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Best of 2010 Sundance Film Festival

By Roya Rastegar
January 30, 2010  The Huffington Post

The most compelling screening of the entire festival was part of the festival’s most brightly shining New Frontier program — Oscar-nominated Sam Green and Dave Cerf’s “live” documentary Utopia in Four Movements traces four impulses towards utopia at the dawn of the 21st century. Giving new meaning to the “you just had to be there” quality of Sundance, only two screenings took place, at which Green warned the audience that at any moment “we might f**k up” because of the real-time nature of the film’s presentation — Green did the voice over narration from memory in front of the audience, and on the other side, to the right of the screen, was the three-person band playing the film’s score. Particularly in a digital age where people are becoming increasingly dependent on smaller, more individual, more mobile screens (ipods, dvdplayer, netbooks), Utopia was not only utterly moving but a reminder that there is real power in the physical experience of collectively watching cinema. It is for this reason that Utopia most aptly captures the spirit of rebellion and rebirth of independent cinema that Sundance 2010 was all about.


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