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Advance buzz at Sundance? Experts reveal their favorites

Picking titles » Some of the Internet’s leading movie watchers spill out what they’re eager to see.

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"Red Lights" (Premieres) » "I’m excited to see just how Elizabeth ‘Lizzie’ Olsen progresses here after her excellent work in ‘Martha Marcy May Marlene.’ She was magnetic and indelible in Sean Durkin’s film, and at such a young age has a very good command of the big screen and the space she’s allowed to inhabit. Of course, she’s just started, but it seems as if she’s been acting on the big screen for decades. Her confidence, self-possession and awareness are astounding. The cast she is surrounded with in [director Rodrigo] Cortes’ film (Robert De Niro, Cillian Murphy, Sigourney Weaver, Joely Richardson, Toby Jones) is a formidable one. I’m looking to see how she fares up against these fine actors."

"Red Hook Summer"(Premieres) » "It has been several years since [Spike] Lee directed a feature film, and longer since he took on a project that was very personal to him. I look forward to a film that I think will have richness and strength to it, one that brings us vividly back to a Brooklyn that the director knows well. I also think that style, music, the diverse strands of a neighborhood and complex, well-drawn, thought-provoking characters are things Mr. Lee is so very skilled at cultivating. The film’s title alone seems to promise some of the flavors audiences have experienced in Mr. Lee’s earlier work."

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Peter Knegt » Senior editor, IndieWire (www.Indiewire.com)

"Keep the Lights On" (U.S. Dramatic) » "Ira Sachs (‘The Delta,’ ‘Forty Shades of Blue’) returns to Sundance with what could be this year’s ‘Weekend’ — a decade-long love story between two men struggling with addiction and sexual compulsion."

"Bachelorette" (Premieres) » "A promising cast including Kirsten Dunst, Isla Fisher and Lizzy Caplan headline a sort of indie ‘Bridesmaids’ in this comedy about three friends from high school reuniting to throw their frenemy’s bachelorette party."

"How to Survive a Plague" (U.S. Documentrary) » "Chronicling the history of two of the most influential HIV/AIDS activists groups — ACT UP and TAG — David France’s ‘How To Survive a Plague’ could be a powerful depiction of the largely unsung heroes of the onset of HIV/AIDS."

Ray Pride » Film editor, Newcity (newcityfilm.com); news editor, MovieCityNews.com; contributing editor, Filmmaker magazine.

"I’m looking forward to seeing what filmmakers are doing with the new, low-to-the-ground technologies, such as the video-capable Canon range of DSLRs: stuff that expands a visual/emotional grammar, like 2011’s over-the-swoon ‘Like Crazy,’ more than stuff that doesn’t, like the fevered ‘I’ll Melt With You.’ What films might expand our idea of what can be done with modest means?"

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"Nobody Walks" (U.S. Dramatic) » by Ry Russo-Young.

"For Ellen" (U.S. Dramatic) » by So Yong-Kim.

"Simon Killer" (U.S. Dramatic) » by Antonio Campos.

"I don’t know the format of any of these films, but prior work by the filmmakers holds promise."


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