Park City, Utah -- I beg to differ with the cranky movie industry folks who left L.A.'s palm trees and their own well-lined palms to enjoy a four-day weekend at this charming ski town. Some of them have apparently found the lineup less than thrilling, with the insider mag Variety asking today if this might be "the slowest Sundance ever?" and declaring that this 35th edition of the fest left buyers cold. Potential buyers called the films "weak" and "boring," Variety said.
To this I have several questions: What were these folks watching? How did they pick which films to screen from the dozens on offer? I've been lucky enough to go to Sundance for the past 20 years, and I thought this year's fest was one of the best. Maybe I just selected from the bountiful buffet better? As usual, I concentrated mostly on the docs, but the narrative films I saw gave me and the folks I watched them with plenty to chew on.
Brilliant, sunny skies over Park City and pleasant temperatures for most of the fest's duration have been a welcome bonus for those of us from the frozen, grey and gloomy north. That's not a factor for the jaded L.A. types, though.
M.L. Bream photo
Mild, sunny days added to the pleasure of watching films (and lining up for them in tents for hours) at this year's Sundance fest.