Thursday, January 18, 2007

The Sundance Film Festival... *Groan*

A-list Hollywood is in full invasion mode of the great state of Utah.
Yep, for a couple of weeks each year, Utah’s silvery gleam is tarnished by the tinsel and fakery of A-list Hollywood, otherwise known as the Sundance Film Festival.
But isn’t the Film festival for independent filmmakers to show their stuff and try to get to that coveted A-list status? Well… ya, to a point. But mostly, I think it’s for independent filmmakers to make and show crappy films, and for A-listers to come to Utah, complain about the Mormons, about liquor laws, the cold, the altitude, or whatever. Then for them to watch a couple of crappy films, talk to the press about how pure and expressive film can be when not hampered down by a good musical score, or budgets, or plot, or special effects, or good writing, or Hollywood politics, and then go home.
The one good thing I see about this film festival is that a bunch of rich folk come into my state and drop lots ‘o cash. I like that… I’d like it even more if they would just mail it to us.

Now, don’t get me wrong… I love movies. I do. There is nothing I like more than seeing talented people doing their best to make believable characters from the scripts of talented writers who have created an original story that can take me away, play with my emotions, thrill me, and make me walk away from the theater going “wow, what a ride.” A-list Hollywood rarely, if ever, does that for me. How many time do I need to see Tom Hanks, Tom Cruise, Lindsay Lohan, or Sandra Bullock play the same stupid character, in some stupid movie that looks just like the last 20 stupid movies they did? So, I should like Sundance then… right?
No… Not so much.
Here’s how I look at Sundance… You gotta wade through a lot of pig crap to find the single pearl. That, to me, is Sundance in a nutshell. Here’s what I mean…
I don’t mind profanity in the dialog IF it serves a purpose in building the characterization and in making the characters more believable. I don’t expect a drug dealer in a film to say something like, “Well, heck you flippin’, doodle-bird. Where’s my frackin’ money?” That, probably, wouldn’t be in character. But, I’ve seen independent films so strewn with the F-word that the characters become not so much believable as cartoonish. Literally, every other word is some form of profanity. There’s so much profanity, in fact, that the dialogue no longer makes sense. And you’re left to just sit there dumfounded, wondering what just happened.
That’s what they call fresh and innovative filmmaking? No, it’s crap.

Sundance brings a lot of prestige and a lot of money to my state, and don’t really have a problem with that, but in my opinion, The Sundance folk could do themselves a favor and be a bit more picky about the films they choose for the festival. Find the best of the best; those true pearls… because they are out there.
And to the Hollywood A-listers… Remember folks, you’re in my state now, founded and settled by good, sturdy, god fearing people… so shut up, watch your crappy little films, leave your money and get the frack out!

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