Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Sundance: Getting the Clap

[Film Fest] A comment to yesterday's posting about the Sundance Dramatic Competition Film North Starr raised a point worth addressing: How can my disdain for the first 15 minutes of the film be given any credence when it received such an OVERWHELMING STANDING OVATION?

If you have never attended a Park City public screening at Sundance, here is something you need to know: Pretty much everything gets an enthusiastic round of applause at Sundance. It is important to note that the audience for a typical Park City public screening usually includes filmmakers and actors, and thus a round of applause is only considered polite. Then there are the filmmakers' and actors' family and friends, their agents, their attorneys, their agents' attorneys, their producers' representatives, and a variety of other industry types in whose best interest it is to pretend that your movie is awesome. Occasionally a genuine groundswell of love is obvious at one of these screenings, but even that means nothing. Please keep in mind that Happy, Texas received one of the most rapturous receptions in the history of the festival a decade ago, and promptly disappeared off the face of the earth.

In summary: If one is basing one's defense of a film on the response of a Park City Sundance audience, one has an agenda. Love what you love, and get over the fact that someone else wasn't willing to endure another 100 minutes of agony for the possibility of hearing people cheer. (Scott Renshaw)


  1. I'm attending the festival for the first time, and I totally agree--many movies get MUCH more love up there than they deserve. I don't, however, think that an entire blog post was necessary to rebut the other commenter. Keep up the great movie reviews, though.

  2. I agree with Emily but perhaps for a different reason. I want to see Salt Blog succeed. However you are lucky if a couple of comments are added. I loved the start of this thread, it got people debating and responding. It even had the author responding- but in a different post. I may be way off base but one thing that might be beneficial for the blog is this: throw threads out there, if they don't get a response then put another one out there. If they do get a response have the writer or another staff member comment about the comments. As long as a thread is being responded too, keep it available, when it slows down or dies, take it off.
    I am much more prone to check and keep checking the blog- perhaps several times a day-if I know a staff member or another reader is going to respond. Food for thought.

  3. Thanks for the constructive comments, really. This blog is such a work in progress. We have a lot of talent here and want to keep a current discussion going on all topics, including Sundance. Anyone else want to jump in with suggestions (though it is a bit off topic from the post at hand.), please do. What would make you inclined to post a comment on Salt Blog? -- Holly Mullen, editor

  4. Thanks for responding Holly. Now I have to go over and begin to construct my thoughts for your Rick Majerus post.

  5. Oh, well unfortunately my comment wasn't as constructive--I was just disappointed that Renshaw responded so defensively to criticism.


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