Troubled Buyers and True Believers: Amazed and Confused at Sundance

| February 16, 2001

Troubled Buyers and True Believers: Amazed and Confused at Sundance

America's indie films are alive and kicking. Film critic for New York's Village Voice Amy Taubin uses intriguing descriptions of recent debuts at Sundance to prove the vitality of independent filmmaking and the predictability of film distributors. At Sundance, she saw cutting edge animation combined with tender, witty content. Qualities that she found were lost on the representatives of indie film distributors.

Whereas in previous years distributors would erupt into bidding wars over the most sought-after features, this year Taubin reports that the competition is less heated. Case in point: Richard Linklater's intense animated feature Waking Life only had a few distribution offers.

In addition to commenting on the state of politics in movie distribution, Taubin provides a useful guide for the cinema aficionado. She highlights 10 films and mentions four others that you may want to keep in mind for the next year, such as her favorite, Richard Kelly's Donnie Darko. Set in 1998, it's 'a heartbreaking portrait of the kind of suicidal adolescent who internalizes the institutionalized violence that most of us take for granted,' she writes.

'All in all,' Taubin concludes, 'there were so many fabulous films that little time was left for parties and gossip.'
--Sara V. Buckwitz
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