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2017 Sundance Film Festival Predictions: John Cameron Mitchell’s How to Talk to Girls at Parties

We’ve got one month left in the 2016 calendar and the top titles that should have dropped in this year happen to come from Sundance alumni in David Michod (War Machine) and the one that could grab a tentpole Park City slot in John Cameron Mitchell‘s How to Talk to Girls at Parties. Dialling back to his 2001 debut (which turned into an off Broadway smash) Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Mitchell has favored other fests to present his second and third films with Shortbus (2006) premiering in Cannes and Rabbit Hole (2010) showing up at. Featuring Elle Fanning, Ruth Wilson and a reteaming with Nicole Kidman and the animated work of Dash Shaw (My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea), this is an A24 release, so they’ve certainly planned to maximize the fest launch for this fantastical effort with a cool soundtrack to boot. For more on the project, check out this info-packed set report.

Gist: Based on the Neil Gaiman’s short story and a screenplay by Philippa Goslett and Mitchell, set in suburban London in the late 70s, under the spell of the Sex Pistols, every teenager in the country wants to be a punk, including our hopeless hero Enn. Hearing the local punk Queen Boadicea is throwing a party, Enn crashes the fun and discovers every horny boy’s dream; gorgeous foreign exchange students. When he meets the enigmatic Zan, it’s lust at first sight. But these girls have come a lot further than America. They are, in fact, aliens from another galaxy, sent to Earth to prepare for a mysterious rite of passage.

Production Co./Producers: See-Saw Films’ Iain Canning and Emile Sherman (Lion), Howard Gertler (Do I Sound Gay?), John Cameron Mitchell.

Prediction: Premieres category.

U.S. Distributor: A24. Studio Canal (international)

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Eric Lavallée is the founder, CEO, editor-in-chief, film journalist, and critic at IONCINEMA.com, established in 2000. A regular at Sundance, Cannes, and Venice, Eric holds a BFA in film studies from the Mel Hoppenheim School of Cinema. In 2013, he served on the narrative competition jury at the SXSW Film Festival. He was an associate producer on Mark Jackson’s "This Teacher" (2018 LA Film Festival, 2018 BFI London). In 2022, he was a New Flesh Juror for Best First Feature at the Fantasia International Film Festival. Current top films for 2023 include The Zone of Interest (Glazer), Inside the Yellow Cocoon Shell (Pham Thien An), Totem (Lila Avilés), La Chimera (Alice Rohrwacher), All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt (Raven Jackson).

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