Sundance 2024: Exploring AI Afterlife, Robot Romance, and Slow-Burn Slashers

Artificial Intelligence is the trending topic of the moment, and nowhere seems to be safe — even movie festivals. This year’s edition of Sundance was a prime example. Multiple documentaries about the past and present of AI made an appearance, and at least one film — the dark comedy Little Death — utilized generative AI as an artistic choice. There was even Love Me, a post-apocalyptic romantic comedy about two AIs in love.

Outside of AI, there was the usual crop of inventive horror movies, a coming-of-age story set during the good ol’ days of AIM, and a heartbreaking documentary that was set partially inside of World of Warcraft. In short: Sundance had range this year. And while we couldn’t catch everything, we did watch a lot, and came away with this list of our favorites.

By celebrating the sexual lives of cisgender queer people (and to a lesser extent those of trans / genderqueer women), society has made progress. However, when it comes to transgender men, that hasn’t really been the case.

With Full Spectrum Features’ new hybrid documentary / narrative feature Desire Lines, filmmaker Jules Rosskam aims to help right some of that wrong by centering trans men in a fascinating story about trans male sexuality and cultural memory.

As both a trans man, and an immigrant originally from Iran, Ahmad arrives at the archive assuming that he won’t be able to see much of himself reflected in immersive, dreamlike memories preserved in the archive’s library for patrons to experience. Be comfortable navigating the archive, and letting the stories of other queer men wash over him, the more he begins to understand that his desires are an essential part of who he is. —CPM

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