Drew and I decided this was the year we were actually going to make it up to see some films at Sundance. We did the wait-list thing, which was surprisingly easy and efficient. Drew’s mom was in town, so we took her up on a Wednesday and got into Hesher at the Broadway Theater in Salt Lake, and Son of Babylon in Park City.
The film was brutal and brilliant; I spent most of it with my jaw dropped. But there are very, very few people I could recommend it to. The forceful vulgarity is essential to the film’s impact, and incredibly well done, but I haven’t heard language like that since junior high. It means to be offensive, and succeeds. Still, brilliant. I’m so glad we got to see it.
oseph Gordon-Leavitt delivered a stunning performance as Hesher. I’m used to seeing him in meeker roles, but he made Hesher intimidating through body language alone. (If you haven’t seen him in 500 Days of Summer, you are missing out.) This makes me incredibly excited for Inception–the new Christopher Nolan film with Leonardo DiCaprio and Joseph Gordon-Leavitt, coming out this summer.
I expected the film to be slow, and was pleasantly surprised at how engaging it was. I’d highly recommend it, and hope it scores some kind of a release in the States. We listened to the director talk afterwards. He says there are no more movie theaters left–all of them have been destroyed–so the people who saw him making the film didn’t understand what he was doing, even when he tried to explain.
There were no actors to be had, so none of the actors in the film are professionals. He found the little boy on the street, and selected him mainly because he spoke both languages necessary for the film. (The boy was an impressive actor. This director must be amazing to get those performances out of actors with no experience.) The woman who played the grandmother lost her husband in the same way the character lost her son. This is more than a story–it’s a tribute to the daily lives of many, many women and children in Iraq.
We went up to see one other film, but didn’t make it in. We’ve decided we need to try to see at least one film every year, though. This is so my kind of cinema.