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A dubious term to be sure, it seems that one of the pre-reqs for hipster certification is denying that you actually are one. Based on this criterion, Brook, the main character in Destin Daniel Cretton's feature debut, definitely qualifies. But I Am Not a Hipster is not so much concerned with labels as it is with crafting an intimate, small-scale character portrait. Adrift in San Diego's music scene, Brook's lackadaisical lifestyle is interrupted when his family visits with the intention of spreading his late mother's ashes. Cretton, who made a splash at Sundance in 2009 with his Grand Jury Prize winning short Short Term 12, has employed the musical talents of singer-songwriter Joel P. West to help bring to life this introspective exploration of a character, a music scene, and a subculture.Read the Interview


"When we started Bloody Disgusting back in 2002, we were the only ones doing it daily," says Bradley Miska about the origins of his all-horror site. Sites like Ain't It Cool News, Dark Horizons and Jo Blo were around too, but as its name would suggest, Bloody Disgusting hammered a wooden stake in the burgeoning field of online horror coverage and now, 10 years later, it is reaping the rewards. Management company The Collective "bought into" Bloody Disgusting five years ago, says Miska, and today the co-owned website is just one part of a gory mini-empire that also includes a releasing label, Bloody Disgusting Selects; a TV series, Black Friday, on the new YouTube channel Black Box TV; and, here at Sundance, a film, V/H/S. Read More

We posed the question, "Why are you a filmmaker?"
THE WORDS DIRECTORS BRIAN KLUGMAN & LEE STERNTHAL There are so many reasons why we chose film as our medium to tell stories. The fact is we're children of our culture (how could we not be?) a culture of the mash up: of so many forms of expression constantly mixing and intertwining in all of our daily lives. Well, film is the only medium where you get to combine so many of these forms of expression simultaneously: literature, music, photography, visual art and theater, all in your own unique way to create a singular vision that can reflect life, contemplate it and, if you're lucky, for a moment even crystallize it.Read More

THE IMPOSTER DIRECTOR BART LAYTON As a documentary-maker you could wait a lifetime to happen upon a story as extraordinary as this one. From the moment I heard about it it sounded like something that could hardly have taken place in the real world - a Frenchman successfully steals the identity of a missing Texan boy and begins a new life within the boy's family posing as their child? If it were a work of fiction it would seem far-fetched. And from this sparked the need to find out more - about the man capable of perpetrating such a crime and the family capable of becoming victims to it. Read More

THE FIRST TIME DIRECTOR JONATHAN KASDAN I have no rhythm. I was twelve years old. I was taking guitar lessons. In the middle of my fifth lesson my teacher just stopped, started putting away his guitar. I was like, "What are you doing? We still got 40 minutes." He said, "Kid, you have no rhythm. Whatsoever. You can't even clap to the beat. You will never be a musician. Ever." So the truth is, if I had my druthers, I would be a rock star today - and the medium for my story would be a multi-platinum, grammy-winning album featuring duets with Rihanna and Adam Levine. But I have no rhythm. So instead I'm a hapless screenwriter. Read more

I Am Not a Hipster
The Words
The Imposter
The First Time
Sundance 2012: Power Plays
Pejot and Swirsky's Indie Game
Slamdance: Ok, Good and Heavy Girls
Video: Save the Date Director Michael Mohan and Actor Martin Starr
News, columns, and opinions straight from Park City

The role of authority in the lives of everyday people is a crucial question at this year's Sundance Film Festival. From the first wave of documentaries examining the Arab Spring to fictional accounts of the personal and collective consequences of confronting our conception of power, Sundance filmmakers this year have looked at the state of our world and our culture and uncovered a complex battle for control. Of the standout films I have seen at Sundance this year, for one reason or another, the issues of control and responsibility have played a crucial part in giving this edition of the festival its distinctly dystopian tenor; there is a decidedly downbeat feeling up here in the thin, frozen air, a sense that something is truly broken. Read More


Independent film, depending on how you define it, has had many births. But for the purposes of this blog post, let's consider the one in the 1980s, just before the launch of this magazine. She's Gotta Have It, Parting Glances, Poison, True Love -- these were narrative features made by lone filmmakers with a mixture of private money and, sometimes, foreign TV deals, and they were released into the marketplace after being acquired by independent distributors who catered to arthouse audiences. More films followed -- Clerks, El Mariachi, The Blair Witch Project -- and the idea that one could possibly be not just a filmmaker but an "independent filmmaker" was born. Read More


One of the trickier things about reviewing movies at a festival is that your identity isn't exactly a secret. You've got a press pass with your name and the name of your outlet on it, so a lot of conversations you have with filmmakers revolve around that very fact. Or you end up in a long conversation at the Kickstarter party with the director of a film you hated. But my philosophy is if you can't stand face-to-face with someone and defend your opinion of their work, then you have no business telling it to anyone else. Comments and critiques from behind the veil of anonymity are cowardly and childish and harmful. There's no place for them in the indie film community.Read More
First-hand accounts by filmmakers

SAVE THE DATE DIRECTOR MICHAEL MOHAN AND ACTOR MARTIN STARR Stephen and Patrick from the National Film Society are back with another Sundance interview, this time sitting down with Save the Date director Michael Mohan and star Martin Starr (Advenureland, Freaks and Geeks.) Stephen and Patrick have been inching towards perfecting their strange and unique interview style all week. This time out, they quiz Martin Starr about his love-life, ask Mohan how to make a movie, and invite both guys to join their society. Watch

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