STICKING UP FOR SUNDANCE
The Reeler checks in on the Sunday afternoon panel, “Four Independents who Turned the Tide,” over at BAM as part of the recent Sundance series there and transcribes some great quotes. The panel was moderated by Janet Maslin and featured Hal Hartley, Alison Anders, David O. Russell and John Waters.
From the piece:
“I wanna really stick up for Sundance,” Waters said. “I don’t understand today when people say it’s often too commercial. What is the problem if you’re a kid and you go there and someone overpays for your movie? You’re bitching about that?”
“I think it’s the free iPods,” Maslin said.
“That’s ludicrous,” Waters said, nodding. “The people who give away gift bags and free stuff treated me this year the way the governemt should treat Katrina victims.”
Anders later chimed in about Sundance’s lingering influence over her work as both a filmmaker and one of the Sundance Institute’s regular lab advisors. “There’s a saying in Alcoholics Anonymous that you can’t turn down an AA request because AA got you sober,” Anders said, briefly sucking the air out of the room. “It gave you your life and the more you give, the more you learn. And so I’ve had that with Sundance, too. I never turn down a Sundance request. I really feel like they gave me my career, and so I do a lot of work at the Institute as an advisor. I just always have the best time. I love working with the new filmmakers; they’re excited, because often they’re going to the festival after the labs, and it’s always exciting to see their expectations. And of course it flashes back to me and my first experience there.”