Movie Week

On the way to Sundance Film Festival flying over Mount Rainier
On the way to Sundance Film Festival flying over Mount Rainier
The director Stephanie Soechtig (to the far left) and some of her crew behind the documentary Fed Up
The director Stephanie Soechtig (to the far left) and some of her crew behind the documentary Fed Up
The Norwegian film crew  are having fun at the premier of Dead Snow - Red vs. Dead
The Norwegian film crew are having fun at the premier of Dead Snow – Red vs. Dead
When tired of movies one can always have fun on the ski slopes around Park City
When tired of movies one can always have fun on the ski slopes around Park City
The British comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon presents their new film The Trip to Italy
The British comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon present their new film The Trip to Italy
William H. Macy  has directed the emotionally very strong movie Rudderless
William H. Macy has directed the emotionally very strong movie Rudderless

Once again I have covered Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, USA, the independent movie festival initiated by Robert Redford. And as always it’s a both fun and intense week. It leaves you with strong impressions and wonderful insight to how they work, those most creative filmmakers in the world. I watched movies – of course, I photograph people in the film business presenting their work during the festival and I try to get some time up in the ski slopes above Park City as well. The better of two worlds in other words – some skiing and loads of movies. This time, though, I only watched 26 films compared to my old record of 37 movies in a week. Still plenty enough and not leaving much time for ordinary tasks such as eating and sleeping.

As always I am impressed by the high level of the films presented at Sundance Film Festival. There at lots of excellent films from all over the world, and unfortunately it’s only possible to watch a small fraction of what is offered. I wish I had had more time, but then again another week with such intensity would probably not have been very good for my health, neither physically nor mentally. But it certainly leaves anyone attending the festival – included me – with the dilemma of what to watch and what to leave out. Sometimes you get it right and sometimes you don’t, but still you never encounter uninteresting movies even if they might not be of your taste.

A handful of favourite films I watched this time:
Rudderless – A poignant and very emotional drama directed by William H. Macy (who also has a small role in the movie). It deals with the terrible shock when a father experiences a school shooting where his son is a student. Billy Crudup does an astonishing job portraying the father. One of the movies that really stands out.

Fed Up – A very strong documentary that shows how the food industry is destroying our lives with their unhealthy processed food. You think you eat healthy? After having watched this film you will surely re-evaluate your eating habits. It’s shocking, no less. Hopefully it will make it to the cinemas or the TV-station. Another one to watch.

The Trip to Italy – If you want a brilliant and hilarious funny movie, this is for you. The British actors and comedians Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon travel around in Italy, eat excellently and are just unbelievable funny.

Dead Snow – Red vs. Dead – Maybe not for everyone. Actually only recommended if you have a macabre sense of humour and don’t mind gore and blood completely over the top. An army of Nazi zombies meets an army of resurrected Soviet soldiers in Northern Norway. This is the sequel to the original Dead Snow, which gained cult status after it was released at Sundance in 2009.

Enough movies – on a different note I will just apologize to those of you who didn’t get a spot attending my new eWorkshop I launched before I took off to Park City. It only took two days before the workshop fully booked. I promise the workshops will be launched again at some later point. I hope to see you then.

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77 thoughts on “Movie Week

  1. Macy has a special talent and I love to listen to him talk. I remember the movie where he was a professor and this young girl accused him of harassment. It was very intriguing and stood out. I do not consider myself complicated or smart so those deeply involved plots. But I do love intense dialogue and a humane nature. That intrigues me most.

  2. Sundance Film Festival is in my book the most important film festival – some amazing films has come to my attention through this festival.
    And if the films that get the awards are real worth watching. Very envy on you!!!!! Glad you didn’t have time for anything else than movies.

      1. Hollywood is okay … but there is so many other good films that never get the credit in Hollywood, because it’s only the big names .. that gets the attention. Very interesting post you did. One of my favorite films is “Far From Her” with Julie Christie .. a film that Sundance got their eyes on first. Some years ago.

  3. Lovely! Thank you for sharing! Would love to be there, to photograph, but also to watch the new films! I heard that “God help the girl” a film by Stuart Murdoch was screened there as well, and his band Belle and Sebastian did a gig there. Did you , by any chance, caught a glimpse of either one?

  4. Sounds like a definite physical and mental challenge to spend the time processing all of those films, but if you’re like me, it could be just as emotionally exhausting. If just half of those movies reel a little bit of your heart in while you watch, I couldn’t imagine the feelings that would sit on your chest at the end of the day. I’m happy you got to have this amazing opportunity.

  5. I sit here in my world and a bit of me sometimes wonders what I’d do if I could go out more often and not have to think about anything but travel, books, movies, fun, vacation, I almost always stop at time spent watching artists talk about their creations. Not only is it educational and inspirational, it is heartening. Lucky you! And the fun on the ski slopes is a bonus, I’m sure.

