If you'd like to give your Xbox 360 some culture, you may be interested to know that the Sundance Institute will be releasing 45 of the short films from this year's Sundance Film Festival on the Xbox Live Video Marketplace. The films are to go on sale Friday, January 18 for the attractive price of 160 Microsoft Points (about $2) each. Keep in mind that these are being offered as permanent downloads, not rentals. Not only do you films at a super low price, but you get to show your significant other (or would be significant other) that you really care about the arts. Not bad. Find descriptions of all 45 films after the break.
Films available on Video Marketplace:
The Apology Line, United Kingdom (Director: James Lees) – Based on the creation of a real-life 'apology line' where members of the public anonymously confess to absolutely anything over the telephone.
August 15, China (Director: Xuan Jiang) – Based on a real life event, a young Chinese woman boards a bus with her boyfriend to head home to meet his parents. What was supposed to be a joyful holiday turns unpredictable when a pair of countryside crooks hijack their bus. Traveling through China's dangerous mountain passes, the passengers must decide how much they are willing to sacrifice for their own safety.
Because Washington is Hollywood for Ugly People (Director: Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung) – Employing images from popular culture, political figures and Internet imagery, this piece adopts viral advertising in a reduction of contemporary events to a cartoon-like mythology while touching on issues such as identity politics, US Foreign policy, sexuality and power.
Buyo, Italy (Director: Andrea Fasciani) – In this post-modern tale, Ralph is a guy whose voice only generates weird sounds, and Anna is deaf. One day they meet in the elevator. Ralph's unusual voice makes Anna's body vibrate, prompting Anna's affections and her desire to follow him everywhere.
By Modern Measure (Director: Matthew Lessner) – As part of an ongoing, unaired TV series, an amateur French sociologist presents his observations on a day in the life of two young Americans who meet by chance outside a Taco Bell on October 8, 2006.
Cherries, United Kingdom (Director: Tom Harper; Screenwriter: Fiona Kissane) – A class of teenage schoolboys are oblivious to their teacher's attempts to question them about the wider world. They are about to get a lesson they will never forget...one that will change their lives forever.
Chonto (Director: Carson Mell) – Wilted rock idol Bobby Bird literally tries to buy a friend when he adopts a monkey from a zoo in South America.
Crossbow, Australia (Director: David Michôd) – A kid. His Mum and Dad. The sex and drugs. And the boy next door who watched the whole thing unravel.
The Deep (Director: Alex Haworth) – A journey unravels through the thoughts of a solitary character in the heart of a future dystopia. As he journeys deep underground, he tends to the machines that fuel the surface city. His jobs are precise, almost compulsive, and he is unable to stop.
Dog Lovers (Director: Danny Roew, Screenwriters: Tonya Cornelisse, Graham Sibley) – Two potential lovers meet to talk about their affection for dogs.
Dugong, Australia (Director: Erin White) – In an effort to repair the past, a loner returns home with his dog on the day of his brother's wedding, but learns that in order to make amends he must leave a piece of himself behind.
The Execution of Solomon Harris (Directors: Wyatt Garfield, Ed Yonaitis; Screenwriter: Ed Yonaitis) – An electric chair execution fails, delivering a non-lethal jolt of electricity that leaves the prisoner screaming in pain. Protocol and routine fail to provide a resolution, and the warden has to cope with the human dilemma that falls into his hands.
Farewell Packets of Ten, Ireland (Director: Ken Wardrop) – Two ladies discuss the pros and cons of their mutual addiction to cigarettes.
FCU: Fact Checkers Unit (Director: Dan Beers; Screenwriters: Dan Beers, Peter Karinen, Brian Sacca) – After being assigned to check a bizarre fact about Bill Murray's love for drinking milk, two magazine fact checkers break into Bill's house to spy on him. Cast: Bill Murray
The Funeral, Canada (Director: Sara St. Onge) – A dark comedy about a young woman in her early hirties becomes aware of her own mortality and reacts by meticulously planning her own funeral. Possibly due to a lack of other big days in her life so far, such as a wedding, this becomes her moment to shine.
Gas Zappers (Director: Kenneth Tin-Kin Hung) – A short animation about climate change, where an ironically over-appropriated and fuzzy polar bear, abruptly finds itself in a position to save its home.
The History of America (Director: MK12) – A psychedelic western space opera.
I Have Seen the Future, Canada (Director: Cam Christiansen; Screenwriter: Kris Demeanor) – A suburban boy competes in a tennis match with his father in the suburbs of Calgary when three young men approach and start to rudely accost them.
I Love Sarah Jane, Australia (Director: Spencer Susser) – Jimbo is 13 and can think of only one girl – Sarah Jane. And no matter what stands in his way – bullies, violence, chaos, or zombies – nothing will stop him from finding a way into her world.
