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Sundance Twenty Ten - Are We There Yet?

By Miscellaneous | | January 21, 2010 |

By Miscellaneous | | January 21, 2010 |

Tonight is the first night of the 2010 Sundance Film Festival, where too many bloggers will watch a whole bunch of shitty independent movies, which we’ll finally get to see and say are overrated around mid-2011 when they’re eventually released on DVD (or whatever unimaginable equivalent we have in that distant, sci-fi-esque future). Actually, this year a number of those films will have a more immediate release for us normal, non-festival-going folk, whether via iTunes, YouTube’s new rental service, the VOD channel Sundance Selects or your favorite torrent site (because there’s surely pirates in Park City this week).

Anyway, I’ve been to Sundance before. I liked maybe 3 of the 37 movies I saw there, so I’m not that intrigued or excited about the coming ten days of coverage crowding my news reader. My favorite part of Sundance blogging is the first day’s reports, before everyone is there, before any films have been screened (though some have been watched courtesy of screener discs), when people present in Park City complain about the snow and when people not yet present complain about how their flight has been unfortunately grounded in Phoenix and when people never-to-be present complain about how their co-worker is getting to go but they are stuck at home/the office.

So, here are some blog quotes from those promptly covering Sundance, in Utah or elsewhere, when there’s not yet a whole lot to cover:

  • Peter Hall at Cinematical:
    If you’re the kind of movie reader who likes to casually peruse casting and attachment news on the more mainstream front, you probably think of Sundance as the unavoidable time of the year when Hollywood news takes a backseat to non-stop coverage of movies you’ve never heard of. But just because you have yet to hear about them does not mean that the films that play the Indie fest are unworthy of being talked about.
  • Brandon Lee Tenney at First Showing:
    Since this is my first trip to this fest, there’s a bit of a learning curve. The sheer amount of films on display is staggering. On my schedule I have thirty-seven films that I’m hoping to see over the course of the next ten days. And that’s a mere fraction of the films showing. Amongst the journalists here, there’s been much debate about how one should go about choosing how to whittle a list of upwards of one hundred films to a reasonable thirty or so. My process has been to simply read the short plot synopsis, check out the director, and if it’s intriguing, it goes on the list.
  • Katey Rich at Cinema Blend:
    I’m packing my warmest sweaters and socks, scheduling my days in 15 minute increments, and stocking up on Vitamin C— it must be time for Sundance! This year I’ll be representing Cinema Blend at the 10-days festival all by myself, and it’s actually my first time, so there are pretty much even odds of some hilarious disaster taking place. But for now, we’ll pretend everything will go as planned, I’ll see all the movies I’ve planned to see and conduct all my interviews, and even all the movies will be great. Isn’t optimism great?
  • Peter Sciretta at /Film:
    Since I’m in Park City, a day before the 2010 Sundance Film Festival officially begins, I thought I’d do a round-up of the films I’m most looking forward to this year at the festival. Attending Sundance, you have to put a list together of the movies you want to see the most. Sometimes you’re lucky and you pick something that becomes the buzz of the fest — Super Size Me, Little Miss Sunshine, Rocket Science, or (500) Days of Summer. And sometimes your choices are just dead wrong, for example, last year The Informers was on the top of my must see list. But by the end of the fest, the film was my most hated movie of the year.
  • Simon Dang at The Playlist:
    We won’t be attending Sundance this year (what else is new) but for all those who are, we thought we’d help you out by listing the dozen and or so films worth checking out. Of course, they’re predominantly films already floating around our radar but there’s always the “An Education”-type films of the world that can come out of nowhere.
  • Matt Goldberg at Collider (Introducing Sundance trailers):
    The 2010 Sundance Film Festival isn’t heating up-it’s heated. The Festival kicks off tonight and will run through January 31st. Steve will be there (as soon as his flight stops getting delayed) and will bring you loads of interviews and his thoughts on the films making their debuts. I’ll be here in Atlanta, seething with jealous rage. This rage is exacerbated when I see clips from Mark Ruffalo’s directing debut, Sympathy for Delicious, the rock biopic The Runaways, and the trailer for Exit Through the Gift Shop, the first film from brilliant street artist Banksy.
  • Mali Elfman at ScreenCrave:
    Woke up at 7 this morning so I could head out into the snow and over to the press office to request tickets for Howl tonight. The press gets one free ticket a day (2 after Monday) and it’s always a race to see who gets the few tickets available. Sadly, the shuttles were not running and the buses were all behind schedule due to the massive amount of snow and ice on the road. I was planning on being the first person in line at 8 am but sadly, I didn’t get there until almost 9 and mostly everyone else had already placed their requests and had been rejected.
  • Whitney Matheson at PopCandy:
    Pop Candy reader Claire S. lives in Madison, Wis., but she’s seeing The Runaways next week at her local theater. This month you can see ‘The Runaways’ at Sundance … or in Madison, Wis. Jealous? (I am.) The screening is part of an event the Sundance Film Festival is holding Jan. 28 in eight cities across the country, where theaters will screen movies from this year’s festival lineup. […] Good luck scoring tickets, which should be tricky … though not as tricky as going to Sundance.
  • Josh Horowitz at MTV Movies Blog:
    There’s no festival quite like Sundance. For every unexpected gem (“Little Miss Sunshine”) there are ten “Chapter 27”s. I want a word with you for making me slog through the snow on a frigid night, Jared Leto. Luckily the surprising triumphs linger in your memory far longer than the duds. Except for “Chapter 27.” Seriously Leto, what the hell. Oscar races begin here (“Precious” was just that Mo’nique/Mariah movie when it debuted) and career trajectories are changed forever (hello Marc Webb, new frickin’ director of “Spider-Man”).
  • Anthony Kaufman at indieWIRE:
    For the second year in a row, I won’t be going to the Sundance Film Fest (for many of the same reasons I listed in this most popular blog post, 5 Reasons I’m Not Going to Sundance). But I will try to be their in spirit, and true to the age of blogger journalism, write about things second-hand. […] you might not even know I wasn’t in Park City if I hadn’t admitted it
  • Jeffrey Wells at Hollywood Elsewhere:
    One, no more press screenings at the Yarrow hotel — they’re now being held at the Holiday Cinemas. Except the Yarrow was/is a really nice environment for hanging out between screenings, and there’s no schmooze or sit-down opportunities at the Holiday plex so that basically blows.

