Thursday, January 31, 2008

Sundance/Park City Wrap-up

Well, it's done.

And almost a week later, I'm still recovering. But for me, Park City '08 was a huge success. But how do I define success? There is so much going on in Park City, that there are a multitude of experiences to have there, so everyone's definition of success is different. I define success in these primary ways:

- A perfect mix of business, movies and parties - heavy on parties the first half, heavy on films the second half and business throughout.
- Made the contacts I needed to make and cemented the relationships I needed to cement.
- Gave myself time to explore non-Sundance Park City (like the SoCal Cinema Slam on Main St.)
- Had time to get necessary work done.
- Gave myself time to rest.
- Didn't catch the Park City flu bug (either during or so many others have).

Here's a quick review of the parties and movies I experienced:

I'm getting old. My favorite parties are always the small condo parties and dinner parties, of which I got to go to two: Our friend/filmmaker/Park City local Stacy Dymalski and her husband George had a group of us over for a fantastic evening. And we also got to go to the nice shindig put on at the lovely condo of Christo DiMassis and Elana Krausz (had a nice pool table, too) on our last night there. Of the bigger parties, my favorite is the World Cinema Party. Great band, cool venue and design, and an inspiring and inclusive international flavor. I always love Effie Brown's party at Celsius because people actually dance and it has a full bar. And she's just fabulous herself, knowing how to always keep the energy alive. Netflix put on a nice "industry" shindig with good food and peeps, nicely bridging the gap between several levels of indie-archy (I will explain that term in my next blog). My two perennial favorites, The Adobe Shorts Party and the Kodak Party were nice, as usual, but not as great as in the past. Adobe has scaled back dramatically, without the same quality of food or cool Adobe software gifts. Plus, the D.J. was awful. But it had lots of great peeps and fun hula hoops. The Kodak party is a victim of having too good of a food table. It seems everyone is there just to eat, crowding the food table in a frenzy, elbows a-flyin'. In the other room, there was a too loud and too mediocre cover band making conversation difficult (get a great D.J.!). But there were a lot of good peeps there, too. And the Kodak people themselves are so sweet and supportive. And the food is good.


I loved "Ballast", as you know. Very much liked "Frozen River" (of course I'm partial because one of the producers, Chip Hourihan, is a friend of mine - a great guy). It's like a really good cable movie, which is no insult. Found "Mermaid" odd in a good way - inventive and visually exciting. Liked much about "Sugar", but found it a bit by-the-numbers at times and lacking depth/complexity. The filmmakers are incredibly skilled/talented/honest, however, and really nice peeps. Liked some things in "American Son", although found it to be a bit over the top with some of the acting and incident. Thought "Choke" was silly fun and funny, but felt it was a bit "lazy". I don't mean to imply that anyone's efforts were lazy, but that it lacks tonal cohesion and directorial vision. Absolutely hated "Donkey Punch" - slick filmmaking, but sleazily exploitive, pointless and, at times, just plain dumb. "A Good Day To Be Black and Sexy" had a lot of great, fun stuff and fulfilled the director's goal of presenting urban black sexuality candidly and, sometimes, humorously. Very rough and uneven, over-all, though. However, the director was very funny in the Q & A.

Finally, here's a quick pictorial glance of our Sundance '08.

Lines in the Sundance ticket tent - first weekend

Lines in the Sundance ticket tent - toward the end of the festival

Director Kerry Prior ("The Revenant") and Amanda discussing something vitally important while in line for tix


The Sundance Filmmaker Lodge

Amanda and producer Nina Parikh ("Ballast") at the Filmmakers Alliance outreach table at the Sundance Filmmaker Lodge

Park City street in snowstorm

Me in that same snowstorm

The Kodak Party In Full Swing

The dance floor of the Adobe Shorts Party


The band at the World Cinema Party

1 comment:

  1. I wish I had been there with you guys. Damn it looked like fun.