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From wiener dog to pig, here are 10 Sundance films with animal inspirations

First Published      Last Updated Jun 01 2016 08:35 pm

A dachshund that spreads joy, a prized hog smuggled into Mexico and a hunting eagle that helps make history: The 2016 Sundance Film showcases some of our favorite furry, snouted and winged companions.

Yes, one could say the festival is going to the dogs — but also to sheep, chimpanzees and horses. And if that's not enough, there's one futuristic movie where people are transformed into their favorite animals if they don't find a mate.

Here's a snapshot of six full-length films — and four shorts — with animal inspirations.

• "Wiener-Dog" (Premieres) • This film, by director/screenwriter Todd Solondz, tells several stories of people changed by the love of a dachshund. Cast includes Greta Gerwig, Kieran Culkin, Danny DeVito, Ellen Burstyn, Julie Delpy and Zosia Mamet.

Screens • Friday, Jan. 22, 6:30 p.m., Eccles Theatre, Park City; Saturday, Jan. 23, 8:30 a.m., The MARC, Park City; Saturday, Jan. 23, 3:15 p.m., The Grand Theatre, Salt Lake City; Sunday, Jan. 24, 6:30 p.m., Peery's Egyptian Theater, Ogden; Wednesday, Jan. 27, 9 p.m., Sundance Mountain Resort; and Saturday, Jan. 30, 11:30 p.m., Prospector Square, Park City.

• "Mr. Pig" (Premieres) • On a mission to sell his last remaining prize hog, an aging farmer (Danny Glover) abandons his foreclosed farm and journeys to Mexico, where his estranged daughter (Maya Rudolph) shows up. English and Spanish with English subtitles.

Screens • Tuesday, Jan. 26, 9:15 p.m., Eccles Theatre, Park City; Wednesday, Jan. 27, 8:30 a.m., The MARC, Park City; and Saturday, Jan. 30, 6:15 p.m., The Grand Theatre, Salt Lake City

• "Unlocking the Cage" (Documentary Premieres) • In the first lawsuit of its kind, animal-rights lawyer Steven Wise seeks to transform a chimpanzee from a "thing" with no rights to a "person" with basic legal protection.

Screens • Monday, Jan. 25, 2:45 p.m., The MARC, Park City; Wednesday, Jan. 27, 10 p.m., Redstone Cinema 2, Park City; Thursday, Jan. 28, noon, Sundance Mountain Resort Screening Room; Friday, Jan. 29, 9 p.m., Salt Lake City Library Theatre, Salt Lake City; and Saturday, Jan. 30, 6 p.m., Yarrow Hotel Theatre, Park City

• "The Lobster" (Spotlight) • In a dystopian future, single people must find a mate in 45 days or be transformed into an animal of their choice. English and French with English subtitles. Cast includes Colin Farrell, Rachel Weisz, Ben Whishaw, Léa Seydoux, John C. Reilly and Olivia Colman.

Screens • Saturday, Jan. 23, 9:30 p.m., Peery's Egyptian Theater, Ogden; Tuesday, Jan. 26, 5:15 p.m., The MARC, Park City; Wednesday, Jan. 27, 6:30 p.m., Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Salt Lake City; and Saturday, Jan. 30, 6 p.m., Sundance Mountain Resort Screening Room.

• "Rams" (Spotlight) • In a remote Icelandic farming valley, two brothers who haven't spoken in 40 years come together to save what's dearest to them — their sheep. Icelandic with English subtitles.

Screens • Friday, Jan. 22, 3 p.m., Sundance Resort; Saturday, Jan. 23, 5:30 p.m. Prospector Square, Park City; Sunday, Jan. 24, 6:30 p.m., Redstone Cinema 1, Park City; and Saturday, Jan. 30, 9 p.m., Broadway Centre Cinema 6, Salt Lake City.

• "The Eagle Huntress" (Sundance Kids) • This documentary, recommended for ages 12 and older, follows Aisholpan Nurgaiv, a 13-year-old nomadic Mongolian girl, as she battles to become the first female to hunt with a golden eagle in 2,000 years. Kazakh with English subtitles.

Screens • Sunday, Jan. 24, 11:30 a.m., Prospector Square, Park City; Sunday, Jan. 24, 6 p.m., Salt Lake City Library; and Saturday, Jan, 30, 3:30 p.m., Redstone Cinema 1, Park City.

• "The Shining Star of Losers Everywhere" (Shorts Program 1) • Haru Urara, a Japanese racehorse, became a national icon after enduring a losing streak of epic proportions. Japanese with English subtitles.

Screens • Thursday, Jan. 21, 8:30 p.m., Egyptian Theatre, Park City; Friday, Jan. 22, 8:30 a.m., Egyptian Theatre, Park City; Saturday, Jan. 23, 3 p.m., Broadway Centre Cinema 6, Salt Lake City; and Saturday, Jan. 30, 7 p.m., Holiday Village Cinema 4, Park City.

• "Dogwalker" (Shorts Program 4) • This dark comedy adventure is the story of a young dog walker after the unexpected death of her favorite client.

Screens • Saturday, Jan. 23, 3 p.m., Temple Theatre, Park City; Sunday, Jan. 24, 9:30 p.m., Redstone Cinema 1, Park City; Tuesday, Jan. 26, 3:45 p.m., Broadway Centre Cinema 3, Salt Lake City; and Thursday, Jan. 28, 4 p.m., Holiday Village Cinema 4, Park City.

• "Seide" (Shorts Program 5) • Seide lives in a snowy mountain village with her humble family. When she's forced into an arranged marriage with a man from a wealthy family, she fights to save her horse from being slaughtered for food for the wedding. Kyrgyz with English subtitles.

Screens • Saturday, Jan. 23, 9:30 p.m., Redstone Cinema 1, Park City; Sunday, Jan. 24, 2:30 p.m., Prospector Square, Park City; Thursday, Jan. 28, 6 p.m., Broadway Centre Cinema 6, Salt Lake City; and Friday, Jan. 29, 3 p.m., Yarrow Hotel Theatre, Park City.

• "The Itching" (Animation spotlight) • In this parable, by American director Dianne Bellino, a shy wolf tries to connect with a group of hip, party-loving bunnies but finds her body is in revolt.

Screens • Saturday, Jan. 23, noon, Temple Theatre, Park City; Sunday, Jan. 24, noon, Redstone Cinema 7, Park City; Tuesday, Jan. 26, 3 p.m., Broadway Centre Cinema 6, Salt Lake City; and Saturday, Jan. 30, 8:30 p.m., Holiday Village Cinema 1, Park City.

kathys@sltrib.com




 

AT A GLANCE

Animals in Art

Two art installations with animal themes are part of The Sundance Film Festival’s New Frontiers program.

“Escape Pod” » This seamlessly looped computer animated film, by artist Jonathan Monaghan, chronicles a golden deer through glossy environments of wealth, power, and authority. The journey imagines a new reality devoid of humans, left only with material desires and ambitions.

“In the Eyes of the Animal” » A 360-degree virtual reality experience presented on sculptural headsets, this work is an artistic interpretation of the sensory perceptions of three British animal species. From the forest floor to the tops of trees, viewers must tread carefully as they observe the world through the eyes of the animals. Created by artists Barnaby Steel and Robin McNicholas of Marshmallow Laser Feast.

New Frontier exhibition » Takes place at The ClaimJumper​, 573 Main St., Park City. Open Friday, Jan. 22, through Friday, Jan. 29, 1 to 8 p.m.; and Saturday, Jan. 30, 1 to 3 p.m.


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