Institute History


Todd Haynes’s first feature interweaves three stories, each told in a distinct style. In “Honor,” a brilliant scientist ingests a hormone he has discovered and becomes a monster. Shot in black and white mostly at night, its disorienting angles and disjointed editing combine elements of the horror film with film noir. “Hero,” filmed in bright color, uses newscasts and a docudrama format to explore the case of a seven-year-old boy who shot and killed his father. Its straightforward style contrasts with the mystery at its heart: who was Richie Beacon? Finally, in “Homo,” in much darker color, two prisoners try to find some meaning for their lives and expression for their sexuality in a confined, violent world. The atmosphere is tense and ominous, and the camera propels us into the action. The three stories are linked by their association between love and violence.

Poison won the Grand Jury Prize at the 1991 Sundance Film Festival and announced the arrival of an innovative new director. Thanks to Zeitgeist Films for making the print available for this screening.

— Barbara Bannon

As you use our Online Archives, please understand that the information presented from Festivals, Labs, and other activities is taken directly from official publications from each year. While this information is limited and doesn't necessarily represent the full list of participants (e.g. actors and crew), it is the list given to us by the main film/play/project contact at the time, based on the space restrictions of our publications. Each entry in the Online Archives is meant as a historical record of a particular film, play, or project at the time of its involvement with Sundance Institute. For this reason, we can only amend an entry if a name is misspelled, or if the entry does not correctly reflect the original publication. If you have questions or comments, please email [email protected]