Posts Tagged ‘Sundance 2014’

Sundance: The Experience

Monday, January 27th, 2014

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.

The Sleepwalker Film Review

Monday, January 20th, 2014

Gitte Witt and Stephanie Ellis in The Sleepwalker

Gitte Witt and Stephanie Ellis in The Sleepwalker

If you’re looking for a suspenseful mystery this year at Sundance, I have found just the film for you! The Sleepwalker directed by Mona Fastvold had the audience on the edge of their seats the whole way through. The film opens to a woman named Kaia coming home to her boyfriend, Andrew, who is renovating the house that Kaia had grown up in. Later that night, Kaia receives a phone-call from her sister (Chris) whom she had not spoken with for a long time due to some mysterious event that had happened many years ago. The sister asks for Kaia to pick her up from the train station because she desperately needs a place to stay. The following day Chris’s boyfriend arrives and the two ask to stay at Kaia’s place for a while. The two couples awkwardly get acquainted and from here on out the suspense continues climbing as the audience gets more intimate with the past of the two sisters and their deceased father. It is soon revealed that Chris sleepwalks at night and one night she goes missing which seems to trigger a change in each of the characters for the remainder of the movie. After sleepless nights, and a brutal fight the film leaves the audience with a million unanswered questions and a rush of frustration. We are left to figure out on our own where Chris may have gone and what had happened between the sisters in their past. (more…)

3 Defining Aspects of Indie Film (As Compared to Hollywood Film)

Tuesday, January 14th, 2014

It’s almost time for the Sundance Film Festival. Know what that means? Lots and lots of those groovy “independent” movies all the kids are talking about! But if you’re reading up on indie films, you may find yourself wondering just what makes one particular film “independent.” Independent from what exactly? Are some movies dependent on something? And what is that thing? Aren’t we all dependent on everything else around us, coexisting symbiotically in this big, beautiful organism we call Earth, unless, of course, you’re the subject of Kelly Clarkson’s classic song, Miss Independent?

Never thought Id see that pop-culture reference again.

Never thought you'd see that reference again.

Maybe. I don’t have all the answers. You could try asking that guy Jeeves, but my little Kelly Clarkson reference was still relevant the last time anyone went to that site. (more…)

Meet Hailey Escobar

Friday, January 10th, 2014

Greetings from Norfolk, Virginia. My name is Hailey Escobar and I’m one of the students that will be attending the 2014 Sundance Film Festival with Eckerd College. I’m currently in Virginia for family reasons this weekend, but shall return to class on Monday. I was told that in addition to the posts that are required for the course, it might also be good to post an introduction. Seeing that I’m a writer, I will use any excuse to write more. Needless to say, you’ll probably be seeing a lot of posts from me on this blog for the duration of January.

A little about me, I’m a junior at Eckerd College and I’m studying Interdisciplinary Arts for Creative Writing and Film Studies. I’m working to be a professional screenwriter and filmmaker, a desire that has filled my need to go on this trip since I first met Professor Nathan Anderson and heard about the trip my freshman year. Some of my favorite filmmakers include Wes Anderson, Woody Allen (Midnight in Paris is my favorite movie), Joss Whedon, Steven Spielburg, and Kathryn Bigelow.

Through out the length of January, as my fellow classmates and I prepare for our journey through the newest films of independent film, you will have the opportunity to see through our eyes. We will be posting about our favorite films of Sundance, brilliant films of the festival’s 30 year history, and even about independent film as a genre.

We leave on Thursday and I am ecstatic about our trip. You will be seeing a few extra posts from me in the next few days before we depart, especially since I’ve missed the last two days of class. Until then!

Meet Hailey Esccobar

Meet Hailey Escobar