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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

Sundance Film Fest adds glitter, glamour to Utah ski resort

O, this cannot wait until 2007: MC Indie‘s first Sundance dispatch comes from Park City resident Kurt Repanshek of Travel Arts Syndicate, who reminds us that “Sundance Film Fest adds glitter, glamour to Utah ski resort.” “Celebrity spotting takes precedence over powder skiing come mid-January when the tony mountain town of Park City morphs from a ski destination into a glitzy Hollywood backdrop, often with a snowstorm or two and the A-list from central casting. Here comes Sting and his entourage, complete with a mountain of luggage holding everything and anything he might need on the slopes. There goes Emilio sundance07_arcadefire.jpgEstevez ducking into a ski shop to get his board waxed. Val Kilmer was here just a minute ago, and Jennifer Aniston is looking as chic as ever despite the biting weather and relentless tabloid pursuit. Heck, even Al Gore picked Sundance a year ago to debut his acclaimed film on climate change, An Inconvenient Truth. Yes, Park City definitely will be the place to be from Jan. 18-28 when the Sundance Film Festival again transforms this nook of the Wasatch Range into a three-ring circus. You’ll have your black-garbed industry types armed with millions of dollars in contracts looking for a sleeper project, the satchel-clutching, Starbucks-addled media and the celebrities who flit about town, usually in big, black and more-often-than-not, stretched rigs.” [More deeply ringing cliches are available at the link, sadly, to be repeated in the hours ahead in variously reheated form by supposedly more seasoned writers.]

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“Ten years ago at Telluride, I said on a panel that theatrical distribution was dying. It seemed obvious to me. I was surprised how many in the audience violently objected: ‘People will always want to go to the movies!’ That’s true, but it’s also true that theatrical cinema as we once knew it has died. Theatrical cinema is now Event Cinema, just as theatrical plays and musical performances are Events. No one just goes to a movie. It’s a planned occasion. Four types of Event Cinema remain.
1. Spectacle (IMAX-style blockbusters)
2. Family (cartoon like features)
3. Horror (teen-driven), and
4. Film Club (formerly arthouse but now anything serious).

There are isolated pockets like black cinema, romcom, girl’s-night-out, seniors, teen gross-outs, but it’s primarily those four. Everything else is TV. Now I have to go back to episode five of ‘Looming Tower.'”
~ Paul Schrader

“Because of my relative candor on Twitter regarding why I quit my day job, my DMs have overflowed with similar stories from colleagues around the globe. These peeks behind the curtains of film festivals, venues, distributors and funding bodies weren’t pretty. Certain dismal patterns recurred (and resonated): Boards who don’t engage with or even understand their organization’s artistic mission and are insensitive to the diverse neighborhood in which their organization’s venue is located; incompetent founders and/or presidents who create only obstacles, never solutions; unduly empowered, Trumpian bean counters who chip away at the taste and experiences that make organizations’ cultural offerings special; expensive PR teams that don’t bring to the table a bare-minimum familiarity with the rich subcultural art form they’re half-heartedly peddling as “product”; nonprofit arts organizations for whom art now ranks as a distant-second goal behind profit.”
~ Eric Allen Hatch