'Dark Night' from Sarasota makes Sundance splash
One buzzed-about title at this year's Sundance Film Festival is Dark Night, filmed in Sarasota and assisted by a dozen Ringling College of Art and Design students.
Directed by Brooklyn resident Tim Sutton, Dark Night is inspired by the 2012 shootings at an Aurora, Colo. movie theater showing the Batman action flick The Dark Knight Rises. In the movie, six strangers live through the hours before a night at the movies turns horrific. Sutton reportedly doesn't stage the massacre, although confessed mass murderer James Holmes is referenced, with his psychological traits apparently divided among the strangers' lives.
Dark Night debuted Sunday night at Sundance to mixed reviews.
Variety reviewer Peter Debruge deemed the movie a "frequently abstruse, context-thin sequence of observational tableaux," (the sort of lah-dee-dah language Sundance provokes). Jordan Hoffman of the Guardian opined: "The noble intention to make us dwell on our culture, and perhaps shame its more voyeuristic members, quickly devolves into a cavalcade of tedium."
On the other hand, IndieWire.com reviewer Eric Kohn wrote in his grade-A- review: "Sutton's elegantly designed drama contains a fascinating, enigmatic agenda... At every turn the movie casts a haunting spell."
Dark Night doesn't have a distribution deal yet.
If Dark Night is picked up for theatrical distribution, 12 Ringling students should be listed in its credits. They include associate producer Tony Stopperan, production coordinator May Todd, 2nd assistant camera operator Mo Shane, art assistants Sebastian Avery, Krystal Boersen, Nick Lennon and Keishen Lloyd, wardrobe assistant Chandler Howard, plus production assistants Casey Nelson, Will Bond, Josh Jordan and Josh Webb.