In Park City, Utah, on MLK Day, I was trying to get breakfast, and didn’t even realize that places wouldn’t be open. My friend Lila and I walked up Main Street to the Morning Ray Café Where I had been fortunate enough to completely enjoy a breakfast only days before. As we reached the Ray Café, we found they closed at 11am, and it was 11:15. We trudged back down the street, and the first open coffee-serving establishment we found had a waiting line for about 25 minutes til we’d be seated, and we were beyond hungry. We walked down the street another block further, when (cue angels singing in heaven, “Alleluia’s”) we saw Java Cow. (more…)
Archive for 2009
Sundance is over, and it’s kind of a kick in the butt to get back into reality. I loved this false world I was living in, at the same time that it was real life. It was one man’s livelyhood on the line for his film, and another woman’s family backing her entire production costs. Real life and great worlds blended together to create a phenominal experience, and I want to share it with you now.
Friday Jan 16th
“Before Tomorrow” Sundance
Probably one of the most amazing films I have ever seen, it told the story of a family, and later a grandson and his grandmother. It definitely was amazing as my first film, and so beautifully shot. It had me and my seat neighbors in tears at the finale. (more…)
My ten day stay in Park City was an experience I won’t soon forget. Though I have no other winter terms to compare it to - yes, God help me I’m a freshman - it was the perfect blend of an exciting and relaxing trip. I dedicated myself to doing nothing but movie hopping, and the result was a (to me) staggering 25 films viewed during the trip. Thinking them all over there were definite front runners. Movies that resounded to me as a viewer for their original plot lines, jokes, filmmaking and informative q and a. For my own amusement, I tried to rate my 25 films from favorite to least, for there were also some movies that completely missed the mark! (more…)
My experience at Sundance overall was extraordinary, and was something I could never dream of doing in a lifetime. I was able to experience movies firsthand before the public, including both the successes and the flops. The rare combination and diversity of films available for public viewing where what made the festival so special. It was a combination of everything, the people, the food, the location, and the nightlife. As a class we there from January 15th to the 25th, but it felt like much shorter than ten days. . While ten days is a long time, in the culture of Park City it feels like two. There simply is too much to experience in park city so sadly something’s are left unturned.
Entering the festival it is true, I did not know what to expect, I was much of a virgin to the film culture, and joined for the experience. It didn’t satisfy any requirement on my major, or fulfill some expectation. I joined the course, because it was something I have always wanted to do, and something I hope to experience again. As a class we were required to watch 15 films and here is my list in no particular order. (more…)
Here we are, the glorious Sundance Film Festival 09′ in Park City Utah has come to an end! Man, it has been one awesome / exhausting trip. I just want to start by saying I am so grateful that I was given this opportunity to go on such an enriching journey that I will carry with me for the rest of my life. Ever since I can remember, which is pretty much back to my terrible twos, I can remember having a deep interest which blossomed into full on love for film. I have always been the person who gets overly emotional during a film and will start tearing up or straight out bawling. Or I will be on the floor laughing uncontrollably, preferrably the latter. Although, I do like a good cry every now and then, it’s therapeutic.
I have been lucky to indulge in this interest and study film at Eckerd, taking some extremely interesting and fun courses where I have actually worked on the making of short films. I hope to pursue a career which can be like a creative outlet for me, like tv and film!
I made various connections both business wise and friend wise! I climbed the never ending staircase to heaven (our beautiful condo, situated perfectly on Empire Avenue, looking over mainstreet.) I walked wide-eyed up the infamous main street, taking in all the people and places. I shmoozed with the rich and famous, (mostly extremely friendly and talented filmmakers I met at slamdance) which was an experience in it of itself. I feel as though I soaked up as much as I could, although I do wish I took the time to watch a few more movies, since the whole point of the trip was watching film! I have taken away a new understanding and appreciation of independent films and I definitely hope to be able to attend the Sundance Film Festival again, and bombard my brain with more films that will leave me questioning and anticipating more.
I also want to note the great experience I had volunteering at Slamdance, Slamdance might be (according to some) a smaller festival formed by the “reject” films from Sundance, but to me it is right up there with Sundance if not cooler! All the people I met / worked with were super friendly and made my time there quite pleasant. I also saw most of the films that Real Ideas Studio worked on with Slamdance in the aspiring filmmakers film competition, all of these films were quite good and inspiring!
