SUNDANCE 2021! Caroline Cao Reviews The Docs And The Dramas!By Caroline Cao | February 1, 2021 | Entertainment
Geek Gal Caroline Cao is having fun at Sundance (at home on the sofa, sometimes from the bed!). Here are some of her first recent viewings.
Nanfu Wang‘s documentary In the Same Breath covers the misinformation campaign conducted by the government of China, paralleled with the USA’s incompetent handling of the coronavirus spread. Much like her previous documentary One Child Nation, which illuminated the injustices of government-inflicted trauma under the rug, Wang warns her American viewers against the idea that “normal was always ok.”
Baz Poonpiriya’s One for the Road reunites two pals reuniting for a road trip so one of them, dying of cancer, can cross out the names of girlfriends to make amends with. It mixes up a succession of sweet, bitter, and regret-laced cocktails with a killer on-the-road soundtrack, although its third act becomes drunk in its melodrama and its flavor struggles to not fade out.
Zoe Lister-Jones and Cailee Spaeny are a likable pair in How It Ends, an existential laid-back lofi dark comedy penned and directed by Daryl Wein. Lister-Jones is on living the last day to the fullest (it was shot during the pandemic). The chipper “you can go it alone” ending might not gel with everyone, especially if you feel you can’t afford the privilege of laughing at the apocalypse–imagined or anticipated.
Last but not least, Cryptozoo!, directed by Dash Shaw (pictured up top) is a kaleidoscopic action-packed animated allegory about otherness. While it does follow an identifiable tropey formula, it emphasizes experience over story. It would have been liberated if it eschewed the convention of linearity.
Get your Sundance experience on at Sundance.org.