Guest Post by Toby Rose
London welcomes back the glitz and glamour and star power of Sundance to The O2. Last year for the arrival of Sundance, the founder and flag-waver for this alternative celebration of film made the trip to London to kickstart proceedings. The sight of one of Hollywood’s true living legends set the Sundance show off to a cracking start last year.
Now London is about Sundance for a second time and it seems that the transplant of the hipsters gathering from the chilly snow-capped peaks of Utah has taken root in the banks of the Thames. Proof that Sundance London is gaining traction – superstar founder Robert Redford is returning to appear at the festival. Endorsements don’t come bigger than that.
Adding to the legend tally will be musical royalty, The Eagles. The erstwhile residents of the Hotel California will head into London and 02 for a press conference to coincide with the premiere of the film History of the Eagles: Part 1. Sign of the significance of this hugely anticipated film will be the simultaneous three press screenings on the morning of the press conference. As befits the calibre of the stars, the press conference will be in a five star venue, Mayfair’s Connaught Hotel.
Aside from this West Coast AOR juggernaut there will be plenty to whet the appetites of film fans with a taste for musical talent. Muscle Shoals has a host of big names ‘bearing witness to the greatest untold American music story.” The untold story is that of the Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Alabama and the stars singing it’s praises in the film are Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Aretha Franklin and Bono.
Also unspooling for the event will be a very topical film – God Loves Uganda.This is about American bible bashers evangelising in the country. Given the success of the Book of Mormons and the Madonna superstar spate with Malawi this is sure to provide food for thought. On a far more intimate scale there is Running From Crazy about the granddaughter of Ernest Hemingway. A very heavy legacy.
But as always it is the music which gives Sundance it’s special flavour.
As a counterpoint to the superstar presence of The Eagles there will be a live performance of British Sea Power who will perform live their acclaimed score for the film From the Sea to the Land Beyond as it screens. A very special moment.
New to Sundance London, the UK Spotlight programme presents films from the 2013 Sundance Film Festival by UK filmmakers. Soho gets a starring role with the inclusion of Michael Winterbottom`s highly anticipated The Look of Love, a modern day King Midas tale and true story of British adult magazine publisher and entrepreneur Paul Raymond starring Steve Coogan, Anna Friel, Imogen Poots and Tamsin Egerton.
Also in the UK Spotlight is The Moo Man – an insightful documentary that follows a year in the life of heroic farmer Steve, scene stealing Ida (queen of the herd), and a supporting cast of 55 cows.
And in keeping with the sense of style and swank that all these big names will be bringing to the O2, Jaguar will sponsor, for those who like their horsepower under the bonnet stylish. If you see a swanky car sweeping though the streets with the music belting out next week, you never know it might be Robert Redford being shuttled to a Sundance screening.
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