The Reeler
The Sundance Blog

Reeling Back to Park City

Even after last year's sleepless, snowy yet successful journey to cover the New York contingent at the Sundance Film Festival, I had second thoughts about returning for another go-around in 2007. I'm never wanting for things to do at home, after all, and God knows I can't afford it. An extended look at this year's program, however, suggested I really couldn't afford not to go: Depending on your critieria, there are nearly 60 selections in this year's program either made by New York-based filmmakers or shot in NYC by outsiders -- or perhaps some combination of both. Nearly a quarter of these titles were made by recent Columbia Film School alums; others feature high-profile affiliations such as those of Hal Hartley, John Cusack, Zoe Cassavetes, Vera Farmiga (times two), Steve Buscemi (also times two) and Justin Theroux (times three!) among others. In short, as Robert Redford affirmed himself last year on this very site: It's New York's world, and the rest of these LA hacks and scenester schmucks are just living in it.

In fairness, I suppose that's to be determined in the next two weeks, during which you can read up on the progress of New York films and filmmakers right here on The Reeler. I have been in training for my return -- a lot of hydration exercises, some calisthenics, swag manufacturing, etc. -- and talking to quite a few local directors about their own expectations. In an almost stupidly ambitious expansion of last year's "From NYC to Sundance" feature on the old Movie City News blog, I've got interviews with about 40 or so filmmakers I'll be posting in the days ahead, and a few regular Reeler contributors have delivered timely industry surveys inquiring into other preparations going on around town (check out Daniel Nemet-Nejat's peek at the Cinetic Media machine here; Karen Kramer talks to some distributors Tuesday, while Vadim Rizov previews the late Adrienne Shelly's final film, Waitress, later this week).

Meanwhile, I'm flying out Wednesday morning and will be checking in regularly from Park City through Jan. 28. You'll hear from me at screenings, parties, press conferences, possibly shuttle rides and anywhere else the satellites can pick up my shouting. Like many of the filmmakers headed west, I, too, have no idea what to expect besides single-digit temperatures and Main Street gridlock (and the infamous Airborne Lounge, that sponsor-suck hovel that humanity forgot); but I'll do my best to sort it out for my sake and yours, and I hope you'll keep me company.

Posted at January 16, 2007 8:44 AM

Comments (1)

As much as I'm looking forward to going to Park City, I'll be bummed to not have time to read your coverage while there.

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