Sundance, the star-studded annual film fest. For independent cinema, it's one of the best.Throughout the years it has grown and may overwhelm the new. Here are some hints hopefully helpful and amusing for you:
A IS FOR ABSTRACT. Bizarre, weird, odd or just plain off-beat. Some Sundance movies can be challenging, to say the least.
B IS FOR BUSES. Park City shuttles are a godsend for a festivalgoer, because parking during Sundance is certainly a chore.
C IS FOR CELEBRITY COUPLES. Matthew Broderick and Sarah Jessica Parker. Matthew Perry and Meg Ryan. They all surely rate. But perhaps "August" heartthrob Josh Hartnett still needs a date.
D IS FOR DANCES. There are quite a few. Sundance, Slamdance, TromaDance, X Dance and more. Whew!
E IS FOR EDUCATIONAL. Sundance's documentaries are a widely varied lot. If you check them out, you'll find much food for thought.
F IS FOR FILM GUIDE, another thing you'll need. You can find them online, at box offices or at screening sites, guaranteed.
G IS FOR GOSSIP, about celebrities and such. And at Sundance there's always quite a bunch. Especially about starlets and debutantes who are out to lunch.
H IS FOR HANKS. Actors Tom and Colin are related, they're father and son. "The Great Buck Howard" has both of them, not just one.
I IS FOR IRAQ. "An American Soldier" and "American Son" are two films that might change your mind about our men who fight.
J IS FOR JAPAN and Jordan and other countries with work in Sundance's World Cinema categories. Their filmmakers often tell the very best stories.
K IS FOR KILLERS and hitmen, characters that are featured in as many festival films as more sympathetic creatures.
L IS FOR LOCALS, you'll know who they are. Just look for the person in Park City during Sundance who isn't a star.
M IS FOR MUSICIANS. CSNY, Patti Smith, Method Man and U2. All are in Sundance movies, and may be in Park City performing for you.
N IS FOR NOVELS adapted for the big screen. Writers Michael Chabon and Chuck Palahniuk are hoping that "The Mysteries of Pittsburgh" and "Choke" turn out keen.
O IS FOR OFFICIAL, Sundance's Web site. Go to www.sundance.org/festival day or night.
P IS FOR PING PONG. The "King of Ping Pong" is a Swede whose life is a battle. But he's a good-hearted teen who's quick with a paddle.
Q IS FOR QUENTIN. Tarantino, a filmmaker being honored, though characters in his movies are usually goners.
R IS FOR REDFORDS. Robert is the father and Amy the daughter. She directed "The Guitar," and he's Sundance's star.
S IS FOR STALKERS ... er, stargazers. Call them celebrity hounds, autograph seekers or fans, if they get too close to the stars, they'll find they've been banned.
T IS FOR TICKETS. You'll definitely need them to get in to see the most hotly anticipated festival movies.
U IS FOR UMBRELLA. It may sound pretty silly, but you never know when it will rain in Park City, not to mention snow.
V IS FOR VARIETY. Horror films and thrillers, comedies and dramas. Sundance even has movies for kids and their mamas.
W IS FOR WATER. "Flow: For Love of Water" and "Trouble the Water" are set to make Sundance audiences all wet.
X IS FOR EXHIBITS. OK, that was a bit of a cheat, but the art and music performances at Sundance really are quite neat.
Y IS FOR THE YARROW, a hotel that hosts lots of screenings and events, and that's not a boast.
Z IS FOR ZOMBIES. "George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead" is a Sundance midnight movie to fill you with dread.
Anyway, here's hoping you keep these suggestions in mind so at Sundance this year you'll have a great time.