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Entertainment / Gloats / January 24, 2009
By Team eXiled

This year, Sundance got shoved back toward its mid-‘80s roots as a small nowheresville festival in an ugly ski town showcasing bad independent films nobody wants to buy or see.

The festival ends today, but film critic Manohla Dargis had already offered up this post mortem from her warm, safe perch at The New York Times:

The 2009 Sundance Film Festival opened with a whisper that grew more hushed with each passing day. It should have been a time for rowdy celebration: this year, after all, marked the festival’s 25th anniversary, a milestone that was largely eclipsed by the grim economic climate that thinned the crowds and fueled the nervous chatter on the icy streets.

Most stars skipped the festival for the inauguration, where they could show off their pompous lefty earnestness to much more nauseating effect and have it seen all over the world. (Why not just form a fucking Rockettes kick-line behind Obama while he take the oath? Tom Hanks high-kicking next to next to Marisa Tomei next to Bono next to Denzel Washington next to Kumar from the Harold & Kumar movies….)

Film acquisition teams looked over the Sundance wares, flinched, and shied away. There were no bidding wars, no shocking purchase prices (ten million dollars for Happy, Texas?!?), no predictions of breakout hits, no descriptions of crushing crowds on Main Street, no disapproving sightings of Britney Spears to let everyone know this was the ultimate place to be.

Cinephiles who couldn’t afford to attend the festival made bitter lists of all the obscure films they would’ve seen if they’d been there, and posted them on their blogs.

Still, Robert Redford, the festival’s founder, is presumably rejoicing. For years after Hollywood starting overrunning the place, he kept insisting this event was not about Hollywood, not about agents, not about big-money deals, not about cell phones. Festival veterans will fondly recall the year he made that speech to a bunch of Hollywood agents making deals on cell phones. But now Redford’s wish may be coming true. Perhaps independent cinema is returning to the glorious margins of the film world!

A few months ago there was some noise about organizing a boycott of the festival, located in Park City, Utah, the heart of Mormon country, as a protest against Mormon support for the Proposition 8 gay-marriage ban. But it never caught on. There was no need, apparently. Our friend the Great Depression took care of Sundance’s anniversary year for us. Thanks, GD!

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Add your own

  • 1. DocAmazing  |  January 25th, 2009 at 10:25 pm

    You keep thinking, Butch. It’s what you’re good at.

  • 2. Garrick  |  January 26th, 2009 at 12:15 am

    It was actually the Indie-ness of Sundance which made me love it so much this year. A bunch of local kids watching random movies they hope will somehow make the art-house circuit. Several of the movies have very good prospects.

  • 3. kso  |  January 26th, 2009 at 4:22 am

    hopefully those bullshit indie crap movies about sensitive rich kids, who act like fucking will end and be replaced with films about guns and pretty girls

  • 4. Rob  |  January 26th, 2009 at 9:31 am

    “from her warm, safe perch at The New York Times”

    Her what perch? Guys.. how about entering the 21st century? You know, the one where people get their news from the internet?

    For example, if you had been reading the internet you’d know the NYT is on the verge of bankruptcy and that there is absolutely nothing warm or safe about a NYT perch.

    Yet your author didn’t know that, did he? What his stone cold ignorance proves is that he is probably the last neanderthal still reading newspapers, eager to get his shot of politically correct history of yesterday.

    Somebody at exile should call him or his nurse and get him online asap before he embarrasses you any further.

  • 5. Rob  |  January 26th, 2009 at 11:43 am

    New York Times Debt Now Junk, Still No Plan From Management

    Moody’s finally locked the barn door after the horse was gone, downgrading NYTCo’s debt to junk. (Most objective observers would agree that it’s been there for quite a while). This will make it even more expensive for the company to borrow money to fund its operations, and it’s plenty expensive already.

    We don’t mean to keep harping on this, but would it be too much to ask NYTCo management to give shareholders some sense of their long-term plan? Selling buildings and baseball teams and taking usurious loans from Mexican billionaires just isn’t going to get the job done.

  • 6. NYTCo  |  January 26th, 2009 at 12:10 pm

    “ALL THE SNAPPER THAT FITS!” – our new masthead. – Artie Sulzberger

  • 7. R A  |  January 26th, 2009 at 7:08 pm

    If Sundance had an Indie film titled, What You Should Know: “IDIOT NEOCON FINALLY AXED BY NY TIMES, IMMEDIATELY HIRED BY WASHINGTON POST”

    I’d probably try and attend, who knows, maybe by next year they’ll have a film depicting the audacity of truthiness.

  • 8. aleke  |  January 26th, 2009 at 10:11 pm

    Hey Rob if “he is probably the last neanderthal [sic] still reading newspapers,” then why would he not know that the New York Times is going bankrupt? Maybe you meant something like “the last Neanderthal not reading newspapers” or “the last Neanderthal that drools all over newspapers without so much as glancing at their headlines.” I think this little slip in that whole slew of righteous idiocy just hints at the jittery misfirings of your nervous system.

    The implication is that a news reporter at a high ledge on the mass media power hierarchy in the most powerful nation presently on Earth is in a relatively “safe perch.” You know, like if we would compare her with the anonymously-staffed film festival that is (hopefully) going to go bust.

  • 9. Rob  |  January 27th, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Aleke listen up you cretin. The author DOES NOT know about the NYT going bankrupt precisely because he reads the NYT and is therefore too misinformed to know better. Get it now? It was perfectly clear to everyone but, obviously, needs to be repeated for the sake of aleke the NYT worshipper.

    Anyway, are you happy now? You just made me waste 5 mins setting you straight, which is way more time than any PeeCee crybaby is worth. Now go back to being offended about everything that moves while I have multiple orgasms at the thought of all those NYT propagandists hitting the dole.

    I’m singing in the rain..
    I’m singing in the rain..
    While the liars feel the pain..

    I’m singing in the rain..
    I’m singing in the rain..
    Their lives will never be the same..

    I’m singing in the rain..
    I’m singing in the rain..
    Rubbing it in; what a wonderful game..

    I’m singing in the rain..
    I’m singing in the rain..
    And all day, all day I kept dancing ’til I came!!

  • 10. Mark in Ark  |  January 30th, 2009 at 4:33 pm

    Left-wing pro-Obama cretins like the NYT deserve bankruptcy and irrelevance.

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