O Sundance you’ve surprised us yet again!

6 02 2010

In the days leading up to this year’s Sundance film festival the talk was all about the highly regarded documentaries and first year Festival Director John Cooper.
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What would or rather could John Cooper bring to the 2010 festival that would make it stand out? Well he kept talking about rebooting the image of Sundance back to the rebel, independent, and raw image that was so strong in the early days. Well, after reading all the “hyped” movies and films with recognizable A-list names, Mr. Cooper was able to pull off his dream. Sundance has awakened the independent and rebel view with its award winners.

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There were films with big name director’s ( Joel Schumacher ), actor’s (Robert Duvall, Bill Murray, James Franco, and Tony Soprano) and studios (they all were there somehow). But the winners were based on the quality of the film, not the hype machine that tells us lowly “regular” folks what to see.

Winter’s Bone should be a movie you now hear about – it didn’t have rep coming in – but left Sundance with Screenwriting award, the Grand Jury Award: Dramatic, and U.S. Distribution by Roadside Attractions. Talk about a film out of nowhere. It’s quickly been added to my wish list of films to see and should be on yours. Its made Debra Granik a name to know for her directing and now major award-winning screenplay writing. And don’t forget Anne Rosellini who co-wrote and also produced the film (she’s one of the main contacts for the film, maybe we’ll see her in Dallas in a few months…can’t wait).

With all the Oscar buzz for Hurt Locker (which cut its teeth in last year’s festival run), war films are in. That’s not a new formula, but it’s gained some even more recognition with Restrepo – the newly crowned Grand Jury Winner: Documentary. The directors, camera men, and producers are the men who should peak your interest. Sebastian Junger and Tim Hetherington…you should try to remember these guys.

How about the famous audience awards and who those “regular” folks rumbling around Park City, Utah. Who did they like?

Audience Award: U.S. Documentary – Davis Guggenheim, Waiting for Superman

Elisabeth Shue and Davis Guggenheim

Davis should be a little familiar to you TV fans and Al Gore fans. He directed Inconvenient Truth that sparked a lot of debate and became a media machine. Davis got his filming chops though behind a TV camera. He’s done a few episodes for “24”, “The Shield”, “Alias”, and even “NYPD: Blue” and “ER”. Expect a great year for Elizabeth Shue’s hubby.

Audience Award: U.s. Dramatic – Josh Radnor, happythankyoumoreplease

Josh Radnor in Happythankyoumoreplease

If you’re like my brother and dad and enjoy the TV show “How I Met Your Mother” then you know who Josh Radnor. No he’s not the kid from “Forgetting Sarah Marshall”. No he’s not Doogie Howser…are you serious? Um no he’s not Bob Sagat…well sorta. Mr. Sagat is the narrator. Josh is the adorable lead in the show and now he’s a feature film director and writer. And obviously the audience loves his tale of love in NYC. O yeah this is his directorial debut. Not a bad start to your career – hit tv show and now award-winning film which you wrote, star and directed.

So what am I getting at? Well I guess I’m just saying HAPPY NEW YEAR. 2010 should be an exciting one for film, sports, games, and life in general. Hopefully PSD can keep you up-to-date with all the madness. Keep checking in for Mark, myself and the rest of the gang as we figure ways to amaze and entertain you.

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