My Festival Experience

February 4, 2011 : 12:59 am | by Will Gentile

Although it is difficult to sum up an experience that has been the best so far in my life, I can say the Sundance Film Festival has inspired me.  I now know what I want to do with the rest of my life.  I want to go back to Sundance someday with films that I write and direct.  The best thing about this festival had to the people of Park City who were in most situations the kindest and most down to earth that I have experienced.  The films I had the opportunity to see (that I would not have otherwise have the chance to) were amazing.  Hanging out with my fellow reporters and Sundance classmates was the high point.  I feel like I gained friendships that I will treasure for the rest of my life.  Lessons learned from Sundance include realizing that it takes a great amount of dedication, hard work and a group of people who want to do something that can be worthy of festivals like Slamdance and Sundance.  You have to go after your dream and not let anything stand in your way.  Another lesson learned is that Sundance as compared to Slamdance is more corporate and heavily sponsored and covered by the press.  Slamdance on the other hand is what Sundance was at the beginning.  It is more intimate, more relaxed and does not have the hoopla surrounding it.  It focuses on the art and access to the filmmakers is much greater at Slamdance.

My favorite film at Sundance is a tie between “Corman’s World: Exploits of a Hollywood Rebel” and “Beats, Rhymes and Life:  The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest.:   Corman’s World is a fascinating and entertaining look at the Hollywood producer, Roger Corman.  His career helped launched many well known artists working today including Jack Nicholson and director Jonathon Demme.  “Beats, Rhymes and Life: The Travels of a Tribe Called Quest,” is an awesomely entertaining look at a hip hop group that simply put, rocks.  The film I liked least at the festival was a foreign film, “All Your Dead Ones.”  This was an utterly boring and not subtle attempt to expose the corrupt and passing-the-buck nature of Colombian politics. It also features to meaningless sex scenes which I would not begin to explain or describe.

A list of the films I saw include: Hobo With a Shotgun–an ultra violent grindhouse adventure.

I Saw the Devil–another ultra violent and fascinating Korean film about revenge.

Take Shelter–a moody and ultimately unsatisfying thriller.

Gun Hill Road– a powerful and moving family drama set in the Bronx.

Catechism Cataclysm–a bizarre film about a priest’s misadventures and the nature of God.

Last Fast Ride–a compelling documentary about a little known punk rock musician who headed the group called the Insaints.

Bellflower–An intriguing and unusual love story set in California.

A Few Days of Respite–a quiet and cute foreign film featuring two gay men who seek shelter in Iran.

Ticket To Paradise–a two thumbs down effort about teens trying to escape their harsh existence in early 1990s Cuba.

Super Heroes–this is a Slamdance film, very entertaining film about real life super heroes.

CoDependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same–a funny, engaging tale about a lesbian seeking love in New York.

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