Park City Restaurant Notes

January 28, 2014 : 1:58 am | by Zach Toll | No Comments

I eat. You eat. Everybody eats.

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Agreed? Good. If you go to Sundance, I’m sure you’ll get hungry, too. Here are just some of the restaurants in Park City you might check out.

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Hi, My name is Chelsea and I’m looking for love…I mean to be in your next film

January 28, 2014 : 1:53 am | by Chelsea Fearn | No Comments

Speed dating sounds a lot more fun than it actual is. Well I guess it doesn’t sound that much fun at all but I tried it anyways. I was really nervous walking into Speed Dating with Festival Filmmakers because I had only seen one film on the list of participating filmmakers and I had no idea what to ask each one.

The producers of The Sleepwalker, Julie Christeas and Schuyler Weiss, were the first people that I met and talked with which was great because I saw the film and they were really easy to talk to. They were really interested in the fact that I was a marine science student at Sundance and Mr. Weiss and I bonded over the fact that we both like dancers (I am one and he is married to one). They were a great first pair to talk to, really allowed me ease into the program.

I also really enjoyed talking with the producer for Dear White People, Lena Waither, she had a lot to say about how to stand out and get noticed. If I ever get in to the business I would definitely want to be in business with her. The director of The Foxy Merkins, Madeleine Olnek, was also a pleasure to talk to she was more interested in the students than answering questions about herself. Majority of the people that I met with were a joy to talk to, they had more advice to give out than students had questions, which was really unexpected and a pleasant surprise.

There was only one intimidating director, Boaz Yakin, he didn’t have a film in the festival but he was on The Power of Story: Class of ’94 panel. His first film was ‘Fresh’ which was shown at Sundance in 1994 and since then he’s had three films at Sundance. Yakin was a bit in your face about all of his accomplishments and made me feel uncomfortable. However, I got my revenge when I told him that I was born the same year that his first film was in Sundance. I was only telling the truth.

Experiencing Wetlands

January 28, 2014 : 1:37 am | by Ben Elliot | No Comments

Yes, I assure you, that blood came from some unsavory place.

Yes, I assure you, that blood came from some unsavory place.

Wetlands is a film that is truly experienced rather than viewed. Never before has a film been an experience for my body more than my mind. There is at least one scene in the film that I literally could not bear to look at. And yet, despite its immense vulgarity, it manages to be funny, exciting, even tender and it will take you to incredible and unexpected places but you have to let it. It is through the main character, Helen’s (played masterfully by Carla Juri), comfort with her own body that we are put at ease and are able to become comfortable with sexuality in a way that no film before it (at least that I’ve seen) ever has. < — Read the rest of this entry — >

God’s Pocket a Personal Hell

January 28, 2014 : 1:24 am | by Chelsea Fearn | No Comments

The only movie I didn’t like. It was like watching a series of events with no real purpose. So many things happened that seem like they should connect but they just didn’t, it was like the missing link of film. Gods Pocket, directed by John Slattery, is a dark film about what it means to live in the same small town you grew up in. The locals don’t trust outsiders and at the end of the day, no matter what a fellow local did, they will always take the side of one of their own.

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The Most Disturbing Short Films at Sundance

January 28, 2014 : 1:23 am | by Maggie Sanger | No Comments

Sammy Davis Jr. contemplating his morality

Sammy Davis Jr. contemplating his morality

“The Short Film program for the 2014 Sundance Film Festival features an astonishing array of new stories, viewpoints and filmmaking talent, positioning it at the core of our work to discover and share independent perspectives on our culture and world.” – Sundance director of programming Trevor Groth < — Read the rest of this entry — >

My Sundance Summary

January 28, 2014 : 12:52 am | by Dominick Cuppetilli | No Comments

The 2014 Sundance Film Festival blew away all my expectations of what it would be. Everything from the town of Park City to the films being played left me in total awe. My eyes were opened to a whole new perspective on what film culture can be. You can read about the Sundance film festival all you want, but until you are there and live it, you’ll have no idea.

