and while stuff like this (below) is just bizarre and puzzling, mike and i are going to have "fun" with the festival. still, we'll also be having some intellectually critical "fun" (more on that post-fest). for now, i'll simply hint that even though i still support much of what Sundance does, the contradictions are worth noting. in fact, the critique -- when it actualizes --may reflect disparities we experience in our own fields/lives . . . vast differences between what we attempt to project/perform and what we are actually willing to tolerate and/or ignore.
i'm glad we took these images last year, and this year, i plan to videotape rather than simply capture static images. because, really, you have to see how the mannequin looks (at me) as i cross the hallway to use the bathroom at night; it's almost certain that her head will swivel slowly, plotting her wicked-puppet-moves, tracking (. . . ). i've had nightmares. and when i go to use the downstairs bathroom, the golliwog signage, coupled with the non-insulated nature of that space in the cabin is chilling to the bone. (note: the first image you'll see at the link is the very sign of which i speak; we did not capture that image last year, but here you have it).
and what to make of these insane placards on the jack and jill bathroom doors? what horrid historical stereotypes are being played and why? is this supposed to be funny? critical? i don't know. to me, it's offensive. last year, we almost took them down (at least for our stay) and may do so this year. it's just. so. creepy.
last night, i received an email from 2 of our long time and very best volunteers. they are not going to volunteer this year. things too messed up. too much attempt at corporatizing the festival and too much failure at the human(e) connections that Sundance is (supposed to be) about. disconnect. i've asked these 2 fabulous human beings to formalize what they wrote to me so that they might pass it up the chain. people need to know what's happening. because it's not just about the films, the ideas, the filmmakers' careers, and production companies' revenues (although it is all that), it's about human(e) connection(s). and what's Good, True, and Beautiful, "the GTB," (says the rhetorician, reflecting upon times past).
but so mike and i will be, despite some crusty creepiness and uncomfortable changes, approaching Sundance 2008 with our eye on the GTB -- gotta be :)