Nature was constantly on the mind of this year's Sundance Film Festival, especially with the films they programmed.
Along with the fest’s New Climate program, which specifically focused on movies that addressed global warming, the impact of human beings and their surroundings could be seen in narratives across categories.
It cracks the code of how to make a documentary about a specific cause that connects with viewers, making them share the filmmakers' passion in the process.
More than just a science film, it’s an excellent adventure about coral reef nerds trying to take pictures of dying reefs, in order to chart the effects of global warming on a vital ecosystem.
“Chasing Coral” takes us into the step-by-step process as director Jeff Orlowski and his friend Zack—one of the festival’s true breakout stars, and from a documentary, at that—are driven by their passion to set up different cameras across the ocean, and to take pictures everyday for a time-lapse effect.
It becomes just as much about the reef as their journey, without over-selling either part.
It’s in these stories that we get a parallel idea of Cal’s eagerness to kill and David’s past lesson in the difference between hunting and merely killing.
These elements create a slow burn that took too long for me, especially as “Walking Out” hints at danger with certain cues, only to then pull back from it.“Walking Out” seems to be an ambitious project, but all of the pieces to make a narratively simple story, about this wounded father and son trying to get back home, don’t coalesce; it does get considerable emotional force from its score by Ernst Rejseger and cinematography by Todd Mc Mullen.And Wiggins and Bomer use their chemistry to create some sweet moments, especially as David is eventually carrying his father on his back.The climax in this movie is a sparsely-attended, coral-centric science convention.But with the character and stakes established by this movie, it feels like the most important place in the world.In a way that clowns the unfocused “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,” “Chasing Coral” establishes a personality while being true to the issues.