Sundance is lame. And I don’t mean that in a general sense– I mean that in the specific way people use attendance to the film festival as a fabricated measuring stick for their own coolness. The “look-at-me-I’m-at-Sundance-and-you’re-not!” types who use their presence among famous film folk as an empty ego boost. Fact is, in the end, unless they’re buying a movie or making a movie that can be purchased and turn a dollar, nobody else cares.
In all other aspects, however- Sundance is awesome. A one week wall-to-wall event filled conversational films that may never have seen the light of day otherwise. Films that might just get the bump they need to get talented heads above water– films like (500) Days of Summer, Little Miss Sunshine, The Usual Suspects and perhaps this year, Boy.
Directed by Sundance regular (Eagle vs. Shark) Taika Waititi, Boy gives us the world of a poor New Zealand boy circa 1984, as fleshed out and made awesome thanks to the idolization of his deadbeat father. Heartwarming and sweet (apparently not unlike the charming 2008 Sundance entry Son of Rambow), this coming of age story looks fantastic. Boy isn’t assured pick-up by a distributor and will most likely see DVD release before mass screenings at the multiplex, but that’s what Sundance is for: giving light of day– even if a pinhole– to the little guys. Some deserve it and some inevitably collapse under their own pretense but all have, in one form or another, merit in their arriving.
And in the purest sense, that merit isn’t in an attempt to make their Facebook friends envious. It’s in the attempt to enlarge the world of film and that’s a good thing.
Go, Boy, go.