In Sight: 25th Anniversary of Sundance by Montana Wojczuk

Montana Wojczuk’s first dispatch from the 25th Sundance Film Festival.

William Kunstler

Still from William Kunstler: Disturbing the Universe

Starting tomorrow, check in to the BOMBLog for dispatches from the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. I’m sitting here with an impossibly long list of films I want to see, so if you get a chance, check out the lineup, and let me know which films you’d put at the top of your list.

It’s gorgeous here in Park City, with that hot flat light you get at 7,000 feet that makes over the top sunglasses seem appropriate. But despite a forecast of sunny weather, the cooling effect of the economy is what everyone’s talking about. That and the crash of flight 1594 into the Hudson river.

Overheard on the shuttle from the airport: “Rumor has it Harvey doesn’t have any money this year” from a guy who watched Beverly Hills Chihuahua on the flight.

On this, the 25th Anniversary of the festival that was born to champion indie film, I can’t help but wonder if 2009 isn’t starting to look a lot like 1985 (aside from the sunglasses). Sure, Robert Redford no longer stands on the street hawking tickets, but in a severe economic downturn maybe a little less hype will get people to “focus on film” (as Sundance urged people to do in 2007 and again last year). I remember being in tech-heavy Portland, OR, when the dot com bubble burst. A lot of people were out of work, but the one upside was a flowering of creative culture. Ad Execs became writers again, programmers got their guitars out of hock, and designers dusted off their parents’ old 8mm film cameras to make movies.

Or maybe this is just blarney brought on by the nice weather. Only tomorrow will tell…

In Sight: Top Honors by Montana Wojczuk
Love You More 01
Movies and Their Making: New York Film Festival’s Kent Jones by Peter Gizzi
Jones Gizzi

“We choose the films that mean the most to us and offer them and let people react to them and form their own impressions and judgments.”

Foreign Exchange by Elina Alter
Fire At Sea Bomb 1

European Cinema at the 54th New York Film Festival

Jem Cohen by J.P. Sniadecki
Jem Cohen 01

“In Counting, I was counting almost everything I encountered: street life, light, weather, animals, and some intangibles, political or social or economic currents, and certain seismic changes in my own life.”