Sundance 2012 Daily Blog: Day 2

Murder trials, Britpop stars and indie lovin’

Films galore!

Day two of Sundance 2012, and we’re up at the buttcrack of dawn to watch Peter Jackson-powered documentary West Of Memphis .

Having trudged to our bus stop in the pitch black and hitched a ride to the wrong part of town (our fault, though the bus driver was very apologetic), we finally settled into a packed cinema for the hard-hitting doc.

A pseudo follow-up to 1996 doc Paradise Lost , Memphis sets out the case of the Memphis Three, a trio of teenagers jailed in the ‘90s for the murder of three eight-year-old boys.

Packing in A-list appearances (among them producer Peter Jackson and Eddie Vedder), director Amy Berg’s film is upsetting and gripping, bringing us bang up to date on the case while unravelling the central miscarriage of justice in fascinating forensic detail.

At 150 minutes, the running time is scarily close to Jackson’s LOTR films, but something tells us this’ll be the one to beat in the documentary category at the closing night awards.

Next up was California Solo , a meandering but moving portrait of a washed-up Britpop star (Robert Carlyle) who, facing deportation from his new home in the US, is forced to confront his hidden demons.

An unexpected gem, it features a stunning central performance from Carlyle – perhaps his best since Trainspotting ’s Begbie – and don’t be surprised if this turns up during the 2013 awards season (think Crazy Heart with a Scottish Madchester veteran).

Films seen so far: 7

Quote of the day: "Shit must taste good, a million flies can't be wrong" - Elena

Momentous mishap: Snow on head incident - chilly.

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