"Park City Envy" may not be listed in the index of any highbrow textbook, but cinema-mad Southern California residents are intimately familiar with the emotion, particularly during the second half of January.
That's when news and photos and anecdotes start to flood out of a certain Utah mountain town (or maybe not flood but drift, gently, like so many winter snowflakes, the same snow seen in photo after photo). It's the time of the Sundance Film Festival, the little indie fest that's no longer little in any way, and if you're not there watching movie after movie after movie, you wish you could be.
Here's your local solution: Next Weekend, a four-day film festival from the Sundance Institute. Whoa whoa whoa!
But don't drive to the airport just yet. It's happening here, in Southern California, in Santa Monica and Hollywood and Los Angeles. Yes, that's a slightly wider span than the theaters dotting Park City but hush up on that front: The Sundance spirit is in LA, and that is good, however sprawly the cinema experience gets.
Next Weekend rolls from Thursday, Aug. 8 through Sunday, Aug. 11 with "screenings, panels, parties, and filmmaker workshops." That is incredibly Park City-y, right? Those happenings? Does the actual Park City know this is all going down? Because then people there might develop LA Envy.
(Which, let's be honest, a lot of people elsewhere have, at least a touch of, even if they don't own up to it.)
Highlights? The charming doc "American Movie" will get a revisit at Hollywood Forever Cemetery on Aug. 8 while "This Is Martin Bonner," the winner of the NEXT Section's Audience Award at the Sundance Film Festival this past January, will screen twice at the Sunset Cinemas, once on Aug. 10 and again on Aug. 11.
But your best bet? Try a few films out you haven't heard much about. That's how gems are discovered at Park City and that's how we can find 'em here.
And nope, you needn't have the envy the next time the mega film festival rolls back into Utah. If we can have a slice of Sundance-style cinema goodness here every now and then, we're gold. Still, we wouldn't mind some pretty snow, just for a week.
Sundance Institute, have a line on the weather for us?