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What to Stream From Sundance 2023

Jan 15, 2023


It’s not a hot take to say that the COVID-19 pandemic has been a net negative for humanity as a whole. However, it would be a lie to pretend that no positives have emerged out of a mostly awful situation. Whether it’s forging deeper bonds with the (few) people around you or taking advantage of remote work, some coronavirus adaptations have been surprisingly welcome.

Take, for example, film festivals. After the super-spreader event that was the 2020 edition of Sundance, it was immediately clear that a traditional event would not work in the new normal. This led to screenings being held online which could be watched by anyone, regardless if they could afford a trip. Thankfully, in-person showings at theaters returned as vaccines became available, but the accessibility that remote viewing provided has remained.
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The past two years of Sundance have been exclusively online and 2023 will be the first year they try a hybrid approach. This unfortunately means that not every movie in the festival will also be streaming, but plenty of great options are still available to watch from the comfort of your own home. Let’s take a look at the few highlights from this year’s streaming offerings.

Shortcomings

Sundance Institute

Almost every iteration of Sundance’s lineup will include at least one directorial debut from a talented performer. Last year it was Jessie Eisenberg’s When You Finish Saving the World and 2021’s was Jerrod Carmichael’s On the Count of Three.

Related: Sundance Film Festival 2023 Announces ‘From the Collection’ Films: SLAM and the Director’s Cut of The Doom Generation

2023 is no different as Randall Park will be making his directorial debut with the film Shortcomings, an adaptation of the graphic novel of the same name written by Adrian Tomine, who also wrote the film’s script. Shortcomings tells the story of a struggling filmmaker named Ben, played by Justin H. Min, who tries to sort out his life after his girlfriend moves to New York City for an internship. Considering the praise the graphic novel has received, this is definitely a film to keep an eye on.

Sometimes I Think About Dying

Sundance Institute

Sometimes I Think About Dying is a feature-length adaptation of the short film of the same name that was written and directed by Stefanie Abel Horowitz. While Horowitz returned to pen the script of this longer version (along with co-writers Kevin Armento and Katy Wright Mead), this time around Rachel Lambert is in the directing chair. The movie’s plot synopsis makes it seems like a somewhat generic romantic comedy, but there is a lot of hype surrounding this film, especially for Daisy Ridley’s performance in the lead role. Hopefully, Sometimes I Think About Dying will live up to the audience’s expectations.

Cat Person

Sundance Institute

Cat Person might just have the most buzz of any release at the festival. The film is an adaptation of the short story of the same name, which is the most-read piece of fiction The New Yorker has ever released. Whether the film is any good or not remains to be seen, but it will surely stir up some discourse as the original piece of writing was talked about nonstop when it debuted in 2017.

Related: These Popular Movies Premiered at Sundance Film Festival

One thing it has going for it is a stacked cast with Emilia Jones and Nicholas Braun as the two leads, and heavy hitters like Fred Melamed and Isabella Rossellini in supporting roles. Last year, Braun surprisingly told Entertainment Weekly that “[t]he film is more of a thriller-genre film than the article that it’s based on,” so if nothing else, Cat Person will likely be interesting.

Kim’s Video

Sundance Institute

New York cinephiles and lovers of physical media rejoiced last year when the legendary video store, Kim’s Video, (kind of) reopened as a part of the Alamo Drafthouse Lower Manhattan last year. Setting up this movie library was no easy task, however, as when the indie rental shop closed in 2009, its collection of over 50,000 movies was sent to the tiny city of Salemi, Sicily. The new documentary from directors David Redmon and Ashley Sabin, named Kim’s Video as well, will show Redmon’s efforts to reclaim the collection that had disappeared over the years while paying stylistic homage to the immense variety of films contained within it. While it’s unlikely to be the most popular film at the festival, Kim’s Video has future cult hit written all over it.

If any of these options look compelling, make sure to grab a ticket on January 12 when they go on sale on Sundance’s website as they will sell out fast. If you don’t want to shell out the $20, however, most of these films will be available later in the year in theaters or on some streaming service depending on which company picks it up. Still, it’s a ton of fun to watch a movie before most people get to see it and some films can struggle to find distribution, so choose wisely.

Disclaimer: This story is auto-aggregated by a computer program and has not been created or edited by filmibee.
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