Ryan Kearney

Ryan Kearney is a former staff writer, editor, and critic for several newspapers in the Boston area, as well as the alt-weekly New Haven Advocate and the music website, Pitchforkmedia.com. He is currently at work on a travel memoir set in Latin America. Ryan previously provided a glimpse into the daily experience at the 2009 Sundance Film Festival on SundanceChannel.com, and now he'll be turning his attention to the indie music scene.

A Night that was Worth the Hype

Article: A Night that was Worth the Hype

Maybe because I’d already been to so many Sundance parties, or because I couldn’t imagine the Racquet Club as an awards hall, or because I’m allergic to hype—whatever the reason, I was skeptical about the closing night ceremony.

A Final Note on the New Frontier of Film and Technological Art

Article: A Final Note on the New Frontier of Film and Technological Art

On the first day of the festival, I praised the exhibits at New Frontier and promised to return to the subject before Sundance ended. Well, the festival is almost over and, while I haven’t had the chance to view all of the exhibits, there are two that deserve special mention.

You Can Run, But You Can't Hide from Skippy

Article: You Can Run, But You Can't Hide from Skippy

Maybe you’ve seen him loitering on Lower Main or outside the Egyptian, pocket digital in hand, with a bright I SEE FAMOUS PEOPLE t-shirt stretched over his ski jacket and a blue hat reading, “Sexy, Single, Fun. IAMSKIPPY.COM.” Maybe he even handed you a SKIPPY IS TOO HOT TO HANDLE oven mitt.

I Finally Walk Out of a Movie

Article: I Finally Walk Out of a Movie

Arlen Faber isn’t just a bestselling author—he’s a worldwide phenomenon. His book Me and God, first published in 1988 and celebrating its twentieth anniversary, is like Tuesdays with Morrie times The Celestine Prophecy times The DaVinci Code (in both sales and vapidity, one presumes).

Adventures (and Failures) in Park City Dining

Article: Adventures (and Failures) in Park City Dining

Coming out here to ski for all of those years, I never used to mind that Park City didn’t have great food. Our family would go to the Claimjumper (gone), Texas Red’s (now Bandits), or the Eating Establishment (still blah), and that was good enough of for us. We were in a ski town; we didn’t expect much.

Something’s Rotten on Lower Main Street

Article: Something’s Rotten on Lower Main Street

P.U.! Anyone who has taken the pedestrian walkway parallel to Lower Main Street already knows what this post about: that awful stench rising from the ground. It smells like rotten eggs. Boiled in vomit. In which rotting skunk carcasses are marinating. Okay so maybe it’s not that bad, but there’s a conspicuous lack of foot…

How Not to Behave at Sundance

Article: How Not to Behave at Sundance

Overheard at Sundance during the first weekend:

Festival volunteer: “So, do you see an increase in traffic during the festival?”
Bus driver: “That’s a stupid question.”

I Take on ADAM, and Lose

Article: I Take on ADAM, and Lose

ADAM I’m glad I hadn’t seen the trailer for ADAM, which just won this year’s Sloan prize, before seeing the film this morning. Not that I have since watched the trailer—if one even exists—but I can just imagine what impression it leaves: Awkward twenty-something nerd lives with his dad. Dad dies. Row of identical mac-n-cheese…

Woody Allen's Chickpea-Sized Soul and Other Sources of Inspiration

Article: Woody Allen's Chickpea-Sized Soul and Other Sources of Inspiration

Cary Fukunaga (SIN NOMBRE) rode the rails with illegal immigrants in Mexico… Sophie Barthes (COLD SOULS) had a dream about Woody Allen and a chickpea in a box… And Cruz Angeles (DON’T LET ME DROWN) overheard a group of Albanian teenagers in New York City cracking jokes about 9/11…

A Friendly Reminder from Howard Zinn that U.S. History is Mostly Horrific

Article: A Friendly Reminder from Howard Zinn that U.S. History is Mostly Horrific

Celebrities, from the A list on down, are a dime a dozen at Sundance, where even nobodies (like me) walk around acting like they belong here—like they’re more important than that nobody walking in the opposite direction.

BIG FAN Keeps its Cards Close to its Chest

Article: BIG FAN Keeps its Cards Close to its Chest

Robert Siegel sure knows how to write squirm-inducing scripts. THE WRESTLER—which just got shortchanged by the Academy—was one of my favorite films of last year, but also one of the hardest to watch. Mickey Rourke’s portrayal of an over-the-hill wrestler who continues to perform—and juice up—in spite of a heart condition is not unlike watching a car wreck in slow motion for two hours … and wondering all along whether the driver is going to die.

