Park City Slum-Free in 1998
by Mark Rabinowitz
Last year's runaway hit of the Park City festival season was Slumdance, an
irreverent and fantastically festive event put on by Slum Lord Brian
Flemming, and a devoted crew of Vagrants, as they called themselves.
Well, last year's event "was a promotional event for (Flemming's feature
film) "Hang Your Dog in the Wind"," says Flemming. The fact that it turned
out to be such a hit among Sundance and Slamdance festival attendees (at
least the non-uptight of them) was a combination of being in the right place
at the right time and a well designed setting brimming with good cheer. When
asked why the Vagrants aren't repeating the event, dubbed The Slumdance
Experience (Park City officials wouldn't let them use the word "festival"
in their promo materials), Flemming replied, "We just aren't up to it.
We thought about it and got really tired thinking about it." He continued,
"We're all filmmakers and to put on a fest is not what we do." In
honor of the "fest," organizers have created the Slumdance Historical
Preservation Society to "keep the dream alive." It is available on their
In addition, Flemming and co-Vagrant Keith Farley are busy working on an
updated version of their hit Los Angeles stage production, "Batboy: The
Musical". The production's immensely well-received initial run has closed,
but Flemming promises that the pair are in discussion with more venues,
and that they "will certainly be putting it up somewhere, but we don't know
where." The production was recently nominated for 5 Dramalogue Awards:
Outstanding Writing-Keith Farley and Brian Flemming, Outstanding
Direction-Keith Farley, Outstanding Choreography, Outstanding Musical
Score and Outstanding Performance Devin May as Batboy.
While it's likely that no other alternative event will capture the
attention of Park City visitors this Winter quite like Slumdance, there are
rumors of other happenings. In past weeks, "fest" names "No Dance" and
"Slam Dunk" have been bantered about, and appear to be set to unspool at
various locations in Park City. In addition, during last year's festival, a
certain publicist floated the idea of founding Scum Dance. Knowing her as
we do, indieWIRE bets such an event would be a blast! Maybe we should sponsor
a test run??
[The Slumdance Historical Preservation Society can be found at www.slumdance.com]