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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sundance Wrap Up

On Wednesday, I headed home to LA. Sunday through Tuesday is a blur of films and parties. Here’s what’s really great about Sundance. Inspiration. You get exposed to some of the freshest ideas on the planet. Every screening is entre to a new conversation with filmmakers who are thoughtful and artful. It can be a soul searing dip into the human ocean with stories that are immense and impactful. It can be a peak into worlds unimagined. I could not be more inspired.

Some of my favorites:
“Brief Interviews with Hideous Men” is an adaptation of David Foster Wallace’s caustic look at the post-feminist-movement male psyche. Doctoral candidate, Sara Quinn (Julianne Nicholson) works through the heartache of her boyfriend leaving without explanation, with a research project that requires interviews with men. The interviews are interspersed with the unfolding narrative of why her boyfriend left. Thank you David Foster Wallace, the languaging of the interviews is brilliant.

“The Cove” was a beautifully shot thriller documentary about a tragic dolphin epidemic unwittingly started by Flipper. We follow a small group of activist with their state of the art surveillance equipment to Taiji, Japan to discover the atrocities of mass dolphin capture and kill.

“Crude”, another doc, tells the story of the horrendous poisoning of five indigenous Ecuadorian tribes by Texaco/Chevron. Billions of gallons of toxic oil waste were dumped into the Amazon. It’s another tragic environmental tale with no good ending.

“Dirt! The Movie” is based on William Bryant Logan’s acclaimed book, Dirt, The Ecstatic Skin of the Earth. The colorful combination of interviews, animation, and vignettes are captivating. Andy Lipkin of LA based Tree People, and one of my Sundance roommates, is prominently featured. His accomplishments and contribution to the environment are pretty amazing.

“Good Hair” is Chris Rock’s explanation into what is up with black women’s hair. This is a really funny but serious look at black hair culture.

“Earth Days” interviews the founding fathers of Earth Day and their fight for the environment up through present day. This is one of my favorite docs.

My takeaway - I arrive home even more determined to participate in and add to the conversation that is changing the way we view our world and live our lives.