Another exciting Sundance Film Festival has arrived, and I will not be in attendance for the however manyeth year running. Do not cry, friends, fans, and industry. I'll get there eventually. Just not this year. For the record, SILVER JEW was not rejected by either Sundance or Slamdance. It wasn't even submitted. Not that we hate those festivals. We just had a different agenda this time around. Hopefully you'll be hearing all about that exciting agenda within the next few weeks.
As for films that will be screened in Park City over the course of the next ten or so days, as well as various other events you shouldn't miss, here's my own humble Hot List:
1) Robert Longstreet. If the world has any common sense, the 2007 Sundance Film Festival will be the long overdue coming out party of this amazing actor, who appears in both GREAT WORLD OF SOUND and LOW AND BEHOLD. His performances in these films show his extreme versatility and prove just how electrifying a screen presence he is. Git it, git it, git it!
2) R. Craig Zobel's GREAT WORLD OF SOUND. The buzz has already started building for Zobel's exceptional drama, which might just be the smartest and most entertaining film you'll see at the festival. GWOS rides a miraculous line between humor and bitterness, criticizing our modern world's fascination with celebrity culture in a way that you've never seen before.
3) Zach Godshall and Barlow Jacobs' LOW AND BEHOLD. This beautiful, heartbreaking elegy to the city of New Orleans comes from a place deep within, and is certain to linger long after the final credit has rolled. Godshall and Jacobs are working from the deepest caverns of the gut here. Eddie Rouse (GEORGE WASHINGTON, UNDERTOW) is amazing.
4) On January 25th, just two days after releasing their latest album, the incredible HISSING FAUNA, ARE YOU THE DESTROYER?, OF MONTREAL will be performing on the "Music on Main" stage. Be there to witness a true musical spectacle.
5) Over at Slamdance, be sure to check out Matthew Ross's short film, LOLA. It stands on its own as a solid work, but it just makes me even more excited for the feature, FRANK AND LOLA, which is one of the most uncomfortable scripts I've ever read (I mean that in a good way).
And last, but not least....
6) David Gordon Green's SNOW ANGELS. This is the first of his films that I haven't seen in the early stages along the way to completion, so I can't actually vouch for it, but the consensus among our friends is that it's David's best film yet. I can't wait to see it!
In all seriousness, one part of me really wishes I was going to be in Park City experiencing the madness, either as a filmmaker or as a film reviewer. But another part of me is glad that I don't have to be anywhere near that environment. Last night's onslaught of wealth and beauty at the MOMA party was almost too much to handle. A week of it might push me over the edge completely. As a fallback plan, I'll be slipping into theatres to see some older classics that are guaranteed to knock my gloves off (BREWSTER MCCLOUD, A WEDDING, REGULAR LOVERS, ERASERHEAD).
Good luck, everyone, and have fun out there!