Ignite (Director: Shawn Bannon) – The 2007 fires of Griffith Park. Shot with seven time-lapse cameras. An experimental perspective that is beautiful, eerie, and captivating.
Lloyd Neck (Director: Benedict Campbell) – Alex has a crush on her brother's friend, Jesse. But Jesse likes Alex's brother, Taylor. Alex knows something is up with her brother. Caught in an awkward position, Taylor takes Alex and Jesse to his favorite spot.
The Loss of a Wrestling Match (Director: Jed Cowley) – So far in the season, Don has a 9-0 record. He is perfect, but in the upcoming duel he has to wrestle a higher-ranked opponent.
Madame Tulti-Pulti, Canada (Directors: Chris Lavis, Maciek Szczerbowski) – Madame Tutli-Putli boards the night train, weighed down with all her earthly possessions and the ghosts of her past. As day descends into dark, she finds herself caught up in a desperate metaphysical adventure adrift between real and imagined worlds.
Man (Director: Myna Joseph) – Maggie and her sister form an unusual bond during an encounter with a young man.
The Mark (Director: Thomas Barndt) – A lawyer rents a room to a human lightning bolt.
Motion Studios: Inertia (Director: Jake Mahaffy) – This film documents a motion study of a man running as hard and as long as he can in a full suit of smithied High Middle Age armor.
Nikamowin (Song), Canada (Director: Kevin Lee Burton) – Deconstructing and reconstructing Cree narrative, this film experiments with language to create a linguistic soundscape.
Number One (Director: Leighton Pierce) – Water imagery engages the experience of elasticity between varying states of mind.
Oiran Lyrics, Japan (Director: Ryosuke Ogawa) – A historical musical about the glamorous yet plaintive life of Kiyomi, a beautiful oiran or high-class Japanese courtesan.
On the Assassination of the President (Director: Adam Keker) – A top-secret government file, only to be viewed in the event of the President's death by assassination, gives specific instructions on what should be done, and presents dossiers on the three most likely suspects.
Paradise, France (Director: Yi Zhou) – A lyrical look at an imaginary paradise based on black and white nature and insects – with no humans, no souls in the landscape. Based on "The Divine Comedy " by Dante.
Pariah (Director: Dee Rees) – A Bronx lesbian teenager juggles multiple identities to avoid rejection from friends and family, but pressures from home, school, and within corrode the line between her dual personas with an explosive consequence.
please stand back! (zurrueckbleiben bitte), Austria (Directors: stadtmusik) – The directorial collective, stadtmusik, deals with sounds in cities by analyzing sound structures that are triggered by urban buildings and facilities. They focus on the aspect of movement in the city, reinforcing a dynamic experience of the urban soundscape.
The Rambler (Director: Calvin Reeder) – A stranger takes to the lonely highway with his guitar and traveling sack.
A Relationship in Four Days (Director: Peter Glanz) – Coming from a wealthy family, Paul recently turned 30 and has never had, or needed a real job. Lost in his own imagination, he often preaches his grand ideas, but in reality never does much ... until he meets Sabine.
Scoring, Ireland (Director: Ken Wardrop) – A young man explains the true power of a kiss.
The Second Line (Director: John Magary) – After MacArthur's savings are stolen from his FEMA trailer, he and his cousin Natt take work gutting a house.
Sick Sex (Director: Justin Nowell) – Amanda has a fever. Ken is horny.
Smile, Canada (Director: Julia Kwan) – A subtle look at the fractures that bond a Chinese immigrant family on the day they use their cut-out Sears coupon for a free family portrait.
Soft, United Kingdom (Director: Simon Ellis) – A father rediscovers his fear of confrontation at the worst possible time.
The Sound of People, Ireland (Director: Simon Fitzmaurice) – An 18- year-old boy stands in a moment on the brink of death.
Spider, Australia (Director: Nash Edgerton) – It's all fun and games until someone loses an eye.
Teat Beat of Sex (Director: Signe Baumane) – A take on sex exclusively from a woman's point of view.
Untitled #1 (from the series Earth People 2507) (Director: Nao Bustamante) – An enchanting meditation on an ancient species from the future using found footage, cell phone video, and crude chroma key effects to create a coherent and petite spell. The rendition of buffalos made from a "herd" of toy poodles tweaks at our understanding of the symbolic world.
Wind, Ten Years Old (Baad, Dah Saleh), Iran (Director: M. Mehr) – A day in the life of a 10- year-old Iranian girl highlights the Iran-Iraq war and the national/educational propaganda that informs the tumult, fear, infatuation, and mindset of a generation.