. The film stars Elizabeth Banks as Joy, who harnesses an awakening within her after undergoing an abortion. She soon takes it upon herself to educate herself and help other women in need, thanks to the encouragement and at times, forced upon responsibility by Virginia played by the one and only, Sigourney Weaver. Without giving away any spoilers - there are a few stomach-turning moments that feel so real, you want to look away but can’t, which reminded me of a similar, but not as gruesome moment from the 2007 Romanian film 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days written and directed by Cristian Mingiu. Call Jane is beautifully directed by Phyllis Nagy and written by Hayley Schore and Roshan Sethi.
With day three in full swing, I’ve started off my morning catching up on a few films that I missed the live premieres for, A Love Song and The Worst Person in the World. Tune back in tomorrow for those recaps and more!