AlloCiné follows the 38th edition of the Sundance Festival and was able to discover three nuggets of American independent cinema, including 892, a film carried by John Boyega (The Last Jedi).
The 38th Sundance American Independent Film Festival is currently taking place online until January 30. AlloCiné participates in the event to share with you the most outstanding or expected films of this edition. Discover our selection of the day, made up of two fiction feature films and a documentary directed by a famous comedian.
A dog’s afternoon with a post-traumatic syndrome! John Boyega (The Force Awakens) plays Brian, an Iraq war veteran whose pension was denied by his guardianship. Considering himself the victim of an injustice, he places a bomb in a bag and takes a bank hostage. Inspired by a true story, Brian’s journey can only move, and that’s where the strength of the film lies.
John Boyega’s interpretation inspires respect and should (re) draw attention to the fact that he has talent to spare. He surrenders headlong to his role as a cornered man aware of the risk he runs in robbing a bank, especially as a black man on American soil.
892 is director Abi Damaris Corbin’s first solo feature film, which follows the heist movie agenda to the letter, without offering anything new to the genre. The recipe is however well followed and should satisfy its fans. Note that this is the last feature film by Michael Kenneth Williams, who died last year, and who here embodies the negotiator.
A science fiction film in which humans whose death is imminent and certain can choose to clone themselves in order to die leaving their loved ones a version of themselves and alleviate their pain. The clone spends its time alongside the original while the latter is alive to learn as much as possible about it, then takes its place when it dies.
Suffering from an incurable disease, Sara (Karen Gillan, Nebula in the Marvel universe) decides to resort to this procedure. Her double becomes important in her life, to the point that her boyfriend begins to abandon her to take an interest in the clone. Finally, Sara finds herself in remission and the double must disappear, except that there is a procedure for this precise case… the duel, which gives its title to the film.
Let’s stop there for the plot, just mention that Sara’s trainer for dueling is played by Aaron Paul, aka Jesse in Breaking Bad. In 1h30, the director Riley Stearns gives all the keys to the viewer to understand the way his world is organized.
Despite this short duration, Dual manages to process Sara’s psychological journey without making any easy or negative shortcuts to understanding. The film even gives itself a few light moments, in order to counterbalance the rather dark tone of the whole. Without being a masterpiece, Dual will easily satisfy the amateur of well-made and coherent SF thrillers.
Lucy and Desi
Do you know Lucille Ball? If you saw Being The Ricardos, a biopic released last year on Prime Video, you’ve already seen a glimpse of her career as Nicole Kidman, with Javier Bardem as her husband, Desi Arnaz. And the documentary Lucy and Desi allows you to go much further.
Produced by Amy Poehler (the Leslie Knope of Parks and Recreation), this film looks back over the entire career of Lucille Ball, an extraordinary actress who found herself at the head of a historic American TV series (I Love Lucy) and was the first woman to own a television studio of unprecedented scale, all thanks to tremendous hard work and talent.
We then discover the journey of a star who must fight to show a pregnant woman in a TV series, manage to maintain success and struggle on a daily basis (one week shooting per episode, 40 weeks per year, without repetition ). Among the very interesting things we learn is that Lucy and her husband Desi, through their production company, will help the first Star Trek series see the light of day.
In addition to being fascinating, Lucy and Desi also highlights (perhaps in spite of itself) the interest there would be in comparing the career of Amy Poehler in the light of that of Lucille Ball as the two women have similarities, both physical (mimics, gestures) and spiritual. Attention documentary filmmakers!
Lucy and Desi will be released soon on Prime Video.