According to Michael Cieply‘s 12.4 N.Y. Times mini-trend piece about Sundance ’09, or more particularly the remarks he uses from Sundance director Geoff Gilmore, the tone of the festival will signify “an unusual tilt toward the emotional — maybe even melodramatic — side of independent cinema.”
“Audiences this year are going to be surprised,” Gilmore tells Cieply about the 1.15 to 1.25 gathering in Park City, Utah. “The range of emotions evoked by the films is going to be greater than in the past.”
In short, Sundance ’09 spelled backwards means heart-tugging?
But only three emotional-type films are mentioned — Shana Feste‘s The Greatest, a “three hankie” drama about a family dealing with the loss of a teenage son with Pierce Brosnan and Susan Sarandon starring; Ross Katz‘s Taking Chance, a true-life drama about a military escort officer (Kevin Bacon) escorting the body of a dead marine back to his hometown in Wyoming; and Lee Daniels‘ Push, about “the trails of an abused girl in Harlem.”
For a festival the size of Sundance, don’t you need to be showing more than three films of a particular stripe to announce a trend, even a mini-sized one?
Push, says Gilmore, is “so dark, but I cried so hard at the end of it.” Okay, but I’ve seen Daniels’ previous film, Shadowboxer, and it struck me as nto great — gratuitous here and there and (sorry) not all that tightly focused, emotionally or otherwise. So on Push alone, I would advise a little cuidado. I studied Daniels during a post-screening q & a about Shadowboxer at the ’05 Santa Barbara Fim Festival, and I don’t trust the guy. I feel on some level that I know his game, or at least the game he was playing three years ago.