Ignoring our very reasonable request, as though it had absolutely no bearing on their selection process, the programmers at Sundance have not added Richard Linklater’s 12-years-in-the-making Boyhood to their 2014 lineup. They have, however, announced a bunch of other we-guess-these-also-look-fine titles to sweeten the deal. Films appearing in the Premieres category include The Raid 2, a sequel to 2011’s nonstop-awesome Indonesian action film; a comedy called Frank, which makes the very odd decision to hide Michael Fassbender’s face under a fake head; Laggies, directed by Lynn Shelton and featuring Keira Knightley; I Origins, from the director and star of Another Earth; Hits, the feature directorial debut of David Cross; Anton Corbijn’s adaptation of the John le Carré novel A Most Wanted Man; and several other movies not shot by the director of Dazed & Confused over a period of a dozen years.
As for documentary premieres, the big get here is the Roger Ebert film, Life Itself, by Hoop Dreams director Steve James. Also on the bill is Fela, a new one by the tireless, sleepless, doc-producing robot Alex Gibney; and WHITEY: United States of America v. James J. Bulger, from Paradise Lost director Joe Berlinger.
With The Raid 2 screening under the Premieres banner, the Midnight programmers have compensated with a sequel to the Norwegian zombie favorite Dead Snow, as well as Adam Wingard's The Guest. Should they need one more scary movie to fill out that slate, maybe they can snatch up that new Linklater film that shows the terrifying ravages of age, as a young boy grows into a teenager right before our very eyes.
Sundance runs January 16-26, which means Robert Redford has about a month to call a surprise press conference to announce the exciting world premiere of an ambitious new dramedy from an acclaimed Texas director that’s supposedly wrapped recently, so why the hell wouldn’t it be at Sundance?