Sundance Film Festival
My wife and I aren’t really sundancing. If you’re not an Indie Films Fan, you may not be aware of the January event each year in Utah, the Sundance Film Festival. One fan stated that the Festival should be called “Snowdance” as there wasn’t any sun. We’ve certainly had our share of snow this season.
Sundance is an experience and there are times you have to dance from foot to foot just to keep warm, especially if you’re waiting in line outside. The experience can be fun but also frustrating. I’m not a patient person and waiting in line is my least favorite thing to do. Each year, the Sundance Institute prints a catalog, 200+ pages, of the do’s and don’ts of the festival as well as descriptions of films by genre and their date, times, and locations. Thus, the experience begins…..
- Review each genre’s films/categories and highlight selections. We usually make selections from several different categories. Many are not only entertaining but also educational.
- Short Program
- Pickup Tickets – picking up tickets is usually a wait-in-line event
- Waiting in line to view a film provides an opportunity to learn where people are from and what films they’ve seen, not to mention if they’ve seen any stars. One gentleman noted that he had seen Shirley MacLaine… darn, I chose the wrong film
- View Film
Of course, there are informal activities such as crowd watching. I watched as a lady almost enter the Men’s Room as I shouted “Lady.” Stargazing… I have to confess I continue to look but the only stars I’ve seen are those in the sky. Though, there are reports of many in attendance. When another patron prides him or herself on seeing a celeb, I’m envious and like I said wonder if I should have selected that film. Of course, engaging the numerous volunteers in conversation helps with boredom for yourself and the volunteers alike. I’ve often wondered now why didn’t I volunteer… they have nice gifts, especially those jackets with “Kenneth Cole” on the back.
Following a film, there may or may not be a “Question and Answer” period. It depends if the producers, writers, directors and actors are present for the viewing. I love the Q&A’s. However, since these individuals are more comfortable behind the camera and actors play a role, they are not always capable of making this entertaining, or even answering questions. A favorite question references their inspiration. If you’ve read my previous blog post about the film, “Dina,” you know the Q&A after that film was very interesting. We met Dina in the lobby and she has since become a Facebook friend. You have to see the film.
In addition to seeing “Dina” we saw a Docuseries Showcase of two films. The first, “Abstract: The Art of Design” followed Christoph Niemann as he designed and illustrated covers for The New Yorker magazine. The film followed his workday and process from 9 to 6. The second in the showcase was “Hot Girls Wanted: Turned On.” The film explores the work of two female porn filmmakers. A film relative to the Marfa Art Institute in Marfa, Texas called “I Love Dick” focused on a New York couple, one of whom was a “resident fellow” at the Institute. His wife a filmmaker whose film was accepted then rejected by the Venice Film Festival. She became infatuated with artist, Dick Jarrett, a rancher and a contributor to the Institute. We felt very voyeuristic and saw enough kinky sex in these last two films until next year. Like I said I pick the wrong films.