  6. Sounds like it was a great week. I’ve made a note of the films you mentioned and will watch for them to appear on big or small screen. That’s a beautiful photo of Mt. Rainier from the plane.

  7. Thank you for bringing these films to our attention! I used to be a cineast in younger days – now time will not wait for me… “Fed up” is something I would like for Sweden, and the others too, but that Norwegian film is not for me.

    Sundance Film Festival was mentioned some months ago when there was a program on TV here about Newman and Redford. Lucky you.

    1. I am quite aware of the fact that Dead Snow is not for everyone. And I am sure Fed Up is the same, particularly if one is a defender of the food industry or even of the unregulated market.

  8. Jahaja…och visst är det fantastiskt!?
    Skriver på svenska, återigen, för jag vill inte störa mig/inte ta bort illussionerna hos dina följare…men Otto, den här världen…den står mig upp i halsen!
    Jag klev av den för sisådär 30 år sedan. Då var jag en lovande, begåvad och av alla lärare upplyft student på “Beckmans School of Design”…och jag insåg att för att vara i frontlinjen…ja, då måste du mer eller mindre “prostituera” dig…och jag sa, jag kände att…never ever…tack..och goodbye.
    Trots det har jag fungerat i alla år, jag har haft min enskilda firma, jag har haft jobb av och till, ibland till, och med för mycket… men, jag känner mer och mer avsky inför dagens superytliga, avintellektualiserande mode, film och fotovärld.
    Jag har sagt det förut…och jag säger det igen: jag beundrar dig för din energi och uthållighet…din tro på mänskligheten eller vad det nu är:)
    Och du, du gör ett stort jobb när du förmedlar och höjer upp alla “fotografer”, alla som vill och ibland…kan.
    Jag förstår att dina kurser ger dig mycket och jag hoppas att de kommer att göra så även i framtiden…jag har lagt av, tröttnat, dessillutioneringen har tilltagit och kamerorna får för tillfället stryka på foten då penslarna har tagit över:)
    Back to basic eller bara en paus…vad morgondagen för med sig, det kan vi bara gissa…eller drömma

    om:)

    1. Jeg tro vi alle opplever perioder der en føler seg trøtt og desillusjonert. For noen år siden holdt jeg på å gi helt opp alt som har med fotografi og journalistikk å gjøre, nettopp av samme grunn som du sa farvel til din erfaring fra Beckmans School of Design. Jeg syntes journalistikken og fotojournalistikken i særdeleshet var overfladisk (ytlig som du sier) og fullstendig uinteressant. Men så kom energien langsomt tilbake, og jeg begynte å finne måter å gjøre oppdrag som var viktige for meg selv – og som jeg syntes var interessante. Og så fikk jeg øynene opp for gleden ved å undervise – ikke hele tiden, men fra tid til annen. Altså workshops. Jeg henter mye inspirasjon i kontakten med workshopdeltakere som har et annet syn på både livet og fotografi (selv fra dem som vil mer enn de kan). Og så lære jeg selv minst like mye som jeg lærer fra meg, både i møte med andre mennesker og fordi jeg hele tiden må bli bedre selv når jeg underviser.

      Vi trenger ikke alle å være entusiastiske over det samme. Noen liker moren, mens andre liker datteren – som vi sier på norsk. Slik er det – og det har jeg alltid hatt det helt greit med. Samtidig har jeg for egen del erkjent at det handler like mye om egne holdninger. Jeg prøver å inpode mine barn at når de synes noe på skolen er forferdelig kjedelig (tråkig), så blir det kjedelig hvis det er holdningen deres. Hvis de derimot klarer å finne noe hos seg selv som får dem til å føler mer engasjement, så blir det med en gang mer interessant. Sånn tror jeg der er med alt i livet. Om vi ikke akkurat styrer våre egne holdninger, kan vi ihvertfall påvirke dem.

      Når det er sagt, forstår jeg din motløshet ved mye av det som skjer innen medier, design og kunst. Nettopp av de samme grunnene som du oppgir. Samtidig ser jeg en voldsom glede i ditt personlige arbeid. Når jeg besøker din blog eller dine netstede, ser jeg denne gleden i dit engasjement og vilje til å trenge under overflaten. Det handler om å gjøre ting 100 prosent med hjertet – ikke sant?!

      1. Takk for dine kloke ord, Otto.

        Dette var hjertevarmende ä lese. For meg er du et godt forbilde som gjör dine ting med 100 prosent innsats. Inkludert hjerte. Det er alltid opplöftende ä komme hit til deg. Dette er ikke for ä smigre deg, du har en veldig god evne til ä uttrykke deg direkte, klart og enkelt. Dette sobre i ditt spräk er veldig motiverende, du er helt sikkert en flott coach. Ikke rart at kursene dine gär vekk som varme boller! 🙂
        Ha en fin dag og fortsatt masse gelde i hverdagen.

