The West

Sex sells at Sundance
Amanda Seyfried as Linda Lovelace in the film 'Lovelace'. Picture: AP

If sex sells then international buyers are going to be out in droves at this year’s Sundance Film Festival.

Steve Coogan plays British porn baron Paul Raymond in Michael Winterbottom’s The Look of Love; Amanda Seyfried is the world’s most famous adult-film actress in Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s Lovelace; and Joseph Gordon-Levitt makes his directing debut while also playing a porn addict in Don Jon’s Addiction, which also stars Scarlett Johansson and Julianne Moore.

In Kink, Christina Voros focuses on the world of pornographers, while James Franco, who produced that documentary also co-directs Interior. Leather Bar, which includes a speculative recreation of gay S&M footage that was cut from William Friedkin’s controversial 1980 film Cruising starring Al Pacino.

Australians have also climbed on to the sex bandwagon with the Australia-French co-production Two Mothers starring Naomi Watts and (Robin Wright as lifelong friends who fall in love with each other’s sons.

Shot on the New South Wales north coast, the film by French director Anne Fontaine co-stars Xavier Samuel, James Frecheville, Ben Mendelsohn and Sophie Lowe.

It follows the affairs as they continue over the years until their discovery threatens to tear apart the new lives and families of the young men.

The film, which was adapted from a Doris Lessing novel, will premiere at Sundance at the same time as two other movies — The Impossible and Woody Allen’s You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger — get their January release.

Meanwhile, Alice Englert will be staking her claim as Australia’s biggest up-and-coming young actress.

The18-year-old daughter of Jane Campion stars in the British horror film, In Fear, written and directed by Jeremy Lovering.

Englert impressed alongside Elle Fanning in Sally Potter’s Ginger & Rosa at the recent Toronto Film Festival and she will be seen in cinemas in February in the supernatural teen movie Beautiful Creatures.

She will be joined by her mum at Sundance as Campion will present Top of the Lake, a six-part television series she co-directed with Australia’s Garth Davis (Love My Way) and co-wrote with Gerard Lee (Sweetie).

Academy Award-winning actress Holly Hunter re-teams with The Piano director Campion for the New Zealand-set series, which follows the disappearance of a five months’ pregnant 12-year-old girl who happens to be the daughter of a local drug lord.

The series also features Mad Men’s Elisabeth Moss, Peter Mullan, AFI Award-winning actor David Wenham, and New Zealander Lucy Lawless in a supporting role.

It is a co-production between Sundance Channel, BBC TWO, and UKTV in Australia and New Zealand.
Top of the Lake will screen on UKTV in Australia and New Zealand on UKTV in March.

Australians also appear in US premieres at Sundance.

Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman and Jacki Weaver feature in the long-awaited Stoker, the English-language debut of Korean auteur Park Chan-wook; Guy Pearce will star with Felicity Jones in Breathe In, Drake Doremus’ follow-up to Like Crazy; and Toni Collette will star alongside Steve Carell in The Way, Way Back.

Also eagerly anticipated is the Julian Assange documentary We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks which is directed by US documentary maestro Alex Gibney.

Meanwhile Ashton Kutcher will star as Apple co-founder Steve Jobs in director Joshua Michael Stern’s JOBS. It is one of 18 star- studded premieres announced on Monday for Robert Redford’s independent-cinema showcase.

The film chronicles 30 years in the life of the Apple mastermind who died of cancer in October last year and has been given the honour of being the festival’s closing-night film.

Sundance Film Festival runs from January 17-27 in Park City, Utah.

The West Australian

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