While the mainstream audiences will be pouring into the theaters for Cloverfield the third weekend in January, the cinephiles will be headed to Sundance for the festivities.

I won’t be attending this year’s Sundance Film Festival from January 17 – 26 because I have work, so I can’t just randomly flit off to Utah to watch a bunch of great films. I’m holding out for a miraculous vacation approval and a sugar mama with money to burn.

But, I still wanted to break down the list, because it has a few that jump out as major players for 2008. I won’t hit on all of them, so if your favorite indie wasn’t included, don’t send me hate mail. Here they are in alphabetical order (I hope):

Assassination of a High School President – A noir about a student journalist that uncovers a conspiracy at a Catholic high school. Mischa Barton will help solve the mystery, fueled daily by a single piece of celery. But I’m sure she’ll at least wear that famous Catholic school girl uniform. And in case you didn’t watch “The O.C.,” how about a little Bruce Willis for you?

Be Kind Rewind – I saw the trailer again when we saw The Mist and it just solidified my desire to see this asap. While I’m a fan of Jack Black and Mos Def, I’m really interested to see this next project from Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). It’s about two guys who erase all the rental tapes and decide to shoot their own versions instead. It goes wide on January 25, 2008, so this will be its limited release the weekend before.

Choke – An adaptation of the novel by Chuck Palahniuk (Fight Club). It’s about a sex-addicted con-man (Sam Rockwell) that pays for his mother’s hospital bills by playing on the sympathies of those who rescue him from choking to death.

In Bruges – Pronounced “In Broozh,” its a black comedy shot on location in Belgium about a bunch of foul-mouthed hitmen. It stars Colin Farrell and Ralph Fiennes. The trailer is very funny, if you don’t mind the F-word getting tossed around like a midget. Did I mention this movie has a midget?

Pretty Bird – A comedy about three people trying to invent a rocket-powered belt. Paul Giamatti with Billy Crudup and SNL’s Kristin Wiig. It seems like a funny enough premise, but here’s why this will be brilliant. Wiig. Double I for extra emphasis, she delivered the funniest lines of Knocked Up this year.

Sleepwalking – The cute little girl from Bridge to Terabithia, AnnaSophia Robb, alongside Charlize Theron and Dennis Hopper. It’s about a young guy who has to step up when his niece is threatened with foster home life. I don’t really have anything on this. I just have a non-sexual crush on little AnnaSophia.

Smart People – After Juno, everyone is going to want to see more of Ellen Page. You’ll be able to see her in this movie with Dennis Quaid about the life of a widower who finds a new love (Sarah Jessica Parker) and is visited unexpectedly by his adopted brother (Thomas Haden Church).

What Just Happened? – More Bruce Willis. Plus Stanley Tucci, John Turturro, Kristen Stewart, Robin Wright Penn, Sean Penn, Robert De Niro, and Catherine Keener. How did that cast happen? It’s about a fading Hollywood producer trying to get his project made.

Where in the World is Osama Bin Laden? – Remember Morgan Spurlock from Super Size Me? Well, he’s back to directing, and this time taking on the hunt for the elusive terrorist.

For the rest of the rundown, go to the official website of the festival.

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