The week and a half of preparation in class was definitely a help for me. Not coming from a film studies background, I was able to study independent film in a way that would help me to think more critically about what I was watching. Had I not had any time to realize this, I don’t know that my experience would have been as impactful. < — Read the rest of this entry — >

The volunteers of Sundance

January 28, 2014 : 12:45 am | by Dominick Cuppetilli | No Comments

Sundance did a pretty good job of showing their appreciation of volunteers at the festival, but I wanted to go a step further and see what they had to say. Hope you enjoy.

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January 28, 2014 : 12:34 am | by Maggie Sanger | No Comments

Ingrid/ Elm

Ingrid/ Elm

A Norwegian film about a young woman who slowly looses her sight and prefers to stay in the confines of her own home and mind while learning how love and live again. This debut director, Eskil Vogt, said that he was striving to make a new and unique film that, unlike Hollywood, would keep the audience from knowing what was going to happen in the first five minutes. The main character, Ingrid, played by Ellen Dorrit Petersen, is seemingly cold to the audience, which makes it very hard for us to feel any kind of connection to her. The shots are simple and vague, and this minimalism is possibly to allow us to make our own interpretations, but also to allow for a parallel to be drawn as to what daily life might be like in the world and head of a blind person. Every day struggles of dropping, breaking, and running into things seem very insignificant as to the internal struggles of being shut in ones own mind, and one apartment, all day. < — Read the rest of this entry — >

Boyhood: An Honest Look at Growing Up

January 28, 2014 : 12:22 am | by Ben Elliot | No Comments

Mason, age five

Mason, age five

Richard Linklater knows what he’s doing. Boyhood is a film about growing up, shot, appropriately, over the course of twelve years. It is incredibly honest in ways that few movies are. It’s never pushy or over-blown the way that many films of this sort can be. There is no definitive inciting incedent and the film thrives because of it. No single event defines the experience of growing up and the same is true in the film. It follows Mason (played beautifully by Ellar Coltrane) and his family from age five to eighteen. The film gives no definitive resolution to any particular problem and leaves us still wanting to follow Mason on his journey. < — Read the rest of this entry — >

Sundance: The Experience

January 27, 2014 : 11:34 pm | by Andy Bene | No Comments

A view on the plane home.

A view on the plane home.

Sundance has been a strange and interesting experience. Though it was only a week long, it feels like I have been gone for months. That isn’t to say that I didn’t have fun, I enjoyed every minute of the festival, but the early to start and late to end days really takes a tole on the mind, as does watching so many movies a day. As someone who had never been to a film festival before, it was certainly a shock to the system. Now, sitting in the afterglow, exhausted from the flight home, I can only bemoan the fact that it is over.

I can’t say this without sounding like a huge hipster, but my taste in media tends to fall outside of the popular consciousness. Rarely do I see movies in theatres anymore, and when I do they generally do not impress me. But Sundance was different, it’s demographic sharing more of my sensibilities, with movies that had not yet needed to go through the ratings board and needed to appeal to less people to turn a profit. Its documentaries were about people or subjects that would make many people uncomfortable. Films like Wetlands and R100’s graphic and unapologetic sex acts would have been uncomfortably discarded from the desks of a mainstream publisher. Cooties, which features graphic violence inflicted on children, would have been asked to tone it down for a wide release. Not to mention the numerous foreign films that would not have been palatable without an English dub. Overall it was just refreshing to be somewhere where my tastes were more popular for once.

My eating situation eventually became better. Strangely I found Mexican and Asian restaurants to be safe havens, which I usually have to avoid. I also eat the best gluten-free pizza that I’ve ever had, strangely enough. My luck with theaters also continued to be not great, with a few drunken shouters and one old man who absolutely reeked of urine. I was lucky, however, as I enjoyed all the movies I saw. The documentaries continued to be the highlights, though Web Junky Made me experience an anger I had not felt because of a film since I watched Jesus Camp.

This trip was profoundly incredible. It scratched my itch to finally go to a film festival, but has replaced it with the desire to go back. One of my trip mates disunited it best when he said that his life would now be thought of as pre- and post-Sundance, it’s an experience that I would not give back for the world.