My spirit wilted as I read “Sundance Wish List: 60 Films We Hope Will Head to Park City in 2020,” written by Team Indiewire. As I scanned the descriptions I came upon four that I’m half-interested in — Sean Durkin‘s The Nest, Dee Rees’ The Last Thing He Wanted, Behn Zeitlin‘s Wendy and Todd Haynes‘ Velvet Underground doc.
Otherwise, to go by Indiewire’s spitballing, we’re talking about the usual Stalinism in the snow…a festival that serves awareness as much as imaginings, observations, reflections and/or mind-bendings. The enforcement of visions of how the world needs to be, and the fulfilling of its own self-created image, and making real (at least temporarily) its own Neverland vibes.
Sundance is a default venue for progressive, Bernie and AOC-admiring Millennials and GenZ-ers with a smattering of wealthy boomers and GenXers…a place for the sharing of 21st Century, lefty-concentration-camp values…the right kind of legends…struggles and celebrations of women, LGBTQs, people and cultures of color, and a corresponding absence of anything that’s even a little contrarian in terms of, say, white-male experience or straight perspectives. The whole festival is a safe space, and anyone who’s afraid of being overthrown or cancelled or at least strongly challenged…well, it’s your call.
Last year there were eight Sundance films that mattered: Julius Onah‘s Luce, Dan Reed‘s Leaving Neverland, Gavin Hood‘s Official Secrets, Madds Brugger‘s Cold Case Hammerskjold, David Crosby: Remember My Name, Memory: The Origins of Alien, Steven Soderbergh‘s High Flying Bird, Jennifer Kent‘s The Nightingale and Blinded By The Light.
How many of these connected with Joe and Jane Popcorn?
I said this last year also, but I miss the old snide elitist Sundance vibe, that hippest-crowd-in-the-world clubhouse feeling that I remember oh so well from the ’90s and the aughts and…well, basically the Sundance that we all knew and loved up until People’s Central Committee vibes started to seep in around ’15 or thereabouts, certainly by ’16 and most definitely by the ’17 festival, more or less concurrent with Trump’s inauguration..
At the end of the day Sundance ’20 will screen at least four or five head-turners that will matter to those of us who appreciate conversational stimulation…they always do.
I’m sick of saying this repeatedly, but have you renewed your party membership card?…have you made friends with the Stasi agent who’s been following you on Twitter?
“You know you woke me…you woke me all night long.” — written by Muddy Waters, and recorded in ’62.