NETWORK OF ENTERTAINING ASIAN AMERICAN TALENT
Sundance 2013, Pt. 7: (Re)Connecting the Field”
The 2013 Sundance Film Festival is over and OUT! And for me and my road-trip partner, we couldn’t have picked a more opportune time to leave. The cloudless, sunny ski resort town we found when we arrived the first weekend gave way to wet, snowy weather the last half of the festival, by which time we were back in L.A. debriefing on our experiences, and for me, dealing with a persistent itching due to the very dry weather we encountered while there. News reports indicated that because of an inversion layer that clouded over Salt Lake City where I was staying the whole time, the air quality was pretty bad (unhealthy) for everyone all around. I’ve been back now, and I’m paying for it with redness on my arms and elbows, the likes of which I haven’t experienced before. And I hate it. A lot.
Because I wasn’t here a long time (only four screening days in total), my screening schedule was very compressed into a little more than three days, during which I snuck in a mere dozen films. Oh sure, there were the films I made time to see in relationship to their being made by folks of Asian Pacific descent (A RIVER CHANGES COURSE; WHEN I WALK; LINSANITY; ANITA; PIT STOP) and works from different Asian countries that piqued my interest (JISEUL; METRO MANILA; SALMA; WAJMA – AN AFGHAN LOVE STORY; WHAT THEY DON’T TALK ABOUT WHEN THEY TALK ABOUT LOVE). There were other films that I made time for, just to see what non-Asian folks of color are doing (FRUITVALE was a favorite that I came around to late), while I was left to ponder the “what-ifs” of high-profile debuts that just missed the mark for me (Park Chan-wook’s STOKER, sabotaged by a lazy, error-laden screenplay). And for the brief time I ventured up the hill to sneak my way into Slamdance Film Festival offerings, I found myself well-rewarded, if distinctly sight-challenged for the uniquely ghetto-styled screening rooms built out of two motel banquet rooms.