Sundance opens with eye on broken American dreams | Reuters
(Reuters) – The Sundance Film Festival opened on Thursday night with four features, including a documentary highlighting America’s housing crisis, the fractured American dream and values humbled by today’s lackluster economy.
The documentary, “The Queen of Versailles,” follows self-made former billionaire and timeshare mogul David Siegel and his wife Jackie, who at first glance may not seem in touch with many Americans who have struggled in the current, downbeat economy.
The film, which debuted Thursday night to a packed house and solid applause, opens with the couple constructing their dream house: A sprawling 90,000 square foot mansion named “Versailles” inspired by the French palace.
But the story eventually comes to resemble many of the lessons learned by those who have lost their homes, jobs and experienced the effects of the economic crisis.
“The American dream has always been this idea of home ownership,” director Laura Greenfield told Reuters, but the film shows the Siegels dealing with the slumping economy, like many in the United States, and “how they downsize and cope with the situation,” eventually rediscovering what is important to them.
“They do take on this everyman quality that ends up putting them nearer to us in terms of the overreaching of America and downsizing and getting back to core values,” said Greenfield.
Strange Random Documentary Quote:
To the documentary director the appearance of things and people is only superficial. It is the meaning behind the thing and the significance underlying the person that occupy his attention… Documentary approach to cinema differs from that of story-film not in its disregard for craftsman-ship, but in the purpose to which that craftsmanship is put. Documentary is a trade just as carpentry or pot-making. The pot-maker makes pots, and the documentarian documentaries. — Paul Rotha
- “Riches-to-rags” film on opulent 90,000-square-foot family home prompts lawsuit (vancouversun.com)
- The Carpetbagger: Sundance Sued Over Opening-Night Documentary (carpetbagger.blogs.nytimes.com)
- Sundance Gets Sued For Opening Day Doc (lukewilliamss.wordpress.com)
- Timeshare mogul sues Sundance over documentary (mysanantonio.com)
- Sundance Film Festival Sued For A Misleading Press Release (huffingtonpost.com)
- Timeshare mogul sues Sundance over documentary (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Greetings from the 2012 Sundance Film Festival! (one.org)
- Sundance unveils key films for festival (nation.com.pk)