The celebration is still rolling in Park City, with plenty of exciting film action stretching into the second weekend at the Sundance Film Festival. But after the pomp and premieres of the opening weekend, it's a good time to look back at just what happened when we weren't standing in line for a bus or screening. We've rounded up the 9 best moments from Sundance so far.
9. How did a pink beanie with "Greasy" on the front become a favorite piece of film schwag?
It may not be a film with a lot of wide appeal, but The Greasy Strangler made a splash, in an odd sort of way, during the festival's Midnight program. The gross-out tale of father-son bonding — full of deplorable characters trading naive dialogue, unpleasant nudity and a truly revolting amount of grease — was imminently hateable but also turned into a curious conversation piece. The film's PR team likely sensed this reaction was coming and was ready to turn sour reviews into tongue-in-cheek poster blurbs.
8. An audience can only take so much flatulence.
Another gross but much-discussed moment of the festival was Daniel Radcliffe's turn as a corpse in Swiss Army Man. The amount of farts coming from Radcliffe in the film was enough to inspire walkouts during the premiere and headlines you'd never expect: Daniel Radcliffe's Farts Tell Us Something Profound About This Year's Festival.
7. The Jonas brothers were everywhere.
And no, we aren't talking about the blizzard back East. It was Nick Jonas who played a supporting role in the memoir-turned-film Goat, but his brother, Joe, was also in town. The two managed to find cameras at multiple parties and lounges throughout the opening weekend. Nick, for his part, does an admirable job playing the protective brother of Ben Schnetzer in the film about masculinity and violence.
6. A blockbuster was born in The Birth of a Nation.
It might not be that often that Sundance breaks a true epic, but the buzz generated by The Birth of a Nation is undeniable. The film — shot in 27 days and for $10 million scraped together by first-time filmmaker and star Nate Parker — sparked a bidding war and talk of awards this time next year. In fact, the $17.5 million Fox Searchlight ended up paying for global distribution rights is a Sundance record.
5. Your favorites from the festival are probably headed to Amazon and Netflix.
Netflix might have lost the battle for The Birth of a Nation, but the video streaming powerhouse is second only to Amazon in the number of films it's purchased after the first weekend. Amazon grabbed festival favorite Manchester by the Sea, starring Casey Affleck, among other films, while the Ellen Page-led Tallulah led Netflix's haul.
4. Virtual reality takes over the festival.
Virtual reality films and experiences were around before at Sundance, but this year the technology was everywhere. It wasn't just the 30 or so VR films on the festival's official program — there was a Sundance app to use with a Google Cardboard VR viewer, Samsung had its own VR gear on hand, and big names were involved in standalone VR experiences. At times it felt like it was easier to find a VR headset than a phone charger.
3. The festival scene brings out all types of celebrities.
Not all the celebrities in town for Sundance are there for a premiere. Some of them are there for the same reason as any peon — to soak it all in and walk away with some free stuff. Like any other major entertainment event, Sundance has its share of gifting suites designed to drum up press and celebrity Instagram photos for participating products. That means you're just as likely to see your favorite Bravo TV reality stars on the streets of Park City as you are a Jonas brother.
2. Come for the films, stay for the parties.
There is no shortage of sponsored lounges, venues, and parties during the opening weekend of Sundance. Whether it's donuts sponsored by Kia, music by Toyota or a party by Acura, there's branded fun in nearly any direction. The more exclusive the venue the higher the likelihood you'll be rubbing shoulders with John Legend or Adrian Grenier.
1. There's always time for powder turns — even during Sundance.
Fresh snow during Sundance's opening weekend meant traffic and long waits for festival shuttles, but it also meant powder turns for whoever was willing to trade an early showing for first chair. Even the stars weren't immune to the call of Park City and Deer Valley.
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· Sundance Police Blotter: Goats, Jock Straps, and Paragliders [Curbed Ski]