Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Missing Sundance

It's not fair that Rocky Mountain New critic Bob Denerstein is grumbling his way through another Sundance and I'm in Colorado Springs watching the People's Choice Awards.

Bob hates just about everything about Sundance -- the pretentious films, the artificially spontaneous celebrity round-tables, the walking, the waiting for buses, the crowds, the star-struck autograph hounds.

I love everything about Sundance ... even Bob's grumbling.

It's true that most of the films suck.

When I covered Sundance in '98, screenwriter and poet Sherman Alexie, who was introducing his film "Smoke Signals," summed it up best: "I'd rather watch 'T2' than 95 percent of the movies at this festival."

But you go there for that 5 percent, films like "Smoke Signals" or "Whale Rider" or "The Tao of Steve," that never would have made it to theaters if it wasn't for these festivals, which have become backdoors to Hollywood.

Our budget didn't have enough to pay for a trip to Sundance this year, and for Coloradans, Telluride is the more significant festival to cover. Still, I think of Park City every January.


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