Sundance ’13: Day Two

Austin-connected films abound and I jump in with 'A Teacher'

'A Teacher'
'A Teacher'

With credentials finally in hand (or more precisely, around neck), it’s off to the races at the Sundance Film Festival.

Films with connections to Austin are all over the place, not only at Sundance, but also at the Slamdance Film Festival, which unspools concurrently up the steep slope of Park City's Main Street. I’m hoping to catch as many of these as my schedule allows, and I got the first one under my belt today.

A Teacher, by Brooklyn-based Hannah Fidell, was filmed in Austin, where Fidell has spent some time. Fidell’s first feature film tells the story of an illicit relationship between a female high school teacher and one of her male students. It stars Lindsay Burdge and UT drama student Will Brittain, who both deliver naturalistic performances. Andrew Droz Palermo captures the story with attentively fluid camerawork that’s makes the film a visual standout. The story, however, is rather slight, and psychological underpinnings are all but absent. Yet as a portrait of a lark that turns into one-sided obsession, A Teacher makes the grade. Obviously, others are deeply impressed with Fidell and Burdge’s work here as reports that the talent agency, ICM Partners, has signed both women to contracts.

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