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Erik’s Sundance Film Festival ’09 Diary: Day 1

Aside from stalking the halls at Flavorwire, Erik Davis contributes to Fandango.com and is also the editor-in-chief of AOL Moviefone’s Cinematical.com, one of the longest-running and most popular movie blogs online. He’ll be bringing us his industry reports from Sundance throughout the festival, and can be reached with tips or questions at erik [dot] davis [at] gmail [dot] com.

When it comes to a major festival like Sundance (celebrating its 25th anniversary this year), the word used most in conversations amongst film nerds is ‘buzz’. But ‘buzz’ is a tricky animal, because it can come from anywhere, is often unreliable and won’t, under any circumstances, stick around to say it’s sorry after steering you in the wrong direction. That being said, ‘buzz’ is usually the only way to navigate through the treacherous tunnels of a festival screening hundreds of films, and so right now — on the opening night of the 2009 Sundance Film Festival — here are the seven flicks catching the most amount of buzz:

1. I Love You Philip Morris – Jim Carrey plays a con man who falls for Ewan McGregor while serving time in prison.
2. Bronson – Apparently, there are two Charles Bronsons – one of whom (not the movie star) is a ridiculously violent Brit who, over the past 34 years, has spent time in more than 120 different prisons. This film tells his story.
3. Art + Copy – Directed by Doug Pray (Surfwise), this documentary tells the fascinating stories behind some of the most memorable and lucrative advertising campaigns ever created.
4. Mystery Team – What is perhaps the cult-iest flick playing Sundance, screening in its Midnight section is this tale of three dorky young detectives attempt to solve a very real (and murderous) adult mystery. (Also buzzworthy in Midnight: Dead Snow – a Norwegian horror film about a group of teens who battle Nazi zombies during what was supposed to be a nice, quiet ski trip.)
5. Cold Souls – Paul Giamatti plays an actor named, well, Paul Giamatti, who goes in search of his soul.
6. The Cove – A documentary about a secret (and seedy) cove in Japan where dolphins are slaughtered. [Editor’s note: Can it top Shark Water ?]
7. Humpday – It’s like Zack and Zack Make a Porno, starring one half of the Duplass Brothers (Mark) opposite Joshua Leonard.

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