Release date: October 18, 2001

There’s a very specific kind of movie that’s a shoe-in for Sundance Film Festival consideration. It’s a long-running joke—the movies Sundance accepts are always shot on the cheap, heavy on dialogue, and aggressively emo.

That’s not always a bad thing. With the right material, monotone dramas can be quietly riveting, and the concept behind Masta Ace’s Disposable Arts album seems just right for a Sundance crowd-pleaser. The main character is an ex-con who returns home to Brooklyn, attends a school that specializes in flimsy, unsubstantial arts, and rebels against how much his beloved BK borough has changed.

The obvious choice to direct which would be Spike Lee, but his often abrasive style feels a bit off for Masta Ace’s more contemplative approach. The better fit: Pariah director Dee Rees, a Sundance veteran who’s proven she’s capable of zeroing in on a character without inserting any of her own agendas. Sorry, Spike.