SFO Impressed by Quality of Sundance Film Festival

The members of the Student Film Organization who recently returned from the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, brought back some very strong sentiments about what they had seen.

“It was literally the greatest experience of my life,” SFO President Sam Broscoe said at their meeting Thursday night.

Moments that seem to have stuck with the group the most include a film school roundtable discussion, and several of the art films and documentaries shown at the festival and the New Frontier exhibit of multimedia installations.

One documentary that left a hefty imprint on student Nathan Larimer was “The Green Wave,” a documentary about the 2009 elections in Iran that led to rioting in the streets because of their questionable results.

“‘The Green Wave’ was the best documentary I’ve ever seen,” Larimer said.

Another memorable movie was “The Mill and the Cross,” an art film about a painting. SFO members discussed how it was heavily layered and took two weeks to render. They also said the film was primarily visual, with almost no dialogue or sound.

“There had to be maybe five pages of script, tops, but it was just beautiful,” Larimer said.

The group also had a lot to say about the New Frontier exhibit. For example, an installation piece by James Franco called “There’s Company,” a play on 1970s sitcom “Three’s Company,” got some very mixed reviews from the group.

The piece placed the audience in a replica of the living room set from the show and projected different scenes from throughout the series onto each wall. Each scene, however, was zoomed to a different level and featured Franco doing voice-overs for the entire cast.

While some SFO members said it was awesome, Larimer said “it was really uncomfortable to watch.”

“It made me want to throw up,” he said.

A live role-playing game called “A Machine to See With” was also popular among group members. Participants spent the game on their cell phones with a mysterious British voice giving them directions to make them feel like they were starring in some sort of spy movie. The voice directed them around town, sending all the participants at some point or another into a bathroom stall to have a conversation and get further directions.

Further antics included pairing participants with a random stranger (also a participant) to plan a bank robbery.

Broscoe said the trip was a major learning experience.

“In a lot of ways, the films were not perfect,” he said. “But they are wonderful movies, and that’s how I, personally, learn the most.”

With great experiences like sharing a hotel with Tim and Eric (yeah, that Tim and Eric), seeing all the great films the festival had to offer, and SFO member Manami York getting mistaken for Vanessa Hudgens, the group had a memorable time.

Oh, and they also couldn’t get enough of this short film they saw at the festival, titled “Sasquatch Birth Journal 2.” And yes, it is exactly what it sounds like and just as disturbing.

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About the Author

Matthew D'Ippolito

I'm a senior majoring in print journalism with minors in political science and music technology. I'm from the small town of Pennsburg, about an hour north of Philly. I hope to one day work as a music reporter for Rolling Stone. I am single and looking to mingle.

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