Reeling in the Apple

For a festival that offered plenty of cinematic self-reflexivity, it seemed fitting that the last NYFF movie I saw was At Sundance, a Pixelvision documentary about the intoxicating insularity of the film-fest world. Shot on location in Park City by Michael Almereyda (whose vampire movie Nadja was in Sundance's dramatic competition), the movie is comprised of interviews with auteur luminaries such as Todd Haynes, Gregg Araki, and Richard Linklater, all of whom hold forth on the difficulty of maintaining personal style in a money-minded industry. These three also make some valid points about the dangers of using movies as a substitute for real experience (something we die-hard buffs could no doubt take to heart), yet the movie's most compelling dialogue comes from B-movie master Abel Ferrara, whose hilarious spewings pretty well nail the obsessive nature of the film addiction: "We own The Addiction ourselves, and if no studio buys it, we'll burn the fuckin' negative. How's that for independent filmmaking?"

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