While Park City has passed strict laws governing film marketing that doesn’t mean problems don’t still occur. For example, while it is illegal to hand out flyers or post cards on Main Street, people can ask you for your card. Scott Foundas [blogs.laweekly.com] at the LA Weekly reported on a recent poster war that has erupted on main street. Elsewhere all about a town someone has been posting another sign promoting local town spirit, and, well, denigrating Sundance. I guess, it’s a love/hate relationship.
In addition to his excellent coverage, Ray Pride at Movie City Indie [www.mcnblogs.com] points out that you can find the music from the film ONCE [festival.sundance.org] on thier MYSPACE MUSIC [www.myspace.com] page. There you will find four songs — “Leave,” “Falling Softly,” “Drown Out,” “What Happens when…” — you can listen to and download.
As the Artistic Director of Seattle International Film Festival (May 24 – June 17) and the Director of Programming at Palm Springs International Film Festival (January 4 – 15, 2007), Carl Spence spends all year watching films. So what will he remember from his experience this year at Sundance?
Radio came to Park City this festival in a number of ways. Yesterday, in the Panel, “How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love TV: This American Life Reloaded,” NPR radio star Ira Glass joined Director Chris Wilcha [www.imdb.com] and cinematographer Adam Beckman [www.imdb.com] to discuss the transformation of the This American Life [www.thislife.org] from a radio show to a Showtime television series.
One way to understand the festival is to try to see it through the eyes of the local police. Park Record, the local newspaper, provides just such an alternative view in their police blotter [www.parkrecord.com].
A few of the week’s highlights include… More after the jump.
Along with the animation spotlight, several films are using animation to further their narrative storytelling. In the opening night film, CHICAGO 10 [festival.sundance.org], Brett Morgen employed animators to bring to live the court transcripts of the Yippees on trial.
Sundance Channel party last night marked in many ways the final big party of the festival party season — that is, of course, before the Awards ceremony this weekend. Unlike many of the celebrity driven parties, those impossible affairs with only the rumor of a famous person flaming the crowd into tighter and tighter spaces, Sundance Channel party was an event for comrades in work: filmmakers, buyers, publicists, and film people in general. The big, splashy parties one sees on “Entertainment Tonight” happen over the weekend, and pretty much end when the stars wing their way back to wherever stars live. Nevertheless fond memories of Sundance society stay behind.
Park City, Jan 23. In addition to weak beer, spicy chicken wings, and loud music, Sundance parties provide ideal networking opportunities. But how to show the person next to the steam table you’re up for the job? Up-and-coming cinematographer Jendra Jarnagin [www.floatingcamera.com] downloaded her reel onto her ipod and used it at the Technicolor party to show new friends her talent, a gesture that may have landed her gig shooting a new feature.
The early morning announcement of the Academy Awards [www.imdb.com] marked the next step of the journey that many films began at Sundance last year. Three of the narrative films were on the nomination slate: LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE [www.imdb.com](Best Picture, Best Supporting Actress for Abigail Breslin and Best Original Screenplay; HALF NELSON [www.imdb.com] (Best Actor for Ryan Gosling); THE ILLUSIONIST [www.imdb.com] (Best Cinematography). And two documentaries are also up for Oscars: AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH [www.imdb.com] (Best Documentary, Original Song); IRAQ IN FRAGMENTS [www.imdb.com] (Best Documentary). Finally WEST BANK STORY [www.imdb.com] is up for Short Film: Live Action.
If something goes wrong during your screening, it’s always good to have a song in your back pocket. So when John Carney’s [www.imdb.com] once ran into projection problems Sunday night, the two leads Glen Hansard [www.imdb.com] and Marketa Irglova [www.imdb.com] took to the stage to entertain the audience as the theater fixed the mechanical problem. How apropos, since ONCE is a musical — or as director Carney calls it “video album” — about the musical relationship between Czech immigrant and local Dublin boy. After the projector was fixed and the film played, the duo returned to stage for the Q&A — and some more songs.
When a festival goer trying to adjust the heat lamp at the bus stop was stopped by a transit volunteer, he turned to her: “Oh you work for Sundance; I thought you were a real person.”
On the back bus by the library: “Dude, Salt Lake City is the easiest place around to buy semi-automatic rifles.”
more after the jump…
During the 10 days of Sundance, Park City seems to go lounge crazy. “Lounge” is the buzz word for a highly, perhaps overly, designed space (usually off main street) with pleasant amenities that push a particular corporate brand or organizational initiative. While the more private lounges offer high-end schwag for visiting celebrities, the more pedestrian offer other gifts. The Airborne [www.airbornehealth.com] lounge provides plenty of anti-cold tablets, as well as when it is crowded, plenty of germs. The Delta [biz.yahoo.com] Lounge unfortunately does not offer airplane tickets. AOL-Cyber lounge, one of the more airline-influenced architectural spaces, gives you internet access…
Jennifer Baichwal’s MANUFACTURED LANDSCAPES [www.mongrelmedia.com] examines the work of photographer Edward Burtynsky [www.edwardburtynsky.com] in China. Of his large scale work, Burtynsky has remarked, “These images are meant as metaphors to the dilemma of our modern existence; they search for a dialogue between attraction and repulsion, seduction and fear.” This weekend people can either see his work on the screen or on the wall in a special local exhibition of his work at the Julie Nester Gallery [www.julienestergallery.com].
While UCLA and NYU have traditionally been the powerhouse film schools, this seventeen films at Sundance were made by either Columbia University [wwwapp.cc.columbia.edu] Students or Alumni. In The Hollywood Reporter [www.hollywoodreporter.com], programmer Trevor Groth pointed out that the eight Columbia short films make up about 10% of the Shorts program…
Via daily.greencine.com [daily.greencine.com] Greencine, Christopher Smart at The Salt Lake Tribune [www.sltrib.com] reported on the crackdown of prostitution in Park City. Elsewhere Anne Thompson reports on the Catholic League President Bill Donohue calling for a federal investigation into whether Deborah Kampmeier’s Dramatic Competition film HOUNDDOG broke federal child pornography laws. The southern gothic tale involves a 12-year-old Dakota Fanning playing a girl who is raped by an older boy. In fact the situation has grown into a culture war battleground as a petition site [www.thepetitionsite.com] has emerged for people to follow the discussion and throw their support to the filmmakers.
As much as people keep talking about the heart, soul, and spirit of the filmmaker, when push comes to shove, the festival runs on its Ethernet. This was made abundantly clear when the beleaguered festival publicity department faced off with frustrated press who could not get their press passes when the computers went down. The cruel irony of this was not wasted on Filmmaker Magazine editor Scott Macaulay [www.filmmakermagazine.com].