Sundance 2001 began with one minor change, the addition of Sundance’s Online Film program. I’m sure that the online program featured some great films, but we didn’t see any of them in Park City. The last thing that any of us wanted to do after trekking to Utah was to sit in front of a computer and watch a bunch of jerky, digital shorts on a two-inch by two-inch screen. We plan on catching all of them after we complete our wrap up. We saw about 85 Sundance features in Park City and another 20 or so shorts. ^ Again this year, the documentary program had the most compelling new work. None of us would have wanted to be on the documentary jury – virtually every doc was outstanding to excellent. We’ve said it before, but if you’re going to a festival, see the documentaries since it may be your only chance. This year featured some incredible films such as “Chain Camera” by Kirby Dick, “Southern Comfort” by Kate Davis” and the amazing “” by Chris Hegedus and Jehane Noujaim. ^ The only thing we cannot understand is the idea of playing a film that is going to be on cable television in the next few weeks. It seems like a waste of a programming slot. This was true in the case of the films “Marcus Garvey” and “Dancing in September” which premiered on HBO one week after playing in Park City. Why waste a slot on a film that already has distribution in place and will premiere in a week on cable TV? ^ As for the premieres, there was the usual hype and stars along with some fairly average movies. But there were also some amazing highlights. Richard Linklater’s “Waking Life” was a big hit. He asked members of the audience to raise their hands if they were high on drugs. People laughed and some raised their hands. He then asked the sober members of the audience to bear with the high ones. You didn’t need to be high to appreciate “Waking Life,” kind of an animated sequel to the now classic “Slacker.” ^ In the shorts arena, there was yet another great Don Hertzfeldt animation called “Rejected” which had audiences on the floor with laughter. And a clever little short called “Bit Players” by Andy Berman and John Hyman also got much-deserved buzz. “Zen and the Art of Landscaping” by David Kartch was another highlight that should not be missed. ^ Still, across the board agreement from the Film Threat staff was that the best film playing in all of Park City, that includes Sundance and all the alternative festivals, was the movie “Memento” by Christopher Nolan. This film simply is the best thing since “Pulp Fiction” and it will see release sometime in March. It is the best film so far to debut in 2001.
FILM THREAT COMBATS ADVERSITY ^ We did the best we could to cover everything but Film Threat only received three Sundance press passes of the low grade which did not even guarantee us entry into screenings. We realize that Sundance cannot accredit every dot-com outlet that comes down the pike, but c’mon, guys, it’s us, Film Threat. We’ve been around more than 15 years covering this stuff. We have to apologize to some of the filmmakers whose movies we did not cover because Film Threat’s writers were turned away. We wouldn’t feel so bad or even consider writing about this but we noticed other outlets that received special treatment. And though we’re not saying who, even the wives of prominent people had better passes than Film Threat. The wives got press passes? Were these wives going to be writing reviews of the films? What is going on in the press office? So there’s definitely some bias against us coming from Sundance and hopefully we’ll have it resolved next year. To combat our handicap we actually made our own “Film Threat Press” badges which actually helped when we were spotted by publicists, volunteers and filmmakers who helped get us in. (Love the Sundance volunteers – thanks to all of you!) In spite of this adversity, we feel we did a bang up job, but could have done better with improved press credentials and more of our writers with badges. Heck, we would have covered all of the Frontier and World cinema movies, films that get absolutely no attention from mainstream outlets, if we only had enough credentials. So, Sundance folks, help us out next year, will you? We intend to complete this wrap up with every single film reviewed and we could use help from the filmmakers. If your film did not get reviewed, please send it to us on video and we will add the review to this page. Thanks again to those who did help us and we look forward to seeing you again. ^ In spite of our own problems with Sundance, they still put on the best festival in the United States, period. No festival shows as many important new films, takes as many risks and champions as many radical causes as Sundance. We’re grateful for their help (we could use a little more) and look forward to next year already. Now, check out the reviews below for some of the most exciting new work in the world of the independent film…
[ AMERICAN SPECTRUM ] ^ Acts of Worship ^ After Image ^ Dancing in September ^ Diary of a City Priest ^ The Doe Boy ^ Haiku Tunnel ^ Invisible Revolution ^ Jump Tomorrow (Joel Hopkins Untitled) ^ Manic ^ Margarita Happy Hour ^ Miss Wonton ^ Raw Deal: A Question of Consent ^ Roof to Roof ^ Tape ^ Wet Hot American Summer ^ Women in Film

[ DOCUMENTARY ] ^ Chain Camera ^ [ Children Underground ] SPECIAL JURY PRIZE ^ [ Dogtown and Z-Boys ] DOCUMENTARY AUDIENCE AWARD and DOCUMENTARY DIRECTING AWARD ^ The Endurance: Shackleton’s Legendary Antarctic Expedition ^ Go Tigers! ^ Home Movie ^ [ LaLee’s Kin: The Legacy of Cotton ] 2001 CINEMATOGRAPHY AWARD ^ Marcus Garvey: Look For Me In The Whirlwind ^ The Natural History of the Chicken ^ Ralph Bunche: An American Odyssey ^ [ Scout’s Honor ] DOCUMENTARY AUDIENCE AWARD and FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION AWARD ^ Scratch ^ [ Southern Comfort ] DOCUMENTARY GRAND JURY PRIZE ^ ^ Trembling Before G-d ^ An Unfinished Symphony

[ DRAMATIC ] ^ 30 Years to Life ^ The American Astronaut ^ [ The Believer ] DRAMATIC GRAND JURY PRIZE ^ The Business of Strangers ^ [ The Deep End ] 2001 CINEMATOGRAPHY AWARD ^ Donnie Darko ^ Green Dragon ^ [ Hedwig and the Angry Inch ] DRAMATIC AUDIENCE AWARD ^ [ In the Bedroom ] SPECIAL JURY PRIZE ^ L.I.E. ^ Lift ^ MacArthur Park ^ [ Memento ] WALDO SALT SCREENWRITING AWARD ^ Scotland, PA ^ The Sleepy Time Gal ^ Some Body

