Slamdance: First Time for Everything

January 24, 2011 : 5:34 pm | by Frank Arcuri

Marian Anderson of The Insaints

As anyone could have guessed Slamdance, the smaller independent film festival held here in Park City every year, definitely had a more intimate vibe to it than Sundance. There really isn’t such a thing as a wait list line and as far as getting tickets goes we were able to buy tickets just an hour before the film was shown. My first Slamdance experience took place a one of larger ‘theatres’ here and my guess was the occupancy was roughly around 60 people, and couldn’t be much more than that. The only aspect that took away from casualty of the atmosphere was the amount of time they dedicated to the directors of the works to do some Q & A, where literally one of the directors had less than three minutes to speak and field questions and comments.

I saw two films joined into one showing at the Slamdance Main Screening Room, Ultra Violet and Last Fast Ride. Ultra Violet For 16 Minutes was a 16-minute short about Marion Singer and her life and fame through her own accounts. The other, main film, Last Fast Ride: The Life, Love, and Death of a Punk Rock Goddess was a  documentary about a ground breaking punk rock chick (Marian Anderson of the Insaints) and her controversial lifestyle and performances. Although Slamdance may be superior to Sundance when it comes to intimacy, Sundance still leads when it comes to the production value of the films. For example in the short Ultra Violet, the entire film was basically a still shot with cuts and jumps to other still shots. Also, Last Fast Ride had a couple of shots of pictures progressing across the screen and still shots of people discussing their recall of the events of Marian Anderson, however I felt that was actually a powerful way to portray what the director intended.

For just popping my Slamdance cherry I definitely intend on seeing a few more movies at the lower budget, Sundance shadowing, independent film festival.

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