Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

Sundance announces competition lineup: Cults, suicidal jumpers, Elmo, and sex-starved Norwegian housewives

The Sundance Film Festival has just unveiled its 2011 competition slate for next year’s festival, providing an early glimpse at all the dramatic and documentary features that will be mixing it up in Park City come January 20. You can check out the entire list with full descriptions here.

Some films of interest, at first glance: Vera Farmiga’s directorial debut Higher Ground, which stars Farmiga as a “frustrated young mother” who finds herself questioning religious fundamentalism. The Ledge, a high-concept, Phone Booth-style thriller about a guy who claims he’s being forced to leap from a building and the cop who has to figure out why (with Patrick Wilson, Liv Tyler, Terrence Howard, and Undeclared-turned-Sons Of Anarchy star Charlie Hunnam). The family comedy The Loved Ones—which IMDB says has actually been renamed The Reasonable Bunch, most likely to avoid confusion with the recent Australian horror film—with Demi Moore, Ellen Barkin, and Kate Bosworth. Michael Rapaport’s A Tribe Called Quest documentary, which we just told you about. A look at “the heart and soul” of Sesame Street’s Elmo, which probably won’t include anything about Katy Perry. Also, Page One, documenting a year in the life of the New York Times, which should be nice and depressing.


On top of that: Vampires; sexual rebellion in Iran; duplicate Earths; Anton Yelchin’s bid to become a romantic lead; Boardwalk Empire’s Michael Shannon playing yet another mentally unstable guy; John C. Reilly and The Office’s Creed Bratton helping an overweight teenager learn to love life in Terri (Could it be this generation’s Angus?); Winter’s Bone star John Hawkes in two movies about cults; and environmental disaster, AIDS, and wrongfully accused criminals galore. Plus, a Norwegian film whose description begins, “A perfect housewife, who just happens to be sex-starved…” Sold. Anyway, expect more Sundance announcements soon, and as always, look for The A.V. Club’s comprehensive, increasingly hungover coverage from the festival itself.