The 30th Annual Sundance Film Festival kicks off tomorrow, which – of course – involves plenty of head-scratching and beard-stroking and careful, thoughtful contemplation in articles and pop-culture think-pieces with titles like "Wither Sundance?" or "Last Dance?"  The movie-going chattering classes can – and will – look askance at the corporate sponsorship proliferating in the Festival (including AOL, Cinematical's owner) resulting in torturously-named events like the "Power Breakfast" panel sponsored by a well-known cereals maker. They'll also note the phenomenon of films that open at Sundance where you have to ask what the point is – middle-of-the-road post-Tarantino crime flicks, or metaphysical thrillers with the poor judgment to cast Ashton Kutcher as a man trying to outwit the space-time continuum. There will be arch observations that every revolution becomes what it rebelled against. And there will be story after story coming out of Park City in the next few days about the gifts and 'bling' for celebs at various parties, as if the Native tradition of the potlatch were being resurrected, throwing goods and services at people who can for the most part already afford them, resulting in shivers of mixed contempt and avarice in people who don't rate a gimmie bag. These things are not untrue.

And still, I love this Festival. And I can tell you why.

(More after the jump. ...)