Despite threats of potential protests over its Mormon-choked host state's support of Proposition 8, the 2009 Sundance Film Festival will run from January 15th to the 25th, though in case anyone wants to boycott Holiday Village Cinemas—a four-plex run by Cinemark, whose chief executive donated $9,999 to the Yes On 8 cause—the programmers have arranged the schedule so any film that plays there will also have an additional screening in another venue. (Festival heads have suggested that removing the Cinemark venue altogether was not an option, due to the limited alternatives available in tiny Park City.)
Today, the festival finished rolling out its announcement of the entire Sundance line-up, and longtime director Geoff Gilmore claims that the overall tone leans toward more emotional, melodramatic fare, though the 118 features unspooling next month will likely defy any such tiny reduction. A few of the highlights:
• In the Dramatic Competition section, actor John Kracinski (The Office) premieres his long-in-the-works adaptation of the late David Foster Wallace's Brief Interviews With Hideous Men, while former Onion editor-in-chief (and The Wrestler screenwriter) Rob Siegel also makes his directorial debut with Big Fan, starring Patton Oswalt as a New York Giants nut who gets beat up by his favorite player.
• In the Documentary Competition section, big names like Doug Pray (Surfwise, Scratch) and Joe Berlinger (Paradise Lost, Metallica: Some Kind Of Monster) lead the way with films about the advertising world and a tragic case of oil-sploitation in the jungles of Ecuador, respectively.
• The Premieres section brings most of the big stars and established filmmakers to Park City, including new films by Superbad director Greg Mottola (Adventureland), a reteaming of Training Day director Antoine Fuqua and star Ethan Hawke for another cop drama (Brooklyn's Finest), and a star-studded adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis' The Informers.
For the first time ever, The A.V. Club will be sending two writers, Noel Murray and Nathan Rabin, to blog about the festival daily, so look for incisive critiques and surreal celebrity encounters in these virtual pages come January.