Where vibrant film shoots might have been, I’m imagining tumbleweeds blowing all lonesome-like through our streets come January. With every new programming announcement from the Sundance Film Festival, more Austin filmmakers are beckoned up the mountain.
The latest to be tapped are Richard Linklater, David Gordon Green, and Jeff Nichols, joining previously announced Texans who’ll screen in the competition and NEXT fields at the 2013 Sundance Film Festival. (And by the by, now’s a pretty good time to pause and reflect on that kind of talent compacted in one area code – and that’s just this year’s crop. Just sayin’: Sometimes it’s good to stop and take in the view.)
As was widely predicted, Richard Linklater will debut Before Midnight, his third film in the ongoing snapshot-portraiture of a stop-and-start love affair between an American and a Frenchwoman, played by Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy. The series started with 1995’s Vienna-based Before Sunrise, moved to Paris for 2004’s followup, Before Sunset, and shifts to Greece for Before Midnight, which Linklater coscripted with Delpy and Hawke.
Also premiering at Sundance will be Prince Avalanche, which David Gordon Green shot in Texas this summer and has already netted a Piaget Producers Award nomination at the Film Independent Spirit Awards. (Green is in fact on his second local shoot of the year; he currently has two weeks left of production on the drama Joe, starring Nicolas Cage.) Green adapted Prince Avalanche from Hafsteinn Gunnar Sigurdsson’s Icelandic indie Either Way, about two municipal workers tasked with painting the lines on roads; Green’s version stars Paul Rudd and Emile Hirsch.
Jeff Nichols’ Mud has already had its international premiere at Cannes in May (his second trip in as many years, following 2011’s Grand Prix-winner, Take Shelter). Here’s how he described the genesis of the film, which stars Matthew McConaughey and Reese Witherspoon, in an interview with Indiewire:
“I found this book in a public library in Little Rock, Arkansas. It was photographs from the Mississippi river. I was inspired by it. I got this idea of these boys finding this man hiding out on a little island in the Mississippi River. Once I said that to myself, I knew it was a good idea. I spent the next eight, nine years slowly building the story up and building these characters up.”
Sundance announces their short film selections tomorrow, and we’ve got a strong hunch Austin’s dance card isn’t entirely filled yet.
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