Geek Flicks at Sundance

January 16, 2013

The Sundance Film Festival, created in 1978 to showcase independent film, kicks off today, January 17th. It's an exciting event for film buffs, but the sheer number of films being screened means there's a little bit of something for everyone, especially us geeks.

Here are just a few of the films that caught our eye.

We Steal: The Story of Wikileaks (dir. Alex Gibney)

Academy award-winning director Alex Gibney's documentary on Julian Assange and Wikileaks, highlighting the release of sensitive documents that ignited a debate over the right to information and the egos behind both sides of the controversy.

When the Zombies Come (dir. Jon Hurst)

A nine minute short documentary about a run-of-the-mill hardware store whose employees have a curious and intense obsession with AMC's "The Walking Dead."

Virtually Heroes (dir. G. J. Echternkamp)

Something like a live-action version of "Wreck-It Ralph," with the protagonist being a quippy character in a first-person shooter who becomes disenfranchised with the constant chaos and screwiness of life inside a video game and goes on a spiritual quest to find himself. As strange as the premise seems, it gets even stranger: the film's producer is B-movie legend Roger Corman.

Sirocco (dir. Hisham Bizri)

An Arabic short film where a man sets out to investigate a murder and realizes the victim is none other than himself. Don't worry, it's an early reveal, so this isn't like a "Sixth Sense" type spoiler.

Sound City (dir. Dave Grohl)

Yes, that Dave Grohl of Nirvana and Foo Fighters fame. Sound City was a legendary recording studio nestled in the San Fernando Valley that was a perennial hitmaker until the digital music revolution left it all but abandoned. Grohl uses it as a backdrop to examine what's described as an erosion of humanity in music, although it can be easily argued that advances in and employment of different technology does not render a form artless. It should be interesting, none the less.

The Look of Love (dir. Michael Winterbottom)

The story of Paul Raymond, a man who crosses to the Atlantic to build an empire of adult entertainment in the States. We're film dorks, so the inclusion of a film from Michael Winterbottom ("A Mighty Heart") has us excited. We're doubly excited that he's being paired again with star Steve Coogan, with whom Winterbottom previously worked with on "24 Hour Party People."

jOBS (dir. Joshua Michael Stern)

The much talked about biopic of Apple founder and tech visionary Steve Jobs, played by Ashton Kutcher. Some have expressed skepticism over whether or not Kutcher was the right pick. We're intrigued, at the very least.

A.C.O.D. (dir. Stuart Zicherman)

Adam Scott plays a man whose dysfunctional, divorced parents drive him to the brink. Then he finds out that a popular self-help book about emotionally neglected children was actually based on his life. It also stars Catherine O'Hara and Amy Poehler, Scott's co-star on NBC's "Parks & Recreation." The comedy nerd in us just squealed.

Computer Chess (dir. Andrew Bujalsk)

A comedy set in 1980 where a group of nerds work to build and enter a computer into a chess tournament against human competition, sort of like a precursor to IBM's Big Blue. The computer is just a MacGuffin, as the film is actually about the guys behind the project and especially their social anxieties and interactions.

Google and the World Brain (dir. Ben Lewis)

A documentary about Google's (almost) secret project to commit everything ever produced in print into a digital format. Is it an altruistic venture to preserve culture or a corporation's attempt to monopolize information?Certainly an interesting lineup, and that's just what caught our eye.

You can find more films and information by visiting Sundance's official website.

Source: Open Road Films