Park City Film picks up where Sundance ends￼
Screenings restart this weekend
Park City Film’s February slate
Compiled by Scott Iwasaki
- Feb. 3-5 — “Living,” rated PG-13, director Oliver Hermanus. An adaptation of Akira Kurosawa’s 1952 “Ikiru,” “Living” — a 2022 Sundance Film Festival premiere — takes place in 1953 London and follows civil servant Williams (Bill Nighy), a lonely man at his work and home life, until he receives a shattering medical diagnosis and is forced to find fulfillment.
- Feb. 10-12 — “Corsage,” not rated, director Marie Kreutzer. “Corsage” — winner of Un Certain Regard Best Performance at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival and shortlisted for the Best International Film Academy Award — is about Empress Elisabeth of Austria, played by Vicky Krieps, who is on the verge of estrangement from her husband. The empress, known for her fashion, fights to keep her image up after she turns 40 by tightening her corsage more and more, but finds a way to protect her legacy after visiting friends and former lovers in England and Bavaria. The film will be screened in German with English subtitles.
- Feb. 11 — “Abominable,” rated PG, directors Jill Culton and Todd Wilderman. “Abominable,” an animated family films, is about a teenage girl named Yi, voiced by Chloe Bennet, who encounters a young yeti on the roof of her apartment building in Shanghai and, with two friends, tries to reunite the magical creature with his family while evading a zoologist.
- Feb. 17-19 — “Broker,” rated R, director Hirokazu Kore-eda. “Broker” finds laundromat owner Sang-hyun, portrayed by Song Kang Ho, who can’t get out of debt and Dong-soo, played by Gang Dong Won, who works in a baby box facility, trying to find new parents for an infant who was left at the baby box. The mother, played by Lee Ji Eun, returns for her baby and joins Sang-hyun and Dong-soo on their journey. “Broker” won the Ecumenical Jury Award and Best Actor Award for Ho at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival.
- Feb. 24-26 — “Women Talking,” rated PG-13, director Sarah Polley. “Women Talking,” nominated for the 2022 Golden Globes’ Best Screenplay and Best Original Score awards, is based on a true story about women of an isolated religious community who are trying to reconcile their lives with their faith.
Park City Films weekend screenings start at 7 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, and 6 p.m. on Sundays. "Abominable" will screen Saturday afternoon at 3 p.m. For information and tickets, visit parkcityfilm.org.
With the wrap-up of the 2023 Sundance and Slamdance film festivals, it’s up to Park City Film to carry the art-house torch with its weekend screenings.
The February slate (see accompanying list) starts with a Sundance connection through Oliver Hermanus’ “Living,” which will screen Friday through Sunday, Feb. 3-5, said Executive Director Katharine Wang, Park City Film executive director.
“This film premiered at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, and it was one of my favorites,” she said.
“Living,” which is based on Akira Kurosawa’s 1952 film “Ikiru,” which means “to live,” features Bill Nighy as a British bureaucrat who is biding his time until he receives a medical diagnosis that causes him to rethink everything in his life, Wang said.
“What would you do if you only had a short time left to live, and how would you choose to spend that time,” she said. “The film is about embracing that, and it takes off in a very beautiful way.
And Kurosawa was also a writer on the original screenplay for “Living,” so there is a connection there, even though it is told through a different lens — different character, country and culture.”
Wang, who cites Nighy as one of her favorite actors, said the role in “Living” is one of his best.
“This is a very timeless and powerful story, and we’re excited to have this film bring us back after Sundance,” she said.
Park City Film’s weekend screenings continue Feb. 10-12 with Marie Kreutzer’s “Corsage,” the winner of the Un Certain Regard — Best Performance at the 2022 Cannes Film Festival and shortlisted for the Best International Film Academy Award.
The film stars Vicky Krieps as the Empress Elisabeth of Austria, who was assassinated in 1898.
“Vicky Krieps is an interesting actor who we have seen in a couple of films during the past year,” Wang said. “She speaks multiple languages and is multicultural.”
Her portrayal of Empress Elisabeth is updated and, in many ways, more personal than other interpretations, according to Wang.
“Elisabeth is renowned for her beauty and vanity, and she would be considered an influencer today,” she said. “But she also struggled against the confines of her time and positions. And, now, as we examine modern day monarchies, certainly the Royal Family in the U.K., we can look back on the time that she lived and see, at the end of her life, which was in her 40s, how she rebelled against what was expected of her.”
In some ways, the empress’s character is similar to Nighy’s in “Living,” because both aren’t content with their respective life paths, Wang said.
“This is a very modern take, and ‘Corsage’ makes the empress very relatable in the way they tell the story to a modern audience as opposed to how the character has been portrayed in the past,” she said.
Park City Film will also partner with the Park City Library for a special presentation of Jill Culton and Todd Wilderman’s animated film, “Abominable,” rated PG, at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 11. “(The film is) about a teenage girl named Yi, who encounters a young Yeti on the roof of her apartment building in Shanghai and embarks on an epic quest to reunite the magical creature with his family at the highest point on Earth,” Wang said. “Admission and popcorn are free.”
If “Living” and “Corsage” see characters trying to make their lives different than what’s expected, Hirokazu Kore-eda’s “Broker,” which is scheduled to run Feb. 17-19, is about redefining the concept of families, which Kore-eda addresses in his 2018 film, “Shoplifters,” Wang said.
“It’s about two men who run a laundry and find a baby in a baby box at an orphanage,” she said. “So, they decided to find new parents for the infant.”
The baby’s mother watches these two men pick up the baby and then decides she wants to get involved and participate in their search for new parents, Wang said.
“It’s a wonderful story, like ‘Shoplifters,’ that talks about what makes a family, especially nontraditional families that are made from people you find in your life who are chosen and not by birth,” she said.
Wang has been dying to bring “Broker,” the winner of two Cannes Film Festival awards, to Park City Film.
“It was at Telluride Film Festival this year, and you could not get into any screenings,” she said. “Every single screening was more than sold out, where 400 people would show up for a 200-seat theater.”
Park City Film will wrap its February weekend screenings on Feb. 24-26, with Sarah Polley’s “Women Talking.”
“It’s a fascinating film that has been nominated for two Golden Globe awards,” Wang said. “It has an all-star cast, and is based on a true story.”
“Women Talking” is about a group of women of all ages who live in an unnamed isolated religious community, and have been regularly drugged and subject to sexual assaults throughout the years, according to Wang.
“They have no idea of what’s been happening until one girl sees someone running away, and that person just happens to be someone from their own community,” she said.
With that revelation, the women are forced to decide what to do, Wang said.
“Should they stay and fight, or should they leave,” she said. “Or should they do nothing about it?”
Polley’s sets and camera work gives audiences the feeling that they are watching a one-set play, Wang said.
“It’s beautifully acted and has some very strong performances,” she said. “It is also a very provocative film that really draws you in.”
Wang always looks forward to reopening Park City Film’s doors after the Sundance Film Festival.
“We miss our regulars, so we are looking forward to seeing them again,” she said. “The crowds have abated, and you can wear black if you want to.”
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