December 2, 2003

Who's Filling The (Sun)Dance Card

Not that we're planning a trip to Park City, Utah any time soon but for the curious, reported on the Sundance Film Festival preliminary line-up yesterday and the full one today. We heard it from first, but as they want nearly $300 bucks from us for a subscription (yeah, right! don't they know this a not-for-profit film blog?), we're linking to good ol' IndieWire for the buzz. 2,426 independent cinema lovers wanted to see their works showcased in this "America's Most Important Festival" (okey dokey, whatever you say), which is up considerably from last year.

Though it must be frusterating to those rejected (another year at the Kwikee Mart for you, Mr. Smith-wannabe) it still sounds like good news for innovation in film. Jacob Kornbluth's new film is in the list, which CC would like to see at some point having enjoyed Haiku Tunnel, a underrated love story for the life of a temp. Now would be a good time to attend Park City (if some pub wants to send us, hint hint) because though it's not as decidedly uncommercial as Telluride tries to be, it's not quite the circus Cannes seems to be now -- paparazzi and silicone with no real cinema at its heart. Bobby Redford seems to be trying to keep it real with Sundance, despite the best intentions of his promoters/backers. CC still thinks the fest must help some struggling artists come into their own, and we'll continue to do so -- until we get some ranting e-mails from former workshop participants.

A bit closer to home, today marks the beginning of a festival at BAMcinématek devoted to Russian director Boris Barnet, "The Extraordinary Mr. Barnet," (Dec. 2—18). An actor and director of comedy who worked in the silent era and in sound from the 1920s through the mid-'60s when he took his own life, Barnet is one of those filmmakers who you may not have heard of now, but with the wider circulation of restored prints of his works at festivals like this one, he's up in coming in cinema studies circles. And CC says this not just because we enjoy making absolute statements about the direction of CS, but the likes of opinion maker scholars such as our boy Tom Gunning and David Bordwell say so.

Posted by karen at December 2, 2003 8:05 AM