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‘Whiplash’ named best-ever Sundance film in festival poll

By AFP - Jan 17,2024 - Last updated at Jan 17,2024

A scene from ‘Whiplash’ (AFP photo)

LOS ANGELES — Damien Chazelle’s “Whiplash” has been named the greatest movie to ever premiere at Sundance, as the influential US indie movie festival prepares to celebrate its 40th edition this week.

The intense drama about a jazz drumming student and his bullying teacher was ranked the best of roughly 4,000 feature films ever presented at the Utah-based fest, which champions new and independent movies from upcoming directors, in a survey released on Tuesday.

It fended off the likes of Quentin Tarantino’s debut movie “Reservoir Dogs”, which finished second, and Jordan Peele’s “Get Out”, ranked third in a poll voted on by more than 500 festival-linked filmmakers, critics and dealmakers.

Rounding out the poll’s top five were “Little Miss Sunshine”, in fourth, and Christopher Nolan’s “Memento”, ranked fifth.

Co-founded by Robert Redford and held in wintry sub-zero temperatures at an altitude of 2,150 metres, Sundance is a key launching pad for the careers of many of the industry’s leading filmmakers.

“Whiplash”, which opened the 2014 Sundance festival — where it won top audience and jury awards — went on to win three Oscars, including best supporting actor for J.K. Simmons.

Chazelle went on to become the youngest ever winner of the Academy Award for best director with his next movie, 2016’s “La La Land”, and has since directed “First Man” and “Babylon”.

Two Richard Linklater movies made the Sundance top 10 — “Boyhood” and “Before Sunrise” — along with Alfonso Cuaron’s “Y Tu Mama Tambien” and the Coen brothers’ first feature film “Blood Simple”.

Both Linklater and Soderbergh have new projects debuting at this year’s festival.

The 2024 Sundance Film Festival runs from Thursday until January 28 in Park City and Salt Lake City, with some movies available online in the United States over its final weekend.

Stars due to attend to promote their new films include Kristen Stewart, Steven Yeun, Jesse Eisenberg, Kieran Culkin and Saoirse Ronan.

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