Here is a quick review of all the films I saw and what they were each about: (more…)
I love the fact that I can say I’ve been to the Sundance Film Festival! I can honestly say that I had a great time. The people, the places, the films were all amazing.
I think I’ve picked up a new appreciation for what it means to be a filmmaker. I never really thought about what it takes to get an independent film made, but I just spent the last three weeks pondering this and it’s a little overwhelming. If I were a filmmaker, I’d say thank God for Sundance and other such festivals. That includes Slamdance, where I happily volunteered for the alternative festival housed in one hotel near the top of Main Street. (more…)
So the day we traveled back to Florida, we flew out of the Salt Lake City airport. While waiting in the terminal at our gate, I happened to be sitting in front of one of the televisions showing the news. I started watching the coverage for one of those award shows where the celebrities come and all the media outlets go crazy. I thought to myself, why doesn’t Sundance get this kind of national coverage?
I thought about this some more and then I felt stupid for thinking Sundance should have been on that screen in the news. If it were, it would completely undermine the point of the point of the festival. Yes, Sundance is well known and gets plenty of recognition in print around the world. I mean, how else would it get such great directors, like Alexis Dos Santos of Unmade Beds, to fill the world cinema categories? But it still, somehow, maintains a quiet existence in a way. The kind of existence that allows filmmakers, actors, and their audiences to casually interact. Where else can you walk down the street in a small mountain town and run into the directors or the stars of the movies you just saw? (more…)
Ashley Judd performs brilliantly in the extremely dramatic and touching film, HELEN. Written and directed by Sandra Nettelbeck, Helen examines a woman who seemingly has the “perfect life” (a successful teacher, married, has a beautiful daughter) but is actually struggling with serious mental illness that is deteriorating her mentally as well as physically. We watch Helen being eaten away from inside out by her bipolar disorder and depression. We also witness the powerful and inspiring bond that arises between her and another woman through their struggles. The breakdown Helen undergoes is extraordinarily realistic as well as heart wrenching.
Talk about, depressing, dark and emotion driven, this film is not for the faint of heart. The cinematography compliments the story to a T. The muted and monochrome like colors juxtaposed with Helen’s descent into mental illness are genius.
What I really liked about this film was that it was not your cliche film what with predictability and a happy ending. I loved the elusiveness that existed within the story and how there was not always easy answers or any answers at all, and things didn’t always work themselves out. I also loved the message of never giving up no matter how hard it is and even when you want to give up more than anything. I am a big believer in the saying, “What doesn’t kill you, makes you stronger,” and this message definitely emanates from the film. (more…)
Seeing movies at Sundance is fun - the excitement, full crowds and premieres are great - but what makes the moviegoing experience even more special at the festival is seeing the people involved in the film for the Q and A. After almost every movie, the director, cast and some crew would mount the stage to answer any queries that the audience had about their film. Besides the fact that the audience inevitably asked the same questions, “so what exactly inspired you to make this movie?” To which the only answer is “the story just really spoke to me…bla, bla” there was also an element of seeing the spirit of the film through the creators that made the experience special.
When the director comes on stage the general character of the movie is instantly explained. For example, the writer, director of The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle, was as crazy, eclectic, and inspired as the movie itself. In the movie janitors stumble upon and try modified cookies, that subsequently make them give birth anally to florescent blue fish. The plot is very unique but not mindless and self-indulgent like independent movies of its kind can be. It was fresh and exciting, a surprising breathe of fresh air, like David Russo himself.
The director of Adam, as sensitive love story involving a schoolteacher and her neighbor who had Aspergers, was grounded, sensitive and eloquent. He explained the great care with which he broached the topic of an autistic love story, and his vision was clearly expressed in the memorable movie. (more…)
The last film, if you want to call it that, that I saw at Sundance was sadly disappointing. It was a New Frontier entry called The Works of Maria Marshall. This category is supposed to be about what’s next in stretching the boundaries of film. So watching what Marshall repeatedly said was meant for art museum installations in a theater just didn’t capture my attention.
The description of her work made it sound like it would embody the unflinching nature of independent film. She uses herself and her children in short films that are provocative and possibly disturbing. Her teenage son is seen shooting a gun and the first film she made is the son as a baby smoking a cigarette. I bought a ticket for it because I wanted to get that range of emotion that’s far from mainstream film. (more…)