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We asked Sundance directors five questions about their films
SHUT UP AND PLAY THE HITS DIRECTORS DYLAN SOUTHERN AND WILL LOVELACE By Dan Schoenbrun

Over LCD Soundsystem's ten-year career, the band grew from early blog darlings to lauded indie stalwarts. After telegraphing the group's demise years in advance, band-leader James Murphy officially disbanded LCD last April with a star-studded, marathon-length performance at Madison Square Garden. Now, less than a year later, Dylan Southern and Will Lovelace present Shut Up and Play the Hits, a documentary that follows Murphy and his band-mates in the run-up to and aftermath of their now-legendary final performance. Read the Interview

VALLEY OF SAINTS DIRECTOR MUSA SYEED AND PRODUCER NICHOLAS BRUCKMAN By Dan Schoenbrun

Musa Syeed's Valley of Saints is a film warmly awash in setting and culture. Filmed in Kashmir, within the aquatic trading community of Dal Lake, Valley follows Gulzar, a young ferry driver who dreams of moving out of Kashmir, until the arrival of a beautiful American scientist begins to complicate things. Pairing with producer Nicholas Bruckman, Syeed's first narrative effort patiently probes into a fascinating community (and part of the world) rarely seen on the big screen.Read the Interview

We posed the question, "Why are you a filmmaker?"
CALIFORNIA SOLO DIRECTOR MARSHALL LEWY I remember watching the end of Hannah and her Sisters as a teenager, when Woody Allen finds out he's not going to die from a terminal illness and then fails at a suicide attempt. How does he find the will to live again? He walks past a theater where a Marx Brothers comedy is playing, he slips in and loses himself in the magic of Duck Soup, and all his problems melt away. Of course, right? I mean, what better way for a person to celebrate life than to go sit in a dark room in the middle of the day for two hours and watch other people hit one another over the head on a giant screen. Read More

THE RAID WRITER-DIRECTOR GARETH EVANS I'm the guy that makes stunt performers take multiple kicks to the head for the pleasure of what I hope is a captivated audience. I ask a lot of people. I deal in blood and mayhem. As a kid I was obsessed, and still am to this day with the incredible work done by my childhood heroes. My friends and I would re-enact everything we'd seen, doing remakes of our favorite films in my back garden. 8 year old kids running around swinging punches and kicks, diving across the lawn. Read More

THE LAST ELVIS DIRECTOR ARMANDO BO I'm a third generation of filmmakers. When I was a boy I used to visit the sets of my father and grandfather. I worked as an extra, in production, in location scouting, in direction. I cannot say exactly why I do it. I only know that I enjoy it and I don't see myself doing anything else. I believe that cinema, being a combination of most of the other arts, if it is well executed, it is without a doubt the art that goes deeper and mobilizes more different feelings.Read more

IN THIS NEWSLETTER
Shut Up and Play the Hits
Valley of Saints
California Solo
The Raid
The Last Elvis
Watch Ten Sundance Shorts Online
Slamdance: Frank Rinaldi's Sundowning
Photo Stream: Sundance Directors, Cast, and Crew
Video: Mike Birbiglia on Sleepwalk with Me
SUNDANCE BLOG & FEATURES
News, columns, and opinions straight from Park City
WATCH TEN SUNDANCE SHORTS ONLINE By Dan Schoenbrun

Jeremiah Zagar, the prolific documentary filmmaker behind 2008's In a Dream is back with Heart Stop Beating: A Body Without A Pulse, a new short screening before Escape Fire this week at Sundance. Heart Stop Beating is a brief, fascinating look at Billy Cohn & Bud Frazier, two doctors who successfully replaced a dying man's heart with a mechanical device this past March, proving that human physiology can be supported without a pulse. Over its four minute run-time, the documentary features glimpses into the operating room, as well as interviews with Cohn and Frazer. Read More

A YEAR WITHOUT RENT: FRANK RINALDI'S SUNDOWNING By Lucas McNelly

The first film I saw today was the morning screening of James Stenson's Kelly, a documentary portrait of transvestite Kelly Van Ryan, a girl who moved to LA from North Carolina to become a star. Of course, she didn't, instead turning to prostitution and meth. Kelly is a complicated portrait. The filmmakers clearly have a great affection for her, and she's a compelling character, prone to rants and exclamations like, "Recession? How does the whole world run out of money?" Read More

PHOTO STREAM: SUNDANCE DIRECTORS, CAST, AND CREW By Alexandra Byer

Photo 1: Andy Samberg joked that it was finally nice to be acting in something where he "wasn't rapping or wearing a bird suit."
Photo 2: Elijah Wood's co-stars cleared the stage, leaving him alone to answer a question regarding his influences for his gay character. Wood answered that most of the inspiration came from costume designer Julia Caston's impeccable wardrobe choices. See the Photos
MIKE BIRBIGLIA ON SLEEPWALK WITH ME By Scott Macaulay

Recently I posted Ira Glass's amazing rant about producing Mike Birbiglia's debut feature, Sleepwalk with Me, premiering here at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Now, here's Birbiglia himself discussing the medical condition that prompted the film, the challenges of transferring material from his comedic monologues to film, and pizza... Watch


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