Sundance highlights a touch of the master's hand

In today’s Movie News Rundown: Sundance highlights, including a comedy about a missionary’s solo shame; the inside dirt on Netflix’s The Dig; Richard Kelly is still perfecting his Donnie Darko follow-up Southland Tales, fifteen years after its release.

Everyone Who Sees The Dig Has the Same Question: And the answer is yes.

Still Telling Southland Tales: Five years after his phenomenal breakout Donnie Darko, Richard Kelly released an epic-scale followup that crashed at Cannes and never recovered. Today, Southland Tales — which stars everyone from Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson to Justin Timberlake to Mandy Moore — has gained new respect. And Kelly still has plans to keep the story going. He talked about them with Eric Steuer, who first interviewed him 15 years ago, whle Kelly was shooting Southland Tales. Listen on Apple or Spotify or here:

Sundance: MovieMaker managing editor Caleb Hammond is absolutely killing it with Sundance updates, including posts on:

Censor, set during Britain’s “Video Nasty” era;

On the Count of Three, Jerrod Carmichael’s very dark comedy about a suicide pact;

—and how The Neverending Story (not Southland Tales, the original one) influenced Strawberry Mansion

“The Touch of the Master’s Hand,” a Mormon masturbation comedy short

Gotta Hand It to ‘Em: In fact, let’s go ahead and watch this clip about the making of “Master’s Hand.” It’s funny and features some excellent insights on editing.

Congratulations! Natalie Qasabian was awarded the 2021 Sundance Institute / Amazon Studios Producers Award for Fiction Filmmaking for her film Run, about a young women desperate to escape her mother’s, uh, care. Her husband and producing partner, Sev Ohanian, won the award two years ago for his work on Searching, which they produced together. Qasabian received the award from Aneesh Chaganty, who directed both Searching and Run. Here’s our recent interview about Run with Qasabian, Ohanian and Chaganty.

More Congratulations! NEON has acquired two films: Jamila Wignot’s Ailey is an intimate portrait of dance legend Alvin Ailey, and Jonas Poher Rasmussen’s Flee, executive produced by Riz Ahmed and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, follows a teen who flees multiple countries.

Finally: I wrote this about the Sundance film How It Ends, set in L.A. on the last day of human existence.

WandaVision Update: I said last month (somehow it’s February) that I was a little underwhelmed by the first episodes. But I really liked the fourth episode, which answers lots of questions and expands the Marvel Universe. Excelsior!

Comment of the Day: “Thanks for listing MEMPHIS! Did y’all also know that Memphis is home to the 7th largest privately owned DVD rental library in the country, called Black Lodge Video!? We’re actually doing an indiegogo campaign as we have fallen on hard times as has everyone else. Check us out!” says Matthew from — you guessed it — Black Lodge Video, responding to our list of the Best Places to Live and Work as a MovieMaker.

Main image, above: A still from “The Touch of the Master’s Hand.”