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The Sundance Kids: How the Mavericks Took Back Hollywood

from theaustralian.news.com:

JULY 4, 2006

New book tells how independent filmmakers function in shadow of Hollywood studio system

The Sundance Kids: How the Mavericks Took Back Hollywood
By James Mottram, Faber, 480pp, $35

THE year may be barely half over but already far too many of us have suffered through the pervasive hype and subsequent let-down of bloated cinema blockbusters such as The Da Vinci Code, another frenetic but empty-headed Mission Impossible sequel and the sheer superfluity of Poseidon, a lame remake of a 1970s disaster classic. So it's not surprising that a cursory glance at a book called The Sundance Kids: How the Mavericks Took Back Hollywood may ameliorate the sinking feeling I experience so regularly while walking out of multiplexes.

But you know what they say about books and their covers, or in this case, their titles. Dip into the pages of this mostly thoughtful and well-written tome and it's obvious that its author, British journalist James Mottram, should have come up with a less misleading moniker. That interesting things have happened in Hollywood over the past decade is, mercifully, not in dispute. But mavericks, however defined, haven't taken it over, even if some have forged productive relationships with studios that have allowed some interesting films to be made.

As Mottram says in his conclusion, the group of film-makers he labels the Sundance Kids isn't ready to hold Hollywood hostage, even if the studios have opted to augment their annual avalanche of formulaic fodder with a roster of projects financed and produced to varying degrees through their specialty divisions.


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