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Sundance opens with Nina Simone doc and a typically raunchy comedy

The Nina Simone documentary
The Nina Simone documentary "What Happened, Miss Simone?" — directed by Liz Garbus — kicked off the 2015 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.
Peter Rodis (Courtesy of Sundance Institute)

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The Frame’s host John Horn is in Park City, Utah covering the Sundance Film Festival, so The Frame's Senior Producer, Oscar Garza, called him up to ask how it’s going. Opening night screeners included Netflix’s Nina Simone documentary, “What Happened, Miss Simone?,” and the movie with the sex scene that has everyone talking, “The Bronze.”

Interview Highlights

On the opening night screening of “What Happened, Miss Simone?":

It’s a very topical film. Even though it’s a period film about a singer from the ‘60s and ‘70s, this was a woman who was very much radicalized by the civil rights movement. And at the end of the screening, people in the audience were shouting, "Black lives matter!" It could not be more topical. I think that [film is] really the home run for Sundance — where you have a documentary that’s about some event in the past, but it’s more relevant today.

On the other Sundance opener, “The Bronze”:

This is a very typical Sundance movie. It’s incredibly raunchy [with a] hard "R" rating. It’s about a gymnast who won a bronze medal in the Olympics and that was both her blessing and her curse, and she is living off the legacy of this win. Every buyer in town was there. Harvey Weinstein was there, the Fox Searchlight people were there. I suspect it will not get a huge sale, but somebody will buy it. It will probably be in theaters later this year.

Go back in time to one year ago, the film that came out of Sundance was “Boyhood” ...

I [first] saw it at that screening ... “Boyhood,” which is right now a favorite to win the Oscar, would be the first Sundance film to win Best Picture. But it’s not the only best picture nominee, “Whiplash” premiered at Sundance as well. In that same theater.

Check KPCC's website in the coming days for on-the-ground coverage from Sundance. Are you attending the festival? Tell us which films you loved in the comments, on our Facebook page or on Twitter (@KPCC, @TheFrame).

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