As predicted, the buzzed-about Sundance indies are well, still being buzzed about. Sean Durkin’s Martha Marcy May Marlene (nicknamed via text message as MMMM), James Marsh’s Project Nim, and Pariah are three of the films that have everyone talking. Project Nim will be coming to a television near you, courtesy of HBO Documentary Films, but neither of the two fiction films have been officially picked up yet. [Update: Since Danielle filed last night, Fox Searchlight grabbed MMMM. —Ed.]
Also on everyone’s cocktail party conversation list has been Steve (Hoop Dreams) James’s three-hour Chicago street-life epic, The Interrupters (pictured above). The documentary follows, in James's empathetic verite style, a team of former gang members who struggle daily to stop others from following the path they once took. Liz Garbus’ Bobby Fischer Against the World is another seemingly uniformly loved documentary about the genius—and madness—of history’s greatest chess player. It is also the last film of the great documentary editor, Karen Schmeer. Docs coming up from further under the radar to critical applause include the dark, comedic, catchphrase-heavy Shut Up Little Man!—two punks recording drunken, hilarious, and cruel arguments between their middle-aged next-door neighbors: this year’s Winnebago Man?—and Danfung Dennis’s Hell and Back Again, a stunning look into the post-traumatic stress of a Marine after Afghanistan.
A handful of distribution deals have been made at this point: IFC Films picked up Matthew Chapman’s thriller The Ledge, starring Charlie Hunnam and Liv Tyler; The Weinstein Company, unsurprisingly, has taken the rights to Jesse Peretz’s My Idiot Brother, and over the weekend, National Geographic picked up the Ridley Scott-produced documentary Life in a Day. More announcements are inevitable in the next few days, but for now, there are more films to see, more snow banks to trudge over, more cocktails to be had, and a party celebrating Cory Booker to be attending.