The Top Two (And Only?) Fistfights of the Week

Article: The Top Two (And Only?) Fistfights of the Week

I’ve asked a lot of people this week—no, not anyone famous—their thoughts on this year’s festival, and nearly everyone has said that it’s been a quiet year: less marketers, less media, and less celeb-stalkers (though, according to festival director Geoffrey Gilmore, no fewer ticket buyers).

CORAZĂ“N Has Heart, Will Propagandize

Article: CORAZĂ“N Has Heart, Will Propagandize

At the risk of sounding like a Sundance mouthpiece, I must say that the festival has long been a champion of Latin American cinema. This year is no different, with around a dozen films either made by Latin Americans or which pertain to their experience. CORAZĂ“N DEL TIEMPO, an entry in the world dramatic competition, falls into both categories.

The YES MEN Fix Sundance's Humor Deficit

Article: The YES MEN Fix Sundance's Humor Deficit

I was especially eager, then, for last night’s premiere of THE YES MEN FIX THE WORLD.

My Final Post on Digital Distribution, I Swear

Article: My Final Post on Digital Distribution, I Swear

A lot of themes have emerged at Sundance this year. The environment. The economy. Noisy gum-chewers.

Beer O'Clock at the Sundance Channel

Article: Beer O'Clock at the Sundance Channel

There are myriad ways of judging whether a party is a success or not.

Composing some Thoughts on Film Music

Article: Composing some Thoughts on Film Music

Someone once said, “Trying to discuss music is like trying to dance about architecture.” Or maybe it was “Talking about music…,” or perhaps “Writing about music…”

NO IMPACT MAN has Impact, Man

Article: NO IMPACT MAN has Impact, Man

NO IMPACT MAN “Caffe Ibis is committed to providing you with an unbeatable fresh and full flavored cup while engaging in environmental and socially responsible practices. Caffe Ibis has been designated as a Green Business.” So reads the side of my coffee cup from a Main Street cafĂ©. Of course, it also says, “Made with…

Penises for Lunch at New Frontier

Article: Penises for Lunch at New Frontier

I’m not a fan of film shorts. Too often they’re purposefully abstract and unintentionally amateurish. There are good ones out there, of course, but not enough to justify sitting through a spotty, 90-minute collection of them—especially not when Sundance has so many promising full-length films to offer. But I was already there, so what the hell.

AN EDUCATION in Screenwriting

Article: AN EDUCATION in Screenwriting

Writers—of fiction especially—are a notoriously independent lot, for obvious reasons. They’re their own bosses, and the only (living) person they have to consult with, artistically speaking, is their editor. So what happens when a novelist crosses over into an intensely collaborative medium like film?

Cede control over hiring, for starters.

From STARTUP Failure to Sundance Dealmaker

Article: From STARTUP Failure to Sundance Dealmaker

Kaleil Isaza Tuzman’s first trip to Sundance—or, at least, the first year he spent significant time here—was in 2001 for the release of STARTUP.COM. Anyone who has seen that movie, which chronicles Tuzman’s failed startup company (govWorks.com), can imagine his mixed feelings about coming to Park City that year. To his credit, though, he kept…

Obama: The Best Film at Sundance

Article: Obama: The Best Film at Sundance

Park City Tunes into Barack Obama Some people huddled together for warmth. Others hugged steaming cups of overpriced coffee. Some people brought miniature—or, in one case, full-sized—American flags. Others brought their dogs, which come in only two sizes in Park City: bear or poodle. And some people pulled “HOPE” shirts over their jackets, while others…

Birdmonster Attacks the Music Café!

Article: Birdmonster Attacks the Music Café!

Peter Arcuni, lead singer of Birdmonster, was doing his best to rouse the middle-aged crowd at the Music Café this afternoon.

“I know those stools are really comfy,” he said to those seated up front, “but if you want to stand up you can.”

The Revolution is Being Televised, But When Will it be Streamed?

Article: The Revolution is Being Televised, But When Will it be Streamed?

Steven Soderbergh doesn’t care where people see his films—big screen, small screen—just as long as people have a chance to see (and, presumably, pay for) them. To that end, he has struck a deal with IFC Films, the distributor of his two-part biopic CHE, to release the film via video-on-demand. “We’re kind of blocked out…