It’s the most wonderful time of the year — the Sundance Film Festival line-up announcement! The fest has announced a return to its independent roots, to which we say we’ll believe it when we freakin’ see it. (Or see the movies, as it were.) But after reading the New York Times this week, we have a bit more respect for that pompous Geoffrey Gilmore and his team of programmers, led by John Cooper. Complete with a fantastic, multi-coloured, projector-inspired graphic, John Clark explains how the festival has never gotten more submissions than for the 2006 event, but that the amount of films shown has only increased by a few movies a year in its three-decade-long history. (There are only so many hours in 10 days.)
“Mr. Cooper wasn't working all by himself, of course,” writes Clark in “The Soul of the Sundance Machine.” “He collaborates with Geoffrey Gilmore, the festival’s director for the past 16 years, and three other programmers, Trevor Groth, Shari Frilot and Caroline Libresco. But even so, the task is overwhelming. This year, those five people combed through 1,004 American and 936 international features (up from last year’s 761 and 843, respectively) and 760 American and 448 international documentaries (up from 624 and 385). Then there were the shorts: 4,311 of them (3,887 last year). It is all anyone can do just to get through them. Mr. Cooper said he had watched seven films the previous day. Mr. Groth had been watching films 14 hours a day for two months. Mr. Gilmore says that over the course of a year he watches between 800 and 1,000 films.”
Circling the Remains
We’d like to point you to the current issue of Spin where you’ll find a review of Dependent Music honcho Brian Borcherdt’s latest, The Remains of Brian Borcherdt Volume 2, under the heading Sign Them Now! “This Bakesale-style record will please anyone who’s still waiting for a reunited Sebadoh to stop using a boom box as their drummer,” writes Melissa Maerz. Borcherdt, who stomped through the storm to open for Winter-sleep last Friday, will be back in January with his electronic project Holy Fuck, if he doesn’t get a six-album deal with Geffen for Christmas.
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