Letter to the Editor

Editor:

Say goodbye to the heyday of the best film festival in the nation.

Gone are the days when the Sundance Film Festival was, above all, about independent film.

I’m not going to reiterate the whinings and complainings about the Festival being too commercial, not “independent” enough, just another Hollywood market, etc., etc., etc. I’m talking about the mourning of a film festival that people used to attend because it was about film, filmmakers and filmmaking.

I’m talking about the debauchery of the festival. It seems like Sundance has turned into the equivalent of a 10-day run of Animal House. And it’s encouraged. I’ve read at least two articles in trade magazines of the movie industry titled, “How to party and get laid at Sundance.”

This is what the festival is now about?

Yes, actually it is. I’m working as an intern for one of the biggest Hollywood talent agencies. In return for being a peon and everyone’s favorite punching bag, I have the “perk” of attending agency parties like the one the other evening that included free booze at the bar and hired bikini girls in the jacuzzi.

It was a guest-list only display of debauchery that included, among other things, being witness to Hollywood’s biggest and brightest being more drunk and stoned than the National Enquirer would normally report about; angry guests not admitted to the party breaking in through a back window; and a Joe-Blow Wannabe pissing about an inch away from the hood of my car.

So, you’re thinking, she’s just a prude. Not true. I thought the premiere of Intimacy, which contains five full sex scenes (and I mean full-from start to finish-erect penis, oral sex and all) is one of the most beautiful portrayals of love and sex I’ve ever witnessed on celluloid. Besides which, I like a good party as much as the next non-Mormon. But I guess I’m just mourning the loss of the true soul of the Festival. And I’m calling for its revival.

Go to a party or two (if you can get in). But more importantly, go to a movie or 10. Sundance still amazes me with its ability to bring to us the most fascinating film on the planet today. I’m in awe of it. And it’s at our doorstep.

Sundance is not about-should not be about-free booze and sex and a sighting of Patrick Swayze. It’s about film that touches your soul, or, at the very least, film that is interesting and vibrant and new.

G. Gaudet

Graduate Student, Fine Arts