SundanceNOW

ross-mcelwee-charleen

Every month, the online movie streaming service SundanceNow features a program of documentaries curated by Thom Powers (doc programmer for TIFF and other film fests). Typically the program is based around a theme (i.e. food docs, art docs, docs with nudity, etc.), but throughout August this “Doc Club” is spotlighting filmmaker Ross McElwee, a pioneer of first-person nonfiction cinema best known for the classic Sherman’s March. That film is among the selections, along with five other features, including his latest, Photographic Memory, and two shorter early works. It’s a perfect introduction to one of my favorite filmmakers, and it’s also a special treat for those who are already McElwee fans as some of these docs haven’t been too easily seen. And both the subscription and single month deals are pretty great. McElwee is the main character of most his own films, which take viewers through autobiographical tales involving romance, death, fatherhood, Civil War history, the tobacco industry, the Berlin Wall, tragedy and the nightly news and, most famously, the South. But his movies are never entirely about himself, and much of the time he’s hidden behind the lens of the camera anyway. Many other figures in the filmmaker’s life come and go through his work, mainly family members. And then there’s Charleen Swansea, who I consider to be the true star of McElwee’s films, even if she only makes a short appearance. If there was any reason to be disappointed by last year’s Photographic Memory, it was because Swansea isn’t […]

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Remember the time in college when you were strapped for cash and ended up working as a subconscious prostitute where anyone with a few bucks could have their way with you in your sleep? Yeah, we had that wiped from our memory too. Thankfully, Julia Leigh‘s new film Sleeping Beauty won’t let us forget. Here’s the trailer if you want to refresh yourself and get some context for the big spooning image of Emily Browning and your grandpa to the right. It hit Cannes with a mixed vengeance, and it should be in theaters (limited style), but it’s also available right this second on SundanceNOW. That is, if you like paying for things. Since we don’t, we’re giving away a free online ticket to see the movie through that wonderful website. How do you enter? How do you win? Glad you asked.

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What’s a week’s worth of free movies? For some, that headline might be misleading simply based on movie consumption. If you watch a movie a day, then it’s totally accurate. If you watch seven movies a day, then we’re really giving away a day’s worth of free movies. The point is – we’re giving away seven free movies to watch over at the glorious SundanceNOW site. They have a wide array of stellar, often thought-provoking films, and I can personally assure you that they’re not all about hilarious sexual dysfunction. Some of them are about Ralph Nader. Anyway, you love movies. You love free movies. Therefore, you’re clamoring to know how to enter. Fortunately, it’s easy.

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