Ahead of the full 2023 Sundance Film Festival program being unveiled in December, the Sundance Institute today announced that it will debut the uncensored director’s cut of Gregg Araki’s cult classic The Doom Generation in its From the Collection section. The second film in Araki’s Teenage Apocalypse trilogy originally played in the Premieres lineup at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival.
The From the Collection section brings archival screenings back into focus as part of the Sundance Film Festival for audiences to explore and rediscover the films that have shaped the heritage of both Sundance Institute and independent storytelling. To address the specific preservation risks posed to independent film, Sundance Institute partnered with the UCLA Film & Television Archive in 1997 to form the Sundance Institute Collection at UCLA and preserve independent films supported by the Institute. The Doom Generation produced by Araki and Andrea Sperling, which stars Rose McGowan, Johnathon Schaech, and James Duval, has been remastered in 4K by Strand Releasing. The Collection has grown to over 4,000 holdings representing nearly 2,300 titles. Previous From the Collection screenings at Sundance have included Paris is Burning and Desert Hearts.
“Before we announce the full slate for the upcoming Festival, we are taking a moment to honor our past in anticipation of what is to come,” said Kim Yutani, Director of Programming. “Sundance has always been a place for discovery, inspired conversations, and critical reflection, all thanks to the independent storytellers we are so fortunate to encounter each year. These screenings are our opportunity to present newly restored films From the Collection, reemphasize our commitment to artists throughout their careers, and find new ways to recontextualize the work that has shaped the heritage of Sundance through a modern perspective.”
The 2023 From the Collection strand will also include the 25th anniversary and digital restoration screening of SLAM, directed by Marc Levin and written by Levin, Saul Williams, Sonja Sohn, and Richard Stratton, introduced to audiences at the 1998 Sundance Film Festival, where it premiered in the U.S. Dramatic Competition section and won the Grand Jury Prize.
“The two restorations certainly celebrate how groundbreaking so many independent works from the 90s were, but they also remind us of how collaborative, fierce and transformative independent storytelling could be – how long lasting their impact and influence can be,” said John Nein, Senior Programmer & Director of Strategic Initiatives at Sundance Institute. “SLAM not only showcased the work of pioneering artists and poets like Saul Williams, Sonja Sohn, Beau Sia, Liza Jesse Peterson and others, but it also inspired untold numbers of younger poets and contributed to the criminal justice reform movement of the 1990s. And with the restoration and reincorporation of several original scenes into The Doom Generation, we’re reminded of the challenges that independent storytellers faced, and continue to face, in releasing their films true to their vision.”
In 1995, The Doom Generation was unveiled to audiences in Park City before its wider release to the public later that year. While festivalgoers were able to witness director Gregg Araki’s entire vision, subsequent audiences were shown a truncated version. Strand Releasing has reworked the restored film to include the lost moments from almost 30 years ago. When The Doom Generation plays at the upcoming Festival, it will be the version Araki originally intended to make, and will be the first time since 1995 that the uncensored director’s cut is shown in theaters.
“There are three versions of The Doom Generation,” Araki explains. “One is the edited version which was released in theaters and on video. The second is a ridiculous R-rated version made without my approval for Blockbuster Video, which has over 20 minutes chopped out and makes no sense, and I hope disappears forever after this re-release. The third is the version shown at the film’s world premiere at Sundance in 1995, which was subsequently censored per the distributor’s request, primarily in the climactic reel. This new 4K remaster is the first time this Uncensored Director’s Cut has been seen since 1995, and also restored to 1.85 Widescreen versus the lousy pan-and-scan version which has circulated for decades. Needless to say, I’m thrilled that The Doom Generation can finally be experienced in its full glory in this remastered and restored edition.”
SLAM and The Doom Generation From the Collection screenings will each be followed by conversations with the filmmakers and special guests to be announced at a later date.
The 2023 Sundance Film Festival takes place from January 19-29, 2023 in Park City, Salt Lake City, and the Sundance Resort, and online for audiences across the country from January 24-29, 2023. Passes and packages for the Festival go on sale to the public on Monday, October 17, 2022.