Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Sundance Film Festival

After wrapping up the Style Lounge, we finally had a day off to enjoy what Sundance Film Festival is known for: movies! We got up early and took a shuttle to the box office to see if there were any tickets left for some of the movies Todd scoped out. Sure enough, we scored tickets for an afternoon screening of “Bigger, Stronger, Faster” and the world premiere of “Black List” in the evening.

“Bigger, Stronger, Faster” was a very entertaining documentary shot from a very personal point of view exploring the pros and cons of steroid use. As the official Sundance Film Guide writes, “Director Christopher Bell explores America’s win-at-all-cost philosphy by examining the way his two brothers became members of the steroid subculture in an effort to realize their American dream..” Definitely worth seeing if it finds its way near you!

“Black List” was a wonderfully shot documentary where 20 influential African-Americans were interviewed about their “individual experiences and viewpoints in regard to societal, familial and personal identity” (Sundance Film Guide) . The editing was amazing, as were the poignant statements each of the 20 subjects left the audience to ponder. The portrait-style cinematography was extremely powerful – a credit to director Timothy Greenfield-Sanders, traditionally a still-photographer who is well-known for his elegant portraiture. As a graphic designer, I especially loved the use of typography during the introduction and chapter segments of the film – simple, sans serif type set translucently over extreme closeups or solid fields of color. Gorgeous!

Interesting side note: both of these movies were shown inside the city’s library in an auditorium that seated over 400. It was great to see so many people flocking to the library, and yes, lots of people found their way into the actual library inbetween movies to catch up on email or do some casual reading!

Interesting factoid: 3,624 features and 5,107 shorts were submitted to this year’s Sundance Film Festival! Out of all these submissions (a record number!), only 122 features and 84 shorts were selected to be screened at the Festival .

After all the celebrity and media hype of the last four days, it was great to be able to experience what Sundance is actually about – great film-making. We can’t wait to come back!

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