As a documentary fan and critic who discovered so many great nonfiction films at Sundance last year, including some of 2011’s very best, it’s been extremely painful not being in Park City this week. To make things easier I could have tried to ignore the festival, stayed off Twitter, not read reviews, definitely not researched and talked about films ahead of time let alone written about the resulting most anticipated docs in my last Doc Talk column. Hearing enormously positive buzz on “The Imposter,” “Searching for Sugar Man,” “Detropia,” “The Queen of Versailles,” “The Ambassador,” “West of Memphis and others is driving me absolutely bonkers.
It’s like being a comic book geek under house arrest while “The Dark Knight Rises” hits theaters, hearing that it actually exceeds expectations and knowing it will be months before you have a chance to see it. Yes, right now, “The Imposter” is my “Dark Knight Rises.” “Searching for Sugar Man” is my “Hunger Games” — I guess the hunger issue doc “Finding North” should be my “Hunger Games,” but I’m not seeing enough hype on that one. Here’s an appropriate one: “West of Memphis” is my “Hobbit.” I could go on and on. “The Ambassador” is my “The Dictator.”
Thanks to some gracious publicists and filmmakers, I haven’t been totally in the dark this year. While it’s difficult to maneuver due to sales agents and potential or eventual distributors, I managed to acquire access to a number of docs screening in Park City this month. Most are Slamdance titles, which I rounded up in a preview at the Documentary Channel Blog. Never underestimate the smaller fest, which spawned some of our favorite docs, such as “Dear Zachary” and “The King of Kong.”
Continue reading this roundup at Movies.com.