Wonderland.

SUNDANCE LONDON PREVIEWS: DAY 1

We put Peaches Does Herself, Upstream Colour The Kings of Summer and a very unlikely documentary about cow farming under the lens.

Peaches Does Herself at Sundance London

Before Wonderland arrived at the O2 for the Sundance London press shows yesterday morning, we were expecting four of those fairly typical American indie gems that pop up during the American iteration of the festival. What we got was something almost entirely different. Allow us to explain.

First up was Upstream Color, Shane Carruth’s highly anticipated follow up to 2004’s Sundance smash Primer. It’s almost impossible to describe this film in the way it deserves, but, concisely, it’s an audiovisual, emotional and intellectual marvel. Like Primer, it’s a bold and unique experience, placing elements of science fiction within a real world and telling a weird story in a fascinating and elusive way. Basically, it’s the best headache you’ll ever have, and you’ll want to have it over and over again.

With the bar set to almost unreachable heights, up steps Peaches and her brand of in your face sexuality with Peaches Does Herself, a musical written and directed by the Canadian singer boasting exploding penises, topless old ladies and Peaches riding through Berlin on a bike singing the words “fuck the pain away” over and over again. Not exactly Citizen Kane, then, but if you like Peaches, or buy into what she’s saying, then there’s a strong chance you’ll really go for this – I know I did. But if you don’t care about her or her music, this’ll be an excruciating 70 minutes.

Talking of excruciating (perfect segue – right, guys?), Andy Heathcote’s The Moo Man really should’ve been something to get excited about. Supposedly a documentary about the ins and outs of a dairy farm in Sussex, The Moo Man is really a cloyingly preachy film about farmer’s rights – an important issue for those involved, but one butchered by the sentimental approach from the filmmakers, whose film is at its best when it simply observes the farm. A great shame.

Thankfully, The Moo Man hasn’t dissuaded everyone from living a life outdoors – it’s all the boys at
the heart of The Kings of Summer want to do. Sick of living with their parents, two friends, and one kid who just seems to follow them around, run away from home one summer and live a life of adventure in a house they build woods, and come of age in the process. The story is definitely a familiar one, and the bizarre ramblings of a madman are played laughs way too often, but, all in all, The Kings of Summer, is an immensely charming film, and a fitting end to a largely positive day.

Oh, and if you hear us loudly singing ‘Fuck The Pain Away’ on the tube later, come say hi!

Words: Matt Mansfield)

SUNDANCE LONDON PREVIEWS: DAY 1

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