More about that later, but to whet your appetite for the days ahead, here are a few fast facts about the latest edition of Robert Redford’s annual party:
– Saturday’s highly-anticipated premiere of “U2 3D” will be the first of the slick, new-school three-dimensional films (think ’Beowulf’) to ever screen at Sundance. A special projector had to be installed in the Eccles Theater, but with names like Cameron, Zemeckis and Lucas developing films for the medium, the timing is right.
– The darlings of Sundance this year? 23-year-old Melonie Diaz has no fewer than four films in Park City. More shockingly, Tom Arnold is engineering a comeback with three of his own.
– Facebook is in full effect. For the first time ever, the publicity teams behind Sundance contenders are using the fast-growing social website to build buzz about their flicks. Within hours of setting foot in the Park City snow, I received an invite to add an application, courtesy of Farrell’s film “In Bruges”. The app advertises the hitman flick by letting you “kill” your friends and send them to “Fooking Bruges.” As that film opened the fest tonight, the Naomi Watts thriller “Funny Games” took a similar approach, sending out an application that asks “How F**ked Up Are You?”, and gives an answer based on your enthusiasm towards statements like “Duct tape has many unexpected uses.”
– This year’s Sundance slate features 44 films with gay, lesbian or transgender subject matter – nearly 25 percent of the schedule! From “Savage Grace” to “Sunshine Cleaning,” the phenomenon is clearly a result of the “Brokeback Mountain” phenomenon of a few years back. For the first time ever, filmmakers seem convinced that gay-themed movies can find mainstream audiences.
– There’s more snow on the ground than there has been for the last several Sundances. The snow banks are so high, in fact, that local merchants have taken to spray painting their store names on the frozen stuff, to remind the tourists that they’re somewhere behind those giant walls of white.
See our complete coverage of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival — including breaking news, celebrity interviews, red carpet photos, movie clips and tons more.