Sundance 2011 = Officially Over
It’s been a long week—exhilarating, grueling, and never, ever dull—but Sundance 2011 is officially over. The stars, the studio executives, and the filmmakers have all packed up their North Face gear and headed home, wherever that may be.
Looking back on the last several days, there were some amazing, quintessentially Sundance-ian moments. We got to meet Robert Redford! We got to talk to young, idealistic, and extremely talented new artists (Brit Marling, Mike Cahill, for instance) whom we will certainly be hearing more from, and who are a reminder of Sundance’s real purpose (beyond an excuse to see a lot of great movies in the middle of a snowy paradise). As Marling told us, just following the premiere of ANOTHER EARTH, “I feel so lucky to be a part of this. Sundance is bringing together all these people and you know, brings them all into this little, this tiny town in the middle of the snow, and everyone can just talk and revel in ideas and make them into realities. It’s pretty awesome.”
As for our take-away’s, a festival is never an easy thing to sum up, but here are some observations from the week:
1. Harvey Weinstein is back. Momentarily hidden, or at least obscured, from focus after exiting Miramax and founding the Weinstein Company, Harvey and his deal-making chutzpah have returned. To wit, the Weinstein Company was behind two of the festival’s biggest acquisitions: MY IDIOT BROTHER, which went for $6 million, and THE DETAILS, which was sold for $7.5 million.
2. The movies that caused the biggest fuss going into the festival, such as Kevin Smith’s RED STATE, ultimately fizzled. Indeed, the films that ultimately took home awards were much smaller, under-the-radar projects, such as LIKE CRAZY, HOW TO DIE IN OREGON, and ANOTHER EARTH.
3. Redford’s efforts to get Sundance back to its roots, and away from the more commercial aspects that have taken over in recent years, worked. From the very first night, when audiences were spread out across Park City, watching small, groundbreaking films such as PARIAH and PROJECT NIM, the mood was set. This was a film festival, not a film spectacle.
4. Uggs are over. Just ask Joe Zee, host of the upcoming fashion reality TV show ALL ON THE LINE. This year, our fashion guru told us, it was all about Sorel’s.
For more of Nicole’s dispatches at the Sundance Film Festival see her blog on The Daily Beast.