    Two, there’s no more press lounge (a place with wifi, some tables, bagels-and-soup 4 sale) inside the Park City Marriot. The lounge had been there for years but no more. It’s been taken over and made into a cool-cat “filmmaker’s lounge,” or something that sounds like that.

    Three, the new press lounge is apparently the balcony area above the main Marriott lobby. (Or so I was told.) One, it’s not big enough, and two, are they going to offer wifi in this area (as they did before in the old press lounge)? If they are it means free wifi will obviously be in the downstairs lobby as well, and will therefore be available to every Tom, Dick and Harry.

  • Peter Knegt at The Lost Boy:
    R.I.P. Albertsons
    It seems that the Park City Albertsons - a classic Sundance hub - has gotten a bit of a makeover, being oh-so-cleverly renamed “A Fresh Market.”
  • David Oliver at
    Even as Devin is currently settling into Sundance and getting ready to rip all kinds of friggin’ headlines from that fest, word has come today via that the first sale has already been finalized: Waiting For Superman. Allow me just nip any DC/WB/Singer/Routh/Crisis on Infinite Earths/Donner vs. Lester or any other kind hoopla in the bud before it sprouts in your brains. This has nothing to do with the Kryptonian. Rather, Superman is a documentary from Davis Guggenheim on the state (i.e. crisis) of public education in America (whut crysis?).
  • Vince Mancini at FilmDrunk:
    I don’t have press credentials because I’m too much of a rebel (to even wear pants) so I don’t even really know what the hell I’ll be doing there or if your daily FilmDrunk experience will even change all that much, but I just thought I’d let you guys know. Frankly, the hookers just seemed bored by it.