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What Does It Mean To Be A "Sundance Rock Star"?

Photo of Eric Kohn By Eric Kohn | Eric Kohn December 1, 2011 at 8:35PM

That's the question I asked myself shortly after assembling the gallery of filmmakers featured in several recent Indiewire articles about the festival's upcoming lineup. The term sprang to mind because I immediately started compiling a list of notable directors in this year's program. The myth of the Sundance breakout tends to dominate the festival's reputation, just as the usual cast of acclaimed auteurs usually define Cannes. However, Sundance has its own roster of regulars precisely because it discovers a lot of emerging talent. It's also commonplace to dismiss Sundance for favoring red carpet glamour, which is sometimes merited when the movie associated with said carpet utterly blows. But the truth is that Sundance can and does attract first-rate filmmakers, both from its so-called "family" and beyond--from the Duplass and Zellner brothers to So Young Kim and Quentin Dupieux. Does that mean that they'll deliver? Well, that's a different question we'll have to wait until next month to answer. Needless to say, just because you're a rock star doesn't mean you can always rock out. 
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Sundance

That's the question I asked myself shortly after assembling the gallery of filmmakers featured in several recent Indiewire articles about the festival's upcoming lineup. The term sprang to mind because I immediately started compiling a list of notable directors in this year's program. The myth of the Sundance breakout tends to dominate the festival's reputation, just as the usual cast of acclaimed auteurs usually define Cannes.

However, Sundance has its own roster of regulars precisely because it discovers a lot of emerging talent. It's also commonplace to dismiss Sundance for favoring red carpet glamour, which is sometimes merited when the movie associated with said carpet utterly blows. But the truth is that Sundance can and does attract first-rate filmmakers, both from its so-called "family" and beyond--from the Duplass and Zellner brothers to So Young Kim and Quentin Dupieux. Does that mean that they'll deliver? Well, that's a different question we'll have to wait until next month to answer. Needless to say, just because you're a rock star doesn't mean you can always rock out.