PRINT March 2000


Sundance 2000

In recent years, with the media outnumbering filmmakers by about three to one, the Sundance Film Festival’s purported emphasis—challenging, independent film by promising new talent—drastically shifted. Mirroring Hollywood priorities to a disconcerting degree, Sundance succumbed to stars, glamour, parties, and fashion—not to mention profit. Rather than critically appraise even a significant fraction of the films on view (this year, 120 features were screened during the fest’s eleven-day run, January 20–30), Sundance coverage typically reports on buzz, promiscuously propagating gossip about who paid how much to acquire whose film.

So what made this year’s Sundance different? In a word, maturity. Gone were the spectacularly absurd distribution deals, in part because Miramax’s Harvey Weinstein—whose aggressive acquisitions tactics often made front-page news—was conspicuously absent. Conspicuously

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