Saturday night brought a break from Sundance, and a long trudge in the post-snow storm sludge up to the top of Park City's Main Street, for the world premiere of Steven Soderbergh's Spalding Gray doc, And Everything is Going Fine
, at the Slamdance Film Festival. Getting there requires carving a swath through the living hell that is Main Street on the first weekend of Sundance (where do all these kids come from, and why don't the girl ones know better than to wear miniskirts and spike heels when it's 19 degrees?), but once you make it to the Treasure Mountain Inn, the difference between the two local festivals quickly becomes clear
Launched in 1995 by four filmmakers whose movies were rejected by Sundance, Slamdance has since hosted the world premieres of The King of Kong
and Paranormal Activity
, screened the early work of future auteurs Christopher Nolan and Jared Hess, and has generally blossomed into an institution of its own. While big man on campus Sundance mounts a major campaign touting its return to its roots
, Slamdance hasn't drifted far enough from its original lo-fi trappings to necessitate a return. The red carpet scraps lining the aisle of the makeshift Slamdance theater are dingy, the screenings are small and casual and though there are corporate sponsors, when a pre-film bumper flashes their logos the festival organizers themselves shout out snarky heckles. Welcome to an upstart alternative set in its ways.