At the Library: Check out some past movie gems from the Sundance Film Festival

At the Library: Check out some past movie gems from the Sundance Film Festival

The Westerly Sun

If you’re a film buff, you may already be aware that the 2018 Sundance Film Festival has recently taken place, and wrapped up on Jan. 28. This celebrated film festival, which is held annually in Park City, Utah, showcases the work on American and international independent filmmakers. It is widely recognized as an opportunity for these men and women to get their “big break,” and for many of them it is the first step on the road to Oscar nominations and wins! Too many amazing films got their start at Sundance to name them all, but here are a few favorites that you can check out from the Westerly Library:


Miles Teller and J.K. Simmons deliver amazing performances in this 2014 psychological drama, which tells the story of Andrew (Teller), a young and ambitious drummer that joins the prestigious school band, headed by a ruthless teacher (Simmons) who pushes his students to their very limits. The film is intense, memorable, and walked away from the 2015 Oscars with 3 well-deserved awards.


In 2015 Ida became the first Polish film to win an Oscar for Best Foreign Film.  This 2013 drama follows an orphaned woman who is on the verge of taking her vows as a nun when she meets her aunt and learns about her German roots, sparking an emotional (and literal) journey to discover who she really is.

‘Captain Fantastic’

This comedy-drama starring Viggo Mortenson had its world premiere at Sundance in the beginning of 2016. The film depicts a family of six children who live in the Washington wilderness with their father (Mortenson), and whose informal education focuses largely on survivalist skills and self-reliance. The family is further challenged when changing circumstances force them to integrate into the “real world.” The movie is clever and quirky, and even though Mortenson didn’t ultimately walk away with an Oscar, the acting was magnificent!

‘Manchester by the Sea’

Casey Affleck plays Lee Chandler, a loner whose life is turned upside down when his brother passes away and leaves him in charge of his teenaged son. Amidst the tragedy, Chandler must return to a hometown he hates, and the demons of this past. The film is definitely heavy, but also darkly humorous and hopeful; it won an Oscar in 2017 for Best Original Screenplay, as well as Best Actor (Casey Affleck).

‘O.J.: Made in America’

This critically acclaimed (and Oscar-winning) 2016 documentary chronicles the life of O.J. Simpson: from his rise to greatness to his 2007 incarceration and everything in between. At the same time, the documentary examines the deeper roles of race, gender and class in America. With a run time of 467 minutes it is certainly comprehensive, but also so compelling that you won’t want it to end.

We’re looking forward to seeing what great films emerge from the Sundance Film Festival this year! Make sure to keep an eye on our constantly changing collection of new movies, right here at the library!

Top-requested books■1. “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House” by Michael Wolff■2. “The Woman in the Window” by A. J. Finn■3. “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng■4. “The Rooster Bar” by John Grisham ■5. “The Great Alone” by Kristin Hannah■6. “The Midnight Line” by Lee Child ■7. “Origin” by Dan Brown■8. “The 17th Suspect” by James Patterson■9. “Two Kinds of Truth” by Michael Connelly■10. “Before We Were Yours” by Lisa Wingate

Top-requested movies■1. “Dunkirk (2017)”■2. “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”■3. “Lady Bird”■4. “Wonder”■5. “Victoria & Abdul”■6. “Darkest Hour”■7. “The Mountain Between Us”■8. “Blade Runner 2049”■9. “American Made”■10. “Only the Brave”

Top billingFor All Ages■MONDAY –– 6:30-7:30 p.m., Pop-Up Museum: Unfinished –Your arts or crafts don’t have to be polished (or even completed) to be displayed in this exhibit! Show off your works-in-progress, or whatever you believe represents an unfinished project, and check out some work by others in the community!■TUESDAY –– 4:30-5:15 p.m., MAJEHN Teen Book Club – Kelsey from Savoy will have new ARC’s on hand, and we’ll discuss everything we’ve read recently while enjoying some snacks; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Knit & Crochet Club – Bring your project, work on a project with others, or swap yarn and ideas with fellow yarnies; 6-7:45 p.m., Ninigret Quilters – Members of the Ninigret Quilters will be in the Makerspace for a weekly meetup! Bring a project to work on, or stop by if you have questions/need pointers..■WEDNESDAY –– 3:30-6:30 p.m., Teen iPad Petting Zoo – If you’ve been curious about iPads, but don’t have one of your own, here is your chance to play around with them; 6-7:45 p.m., Burlingame Badgers Information Session – Join the New England High School Cycling Association, and the Burlingame Badgers team, at the library to learn more about the league and meet some of the racers and coaches involved.■THURSDAY –– 4-5 p.m., DIY Cooking for Teens – We will be making one pot tomato basil pasta, a side salad, and garlic bread. Space is limited, so register in advance; 5:30-7:30 p.m., Chess Club – All ages and experience levels are welcome; 6-7 p.m., Computer Basics 1: Mouse Basics – Become more comfortable with the basics of computers, beginning with navigating the screen using the mouse and touchpad.■FRIDAY –– 4-5 p.m., Teen Advisory Board – Earn a community service hour while helping out the library by providing your thoughts and feedback on the Teen Space, programs, and more!■SATURDAY –– 10 a.m.-1 p.m., Tax Prep Help (with AARP) – This program is available to all taxpayers, no AARP membership required. Drop by the library for assistance with your taxes, given on a first-come, first-served basis; 2-3 p.m., Adult Writer’s Workshop – We will be meeting on alternating Saturdays and Thursdays to share our work, discuss readings, and free-write together! New members are always welcome.

Cassie Skobrak is a reference librarian at the Westerly Library.


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