[ FRONTIER ] ^ Closer ^ Damages ^ Drink Me ^ Forest-Views ^ History Lessons ^ L’amour, L’argent, L’amour ^ The Little Big ^ The Middle Passage ^ Mountain Trip ^ Ode to a Hunter ^ Outlet ^ Sliding Off the Edge of the World ^ Two Unknown Photographers

[ PARK CITY AT MIDNIGHT ] ^ At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul ^ [ Coffin Joe: The Strange World of Jose Mojica Marins ] SPECIAL JURY MENTION ^ Hey, Happy! ^ Mutant Aliens ^ Super Troopers ^ Wave Twisters ^ We Sold Our Souls For Rock ‘N Roll

[ PREMIERE ] ^ 3 A.M. ^ The Caveman’s Valentine ^ Double Whammy ^ Enigma ^ Intimacy ^ The Invisible Circus ^ Jack the Dog ^ Julie Johnson ^ Lost and Delirious ^ Madison ^ My First Mister ^ Nobody’s Baby ^ Perfume ^ Series 7 ^ Sexy Beast ^ Things Behind the Sun ^ Waking Life

[ SHORTS COMPETITION ] ^ 3D ^ The Anchor Man ^ And Now Happiness ^ Baby ^ bigLove ^ Bit Players ^ [ Delusions in Modern Primitivism ] SHORTS JURY HONORABLE MENTION ^ Detroit Jewel ^ Did I Wake You? ^ Ellie Parker ^ Erased ^ [ Gina, An Actress, Age 29 ] JURY PRIZE IN SHORT FILMMAKING ^ Goulash ^ Grandma ^ The Greatest Show on Earth ^ grrlyshow ^ Gulp ^ Helicopter ^ Infection ^ [ Jigsaw Venus ] SHORTS JURY HONORABLE MENTION ^ Lint People ^ Member ^ [ Metropopular ] SHORTS JURY HONORABLE MENTION ^ Miguel ^ Mirror ^ Motorcycle ^ Mullitt ^ Muse 6 ^ Nine Lives (The Eternal Moment of Now) ^ Offside ^ Pate ^ Peekaboo Sunday ^ [ Peter Rabbit and the Crucifix ] SHORTS JURY HONORABLE MENTION ^ [ Pie Fight 69 ] SHORTS JURY HONORABLE MENTION ^ Rejected ^ Scar ^ Shoot! ^ Silent Mercury ^ [ Sweet ] SHORTS JURY HONORABLE MENTION ^ synchro ^ This is for you Spike ^ Tom Clay Jesus ^ Wild Pasture ^ [ Zen and the Art of Landscaping ] SHORTS JURY HONORABLE MENTION

[ SHORTS PROGRAM ] ^ 4 P.M. ^ And She Wasn’t ^ Baby ^ Because of Mama ^ The Big House ^ Donuts for Breakfast ^ Football ^ Gone Underground ^ In Search of Mike ^ Lou and Casta ^ Portland Animation ^ The Rat Trap ^ Shadowscan ^ Shorts Program I ^ Shorts Program II ^ Shorts Program III ^ Shorts Program IV ^ Shorts Program V ^ Spotless ^ Story Telling ^ There Is No Remedy

[ SPECIAL SCREENING ] ^ Beaver Trilogy

[ SUNDANCE COLLECTION ] ^ The Naked Kiss ^ The Times of Harvey Milk

[ WORLD CINEMA ] ^ 101 Reykjavik ^ Ali Zaoua ^ Angels of the Universe ^ The Back of the World ^ Beautiful Creatures ^ The Bleep Brothers ^ Brother ^ Chopper ^ Compassionate Sex ^ The Confusion of Genders ^ The Dish ^ Divided We Fall ^ Fuckland ^ The Isle ^ Last resort ^ Living Blood ^ The Low Down ^ Maelstrom ^ Me, You, Them ^ National 7 ^ Our Lady of the Assassins ^ [ Possible Loves ] JURY PRIZE IN LATIN AMERICAN CINEMA ^ Princesa ^ [ The Road Home ] WORLD CINEMA AUDIENCE AWARD ^ Te Amo (Made in Chile) ^ [ Without a Trace ] JURY PRIZE IN LATIN AMERICAN CINEMA

[ NATIVE FORUM ] ^ Abandoned Houses on the Reservation ^ Alcatraz is Not an Island ^ Chiapas Media Project ^ Christmas in the Clouds ^ The Flip Side ^ Moko ^ Native I ^ Native II ^ Native III ^ Native IV ^ Native V ^ Rocks at Whiskey Trench ^ Someplace Better ^ Tracks in the Snow ^ Voices of the Sierra Tarahumara ^ The Walk

[ ONLINE ] ^ bin10sex ^ The Crazy Bloody Female Center ^ daddie ^ FishBar: Violence of the Lambs ^ Freeware ^ Gone Bad ^ Gone Bad ^ Great Big Cartoony Club Show ^ Julius and Friends ^ Maly Milos (Little Milos) ^ Meep Meep! ^ The Mullet Chronicles ^ Mysteries and Desire: Searching the Worlds of John Rechy ^ The New Arrival ^ Qrime ^ Rocket Pants ^ Romanov: Scarf Mania ^ Untitled001: Darkness ^ Webdreamer
Note to Filmmakers: If your film did not receive a review in our Sundance 2001 wrap up, please just send us a copy on video and we will be sure to get it covered on the site. ^ Your pals at Film Threat
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