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Sundance Selects: The festival comes to NYC

Uncle Kent

Uncle Kent Photo Credit: Handout

If you’re a movie buff, at some point this week you’ve probably wished your office was a Sundance Film Festival theater, the subway a celeb-packed Park City trolley and your apartment a hotel with a mountain view.

While not much can be done in New York about the trolley or the mountain — though it is just as cold as a Utah winter — Sundance Selects on demand and YouTube this week offer the chance to see some of the fest’s 2011 premieres.

amNY looks at five films premiering on demand this week you need to see:

‘Uncle Kent’
Filmmaker Joe Swanberg is a major figure in the mumblecore movement — low-budget, largely improvised films about twenty-somethings — that’s a key part of 21st-century independent film. So it’s a surprise that “Uncle Kent,” a bittersweet comedy centered on a lonely children’s-show writer, marks Swanberg’s first trip to Sundance. Available now

‘Kaboom’
Part David Lynch, part sex-filled college kids romp, “Kaboom” from Greg Araki follows a college freshman as he uncovers a massive conspiracy while falling in and out of bed with various classmates. Available tomorrow. Also screens at BAM on Thursday at 7 p.m.

‘Mad Bastards’
An Australian film about the challenging, frayed ties among three generations of aboriginal men, set against a journey to the country’s remote Kimberley region. Brendan Fletcher’s film features a local cast and aims to “poetically fuse the harsh realities of violence, healing and family.” Available now

‘Septien’
After 18 years apart, a man reunites with his strange brothers on their deceased parents’ farm, in a film about backwoods religious freaks, cleanliness, Satanists and tortured pasts from New Yorker Michael Tully, who wrote, directed and co-starred. Available now

‘These Amazing Shadows’
The National Film Registry annually pinpoints historically and culturally significant films to preserve in the Library of Congress, having selected everything from “Citizen Kane” to “Alien.” This documentary goes behind the scenes and underscores the ways a classic movie can leave a lasting social imprint well beyond the screen. Available now

Sundance Selects on YouTube

‘Life in a Day’
The premiere of this film, comprising thousands of home-video submissions from users depicting their activities on July 24, 2010, and directed by Kevin MacDonald (“The Last King of Scotland”), will be live-streamed on YouTube on Thursday at 8 p.m. and rebroadcast on Friday at 7 p.m.

Shorts
Multiple shorts from past festivals and the current one are available for free viewing at the YouTube screening room. Shorts from the 2011 fest feature intriguing titles such as “Skateistan: To Live and Skate in Kabul” and “Yelp (With Apologies to Allen Ginsberg’s ‘Howl’)”. Some available now, others to premiere on Thursday and Feb. 3.

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