taubin_video.jpgIt shouldn't come as a surprise to anyone that Sundance has fallen "victim" to a teensy bit of Hollywoodization; that said, veteran film critic Amy Taubin has one or two enlightening things to say about the state of the festival in this month's Film Comment. The discourse of the festival as it's happening is so focused on parties, swag and stars, Taubin says, "that one feels uncool dwelling on a film merely because it challenges preconceptions of what movies can do or because its director is stunningly talented." I felt much the same way last week at SXSW - I got a lot of funny looks for skipping parties to go to screenings - but I fear that maybe to complain about the focus of interest amongst festival goers is a little Pollyanna-ish. And, as Taubin points out in recounting the chain of events that led her to see This Charming Girl, there are actually some back-handed benefits to the Sundance star swarm: if every Hollywood type in town is swarming to see Kevin Costner indie-slum or Kevin Bacon direct, the true cinephiles at the festival go into backlash mode, seeking out the micro-pics they'd otherwise surely miss. But she's right on in suggesting that to internationalize the main Sundance competition would both help eliminate the Hollywood problem ("subtitles would be to industry honchos as garlic is to vampires"), and, increase exponentially the profile of the Festival on the world stage.