January 23, 2008

The secret to Sundance

It's all about the slopes. No, really. That's where it's at. Since everyone is at Main Street or at a screening, no one is hitting the slopes except for a handful of die-hards and locals, and you can get some really nice rides in. A change of pace after dealing with packed shuttles, traffic, agro volunteers (although some are nice), and managing a schedule. It's not for everybody to sneak away from the festival, but if it's for you, kudos on finding time for life. And enjoy the ride.

:: bogna ::

This year, it's personal

It seems that a theme for this year's Sundance is personal filmmaking. Take the premiere of DEATH IN LOVE, a dramatic feature by director Boaz Yakin, who Sundance Festival Director Geoffrey Gilmore calls a "master." DEATH is filled with strong, poignant performances and graphic images, leading the viewer down a dark and twisted road where only the deepest darkest secrets can be revealed. With an interesting theme of the "sins of the mother" being passed onto two sons, DEATH takes place in modern-day Manhattan with a past set in a WWII Nazi concentration camp. As a self-financed indie film, DEATH IN LOVE feels emotionally uncensored. Yakin is giving us what we need to see even if we were afraid to ask for it. Very powerful whether you are ready for it or not.

:: bogna ::

January 22, 2008

Seriously Inspired

I am deeply moved by the work of Morgan Spurlock. All of it.

I just saw his latest documentary 'Where in the World is Osama?' in which he travels to Egypt, Morocco, Israel, Saudi Arabia, France, Afghanistan, and Pakistan on a personal quest for truth. And in doing so, he lets us meet so many interesting people on screen, people we would have never gotten to meet otherwise, 'people like us' who are ignored by the media, who are moderate in their viewpoints, and who just want a good life for themselves and their families. The new experience of fatherhood apparently helped shape this film too, since Spurlock's drive came from wanting a good and safe world for his child. And after seeing the film's end credits which show us the people he met in his travels, with the song 'Why can't we be friends' playing in the background, I saw that world. Maybe it was just a glimpse, but I saw it.

And I find myself thinking about the film and the filmmaker who calls himself a Warrior Poet and actually walks that walk. Am I starstruck? I doubt it. I'm from LA, and that's just not my style. More like -- seriously inspired. It's like he's always busting out the Socratic Method on all of our unsuspecting asses while delighting us with his witty and entertaining filmmaking. From 'Supersize Me' to '30 Days' to the documentaries like 'Czech Dream' (part of the 'Morgan Spurlock Presents...' series), the questions keep coming and we have to keep growing to keep up.

It is so good and humbling to feel this much admiration for an artist's work. An artist who is asking us all to evolve. And, who knows? It could happen.

(Photo of Morgan Spurlock by Arlene Bogna)

:: bogna ::

January 20, 2008

What the world needs now...

...is another Sundance blog. There simply aren't enough of them around.
I will endure minus one degree temperatures, packed shuttle buses, and crowded restaurants just to remedy this situation and make sure we have another much needed Sundance blog. You have my word.

:: bogna ::

January 12, 2008

Yes, we definitely need to be entertained

Maybe it's not included in Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, but it should be. Our need for entertainment runs deep, as seen lovingly in the signage of this neighborhood video store pictured above, which provides movie rentals as well as pool service and supplies (in that order).
It just goes to show that no matter where we are, we definitely need to be entertained. And, say what they will, movies are better for you than even more distracting forms of entertainment (see below).

:: bogna ::