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Sundance

Sundance Review: ‘The Nile Hilton Incident,’ Egyptian Noir

Winner of this year’s Grand Jury prize in the World Cinema, Dramatic, category, Tarik Saleh’s The Nile Hilton Incident is a wonderfully tense homage to mid-century noir and an incisive reflection upon this particular story’s time: January 2011, the turning point in Egypt of what’s come to be known as the Arab Spring. Nile Hilton‘s…

Sundance Review: ‘Sámi Blood’ Identity and Persecution

Director Amanda Kernell’s debut feature, Sámi Blood, based on her grandmother’s life, offers audiences a story about identity and persecution, an education on a culture rarely seen on American screens (Frozen doesn’t count) and an excellent performance by a talented young actress.  Lene Cecilia Sparrok as Elle-Marja in Sámi Blood, an official selection of the Spotlight program…

Sundance Review: ‘Tokyo Idols,’ a Creepy but Necessary Outlet

A few years ago, while traveling in Tokyo, I couldn’t miss the massive banners around the city, filled with the grinning faces of pigtailed teenage girls and bearing the obscure text “AKB48.” I finally learned the meaning of this logo one evening, wandering around the Akihabara neighborhood (abbreviated as AKB), the capital of otaku (often…

Sundance Review: ‘THE LITTLE HOURS’ A Somewhat Pointless 90-minute One-note

This should have been easy. Assemble a heavenly comedy cast, place them all in a 14th century nunnery, then let them act like your more embarrassing Facebook friends and watch the cash roll in. So let’s see… we’ve got Alison Brie, Kate Micucci, Aubrey Plaza and Molly Shannon as emotionally unstable nuns, Fred Armisen and…