indieBUZZ ++ January 24 - 25, 1998
If you caught the page one news in Variety yesterday touting the debut of a new independent film magazine from the publishers of Premiere, you probably also read Monica Roman and Dan Cox puzzling comments that Independent film buffs are about to have a magazine to call their own. Buzz overheard a Sundance shuttle bus conversation about the story in which one rider immediately jumped to the defense of FILMMAKER Magazine, a publication that has emerged as the leading mag for both filmmakers and independent film aficionados alike. Of course, we suggest The Independent Film & Video Monthly as an additional magazine worthy of recognition -- among a host of other indiefilm-minded publications.
Additionally, the statement by Hachette Filipacchi CEO David Pecker that the magazine, (dubbed Indie) will do for independent film what Spin has done for alternative music, was surprising given the fact that Spin evolved in tandem with the alternative scene that it covered. Our eyes will be focused on Mondays cocktail party announcement which also honors Robert Duvall, cover star of the new issue of FILMMAKER Magazine.
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Buzz sat down yesterday with director Michael Steinberg, who is in an interesting position, having had three films at Sundance in seven years -- "The Waterdance"('92), "Bodies, Rest & Motion" (93) and now "Wicked" -- and has seen the event evolve into the gargantuan experience it is today.
Back in 1992 when Steinberg made his first appearance on the Sundance scene, he recalls that festival-goers were saying many of the same things they are saying today, "Everybody wastalking about how the festival had changed so much and 'you should have been here in the old days when it was real pure and before it had been overrun by business and Hollywood,'". Yet, echoing Michael Moores comments in indieWIRE yesterday, Steinberg added that he was "really surprised...that after hearing about all the disasters of last year with the screenings running late, and just the chaos and everything....that it's been a lot smoother than I thought.
Discussing the size of the festival, he agreed that it might be better served by shrinking a bit, "It's American independent film...that's the focus, so I question (whether) some of these other movies -- some of the premieres -- take away from the American independent scene." However, he recognized that, " you've got to offer a broad spectrum of types of movies just to make it an entertaining festival."
Finally, Steinberg credited documentaries as one of the most interesting parts of the festival but questioned the idea of making the Holiday Village Cinemas their home base since it becomes almost impossible to get in to see any of them, "I've met some of the directors who tried to get me into their own film and they couldn't do it.
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As indieWIRE concludes a second year of Park City print editions, we proudly convey the compliments of filmmaker Michael Steinberg, (it is the) "thing I look forward to the most -- more than Variety and the reviews -- it's like 'Oh! Let me see what's happening at Sundance! Let me check out who was at what party and what's the buzz. I think it's a wonderful idea."
Thats a wrap for indieWIRE On the Scene, Park City 98, get connected for continuing coverage of the indie scene by email and on the Internet -- www.indiewire.com.