Sundance 2015: Festival Fatigue Hits Hard, But We're Still Screening
by Alex Billington
January 30, 2015
We've been here for 9 days so far, camped out in a lovely ski condo, watching films every day. And we're exhausted. Ethan and I have been working every day seeing films at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival, writing about them when we can, and trying to keep the site up-to-date with news as well. It's not easy, I will admit. We typically see 3 or 4 or sometimes 5 films each day, and have to spend time getting to each theater/venue, lining up, getting seats, and oh yea, eating food and sleeping (on occasion). Not to mention meeting up and chatting with friends/filmmakers and other cinephiles. But there's nowhere we'd rather be.
We're doing our best to keep up with the news, but as an independent site run primarily by two people, it's a bit challenging. Plus, it's just a quiet time of the year, since everyone is focused on Sundance, then the Super Bowl (we'll be home by Sunday), then we start getting into better movies as we head towards March. That said, we're both Sundance regulars now and stick it out until the very end (I've written about this plenty before) meaning we're still seeing films today, and tomorrow, packing in as many as we can. It's not just about seeing the films that "we can only see here", but seeing the ones we've heard good/interesting things about, and want to make sure we've seen most in advance so we can talk about them throughout the year.
What are seeing? Today, Ethan is catching Josh Mond's James White. I'm seeing Adam Salky's I Smile Back, the documentary Cartel Land, and then we're both catching the premiere of Benson Lee's Seoul Searching. I've seen 11 documentaries out of 27 films so far, and I've enjoyed more than most of what I've watched here at Sundance. We're going to wrap up our coverage with our "Best of the Fest" on Monday, as well as details on other favorites and films that we think deserve to be highlighted for a number of reasons.
After waiting patiently for 9 days, it finally started snowing here at Sundance and it reminds me of the many years I've been attending. I love this festival, from the movie lovers who attend, to the friends and colleagues I get to meet once a year; from the films and the filmmakers, to the industry supporters and distributors. I even love the venues, the atmosphere, and the indie spirit that remains as strong as it has for many years. To say we're lucky to be here is an understatement, though I won't deny that it is "work" to see upwards of 30 films at the festival. But we're determined, passionate, and won't give up just because we're getting tired.
Some of my favorite films of this year's festival so far include: The End of the Tour, The Diary of a Teenage Girl, Z for Zachariah, Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, How to Dance in Ohio, The Chinese Mayor, Finders Keepers, Call Me Lucky, The Stanford Prison Experiment and Dope. I haven't seen the Marlon Brando doc, and I missed Sleeping With Other People, The Overnight, The Witch and Experimenter, but this just the beginning. Sundance is official start of another year of cinema, giving us an early hint at what might influence movies in the future, and the kind of excellent films we'll fall in love with. Many of these will continue to play at festivals the rest of the year, and we'll be following them closely, reminding you that independent cinema is still alive, thriving, and where some of the best work comes from.
Follow all of our coverage and recap our reviews from Sundance 2015 here. We're almost to the end again.