5 Must-See Art Films at Sundance


The 10th edition of the sometimes-overlooked New Frontier program at Sundance is bigger and better than ever. Here are the films and installations—not to mention virtual reality experiences—you should escape to away from the fray.


Double Conscience

We’re in the middle of a cross-cultural swoon between hip-hop and the art world, and the L.A. artist Kahlil Joseph’s collaboration with Kendrick Lamar—he of the 11 Grammy nominations—is one of the more thoughtfully bred love children to have emerged. The two-channel video installation is a meditation on W.E.B. Dubois’s term for African-Americans’ internal struggle between their African and American identities, and a sweeping view of the streets of Compton where Lamar grew up, all set to the rapper’s booming lyricism.


Queen Rose Family (da Stories) The irrepressible artist and former James Franco enabler Kalup Linzy loves a good soap as much as the next freelancer. He has a touch of genius for casting his fabulous, homespun video “stories.” The fictional Queen Rose family is played by, in addition to Linzy himself, Michael Stipe, Leo Fitzpatrick, Tunde Adebimpe, and Hank Willis Thomas.


A History of Cuban Dance

The documentary filmmaker Lucy Walker has already scoured the landfills of Rio de Janeiro with the artist Vik Muniz, in her deeply felt 2010 film Waste Land, and now she is among the many cultural investigators cracking the open book that is Cuba. What better way to experience the sexy moves of Afro-Cuban rumba and reggaeton than through virtual reality goggles?



There are apparently enough VR projects (30!) to warrant two categories in New Frontier: documentary virtual reality and narrative. In the latter, there is Bjork, who stars in creator Andrew Thomas Huang’s exploration of how the medium can change music videos. But to be fair: Did Bjork’s music videos not already exist in an alternate reality?



The comedian and musician Reggie Watts doesn’t really get to let his freak flag fly as the bandleader of The Late Late Show with James Corden. Here, you get to take a highly self-aware meta-ride down the rabbit hole of his deeply weird mind—in VR, of course.