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Sundance: Cellular Criticism.

Photo of Eric Kohn By Eric Kohn | Eric Kohn January 21, 2009 at 8:48AM

Sundance: Cellular Criticism.
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Last year, I briefly felt the sting of blogosphere ire after an arbitrary morning at the Cannes Film Festival, where a high-energy screening of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull struck me as such an absurd way to spend my time on the Riviera that I decided to record my experience in the theater moment-to-moment while the movie played. This was not an official assignment, nor the self-righteous attempt of a wannabe blogger to rush the first word of the movie to the masses. I reacted, poorly, to a sudden impulse. That's all. There was a hefty amount of presumptuousness on the part of many online complainers, none of whom knew me personally. Drawing conclusions from one blog or another, they took a furious stance that, ironically, I would have agreed with. Let me be clear: I do not in any way advocate the use of a cell phone -- or any other glaring LCD screen -- in the middle of a movie. It was a shit thing to do, alright? Wanna fight about it?

However, I do find that mobile technology, when used properly, offers just as much an opportunity to spread information as the laptop. This year at Sundance, I have been filing capsule reviews of the program — in addition to lengthier reviews of a few select films — immediately after the credits roll, instantly translating my thoughts to the written word and getting the verdict out as quickly as possible. Since the Sundance program is vast and filled with all kinds of neat discoveries, I believe this allows us to be more comprehensive in our coverage. That said, I have worked out quite the calluses on my poor thumbs.