N.Y. Times reporter Brooks Barnes has reviewed the Sundance 2012 offerings and concluded (as I did before posting a summary on 12.29) that many of the narratives (including those contained in the docs) are about meandering, vaguely gloomy dysfunctional situations of one kind or another….the Tiny Furniture syndrome writ small, medium, large and extra-large.
“Many [Sundance] movies, about 25, look at 30-somethings whose lives have come apart for one reason or another — divorce, drugs, depression — and who are trying to get back on track,” Barnes reports. “At least eight fall squarely into the category of ‘America is broken.’ Four films gaze intensely at corporate greed [and] at least 14 selections look at moral decay.”
“I see a lot of movies in this year’s festival that aren’t made to be crowd pleasers but are instead made to say something about the moment,” Tom Bernard, the co-president of Sony Pictures Classics and a longtime festival attendee, tells Barnes.
In other words, we’re back in a Park City realm summed up by that immortal Victoria Wisdom line, “Sundance spelled backwards spells depression.”
Four years ago MSN’s James Rocchi said the following: “People mock ‘Sundance films,’ or joke that ‘Sundance’ spelled backwards is ‘massive depression. The reality of the matter is that if mainstream film offers us escape, independent cinema offers a necessary escape from escapism. Movie characters don’t seem to worry about paying the bills; most moviegoers do.”
I have some errands to attend to before catching my 4:30 flight to Salt Lake City so that’s all until I hit the airport, and maybe not until I hit Park City.