        Hilsen oss North Norfolk – skulle du vaere her pä disse traktene sä er du mer enn velkommen til oss i Cley next the Sea.
        Hanne og Klausbernd

  9. I’m happy to have an advance endorsement of some Sundance movies. I’m a Steve Coogan fan so very glad to hear about TheTrip to Italy. All of them sound very interesting, although I may have to pass on Dead Snow (thanks for the warning). I think this must be a very exciting film festival to attend, not only for the opportunity to be so directly involved in the artists’ work, but because it is such a respected event. Thanks for sharing it with us!

  10. I just realised that I totally forgot to comment on the post with your holiday impressions (which I liked and didn’t found it to include too many pictures). I’ve read about the Sundance Film Festival a while ago and as I’m a big movie fan, it’s sounds so exciting. The location, the people and of course all the many, many movies. I can imagine that it must be very exhausting as well and I’m not good at handling lack of sleep but still, it must be so exciting to be there.

    At the moment I’m looking forward to the photo weekend that will be hold here in town in a few days. They also show movies about photographers including ‘The man who invented himself’ which is featuring Duane Michaels who will also be there to answer questions. Exciting 🙂

    1. Sounds like you are in for a fun weekend yourself. Duane Michaels is a very creative photographer, so both the movie about him and not the least be able to hear him talk will surely be a great experience. Enjoy the photo weekend, Viola!

  11. I found this very interesting, Otto. I find gatherings like this so stimulating and creative but yes, also exhausting.We have a spot near here nick-named the “Glory Hole” but it doesn’t look anything like this one.Oh my goodness…

  12. Envy, envy! 🙂 Interesting report and lovely photos, Otto – I especially like the photo of Macy. Great job! Now I very much look forward to “Rudderless”.
    Have a great day.
    Love, Dina

  13. Sundance is a dream come true–fabulous combination of nature’s abundance and humanity’s creativity. You’ll fill your treasure trove with intangible and tangible memories. Of course, I knew that you would attract participants for your e-workshop: those fortunate participants. Have fun with it all.

  14. Otto, Im really pleased you had such good response to your workshop. There is hope for me yet. 😉
    Sundance is one of those “bucket list” things for me. I will look forward to seeing “Rudderless” as I am a huge William H. Macy fan. Whether in front of or behind the camera his work is remarkable to say the least. I will look forward to seeing it, perhaps at TIFF (Toronto International Film Festival).

  15. As near as I am to Park City, I’ve often contemplated going to Sundance, but I figured it would just be a very expensive overload of experience for me. How to choose…movies or slopes? But this year, that choice may have been easier as I hear Utah isn’t doing any better than Idaho for snow.

    I look forward to Macy’s new movie. He is splendid. Did you get to meet him? I suspect he is a very decent and low key man.

    1. It’s true there wasn’t much snow around Park City, but still enough to be able to have fun in the ski slopes and runs.

      Yes, Sundance can quickly become an expensive overload as you say, but I would still say it’s worth considering (that comes as a surprise, no? 🙂 ).

      Unfortunately I didn’t get to meet Macy in person. Only on stage as he presented his new movie.

  16. 37 movies in a week, that’s definitely a record, so is 26.
    I’d love to chk out the 4 flicks you’ve spoken about. I’ve heard about the original Dead Snow, but never got a chance to see it.
    Nice photo’s as always.

  17. Oh wow. What a cool experience. Whenever TIFF happens, I try to always go to a Q&A. I find it really fascinating.

    And now that you mention unhealthy foods – yes, I ate unhealthy for much of my life. In 2010, I tried to make a huge change … and it`s been really hard to maintain. And as I shop for healthy foods, i find it difficult. Most food and drinks are so bad for you … even though they`re marketed as healthy. It`s tough. I also find it much more expensive to eat healthy. Which I think a lot of people face when at the grocery store and making their decisions on food purchases.

    And now that you mention unhealthy foods – yes, I ate unhealthy for much of my life. In 2010, I tried to make a huge change … and it`s been really hard to maintain. And as I shop for healthy foods, i find it difficult. Most food and drinks are so bad for you … even though they`re marketed as healthy. It`s tough. I also find it much more expensive to eat healthy. Which I think a lot of people face when at the grocery store and making their decisions on food purchases.

    1. Unfortunately much of your experience is the reality for many people. Eating healthy can be more expensive, but the best thing is really to make your meals yourself and avoid all processed food. This way it’s possible to lower the costs.

      And yes, the Q&A’s during film festivals are often both interesting and fascinating.

  18. i always look forward to your notes on the movies you found interesting. the first two movies sound quite interesting, especially Fed Up. what a great title! 😛
    also, it’s wonderful to hear your workshops are going so well, although not a surprise. thanks again for this great review on Sundance.

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