Favorite films from Sundance
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Sundance standouts

Favorites from the Sundance Film Festival

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The producers and crew of “Holy Hell” speak at Sundance.

By Austin Yoder | Contributor

This past week, I and 10 other Taylor film students, I attended the 2016 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Over a period of seven days, I personally saw 18 movies. It was one of the most exciting and exhausting weeks of my entire life. If 18 sounds a bit overwhelming, here are the four films that I recommend you see when they’re released.

“Swiss Army Man”

Daniel Radcliffe plays a flatulent corpse (I know what you’re thinking and, no, I’m not above making a Harry Poot-er reference) in one of the most wildly bizarre and inventive films in recent memory. Paul Dano plays Hank, a man stranded on a desert island who finds a dead body that may prove to be his last chance for survival. But amidst all the farts and immaturity is a profoundly emotional film about life, connection and love.

“Holy Hell”

First-time director Will Allen takes the audience on a journey through his 22-year stint inside a cult in this deeply disturbing and fascinating documentary. Combining mind-blowing archival footage from the cult with present day interviews with past cult members, Allen weaves a twist-filled tale about the lengths humans will go to find purpose in their lives.

“Life, Animated”

Without a doubt the most joyful movie I saw at Sundance was this documentary about a boy with autism who learns to communicate and understand the world around him through the power of Disney movies. At times laugh-out-loud funny, at times a tear-jerker, Owen Suskind’s story will forever change your perspective on autism, and maybe even have you digging out VHS copies of the movies you haven’t seen since you were a kid.

“The Hollars”

John Krasinski directs and stars in this family dramedy about a struggling artist who heads home after his mother is diagnosed with cancer. The plot may be familiar and dripping with sentiment, but solid performances, sweet moments and perfect soundtrack set this film apart from others in its genre.

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