The Sundance festival released its competition lineup today, and it includes two science fiction heavy hitters. One features a soul-stealing inventor (Paul Giamatti) and the other is a Japanese flick about cloning a lost astronaut. Let's not forget, this was the festival that made people stand up and shout about Sleep Dealer and Timecrimes just last year, so I'm equally excited to see what the future of Sundance holds for these two.
The Clone Returns to the Homeland or (Kuron wa kokyo wo mezasu) is a Japanese film about an astronaut who dies but is brought back as a clone. Variety called it a, "bewitchingly intense low-budgeter" that looks better than it should thanks to smart cinematography. A grieving widow is shocked when the government replaces her deceased husband with a memory-implanted clone. Unfortunately, the clone can't get over a tragic memory from the original astronaut's life, where he blames himself for the accidental drowning of his twin brother. After being returned by the wife for being faulty, the clone escapes and journeys out, searching for the answers to his troubled memories.
The second film, titled Cold Souls has Paul Giamatti famous actor dealing with an internal crisis who stumbles upon a soul stealing workshop in New York City. It is written and directed by Sophie Barthes and also stars Emily Watson and Lauren Ambrose. I'm absolutely dying for more information about this diabolical little film.
The press release doesn't mention space convicts movie Stingray Sam, allegedly because it's appearing in a non-competitive section.
Besides these movies, Sundance will be holding a New Frontier exhibition which will house all sorts of movies, installations and other forms of art that have been influenced by "evolving media landscapes." More details on that soon I hope!