Dave LaChappelle brought the amazing RIZE to Sundance 2004 and I’m excited to see it getting a lot of coverage these days at, among other places, SXSW Producer Matt Dentler’s Indiewire Blog. The film opened at the Laemmle Sunset 5 Saturday to an energetic and enthusiastic crowd.
Also getting much deserved credit is Sundance 2005′s MURDERBALL. An audience and critical favorite, MURDERBALL (aka quad rugby) combines the finesse of soccer with the bone-jarring collisions of a demolition derby. The athletes use custom wheelchairs that look like something out of a Mad Max movie. Players careen around the court with reckless abandon, slamming into each other, fueled by an unrivaled competitive spirit. The result of a two-and-a-half-year, all-access pass to locker rooms, bedrooms, churches, and hospitals masterfully put together by filmmakers Henry Alex Rubin and Dana Shapiro. It’s a film about relearning everything you’ve ever known–from brushing your teeth to driving a car to having sex. It’s a film about standing up, even after your spirit–and your spine–have been crushed.