Sundance Diary – Day 2: 'Operation Avalanche,' 'River of Grass,' and 'Jim'

What makes a hero? What makes for notoriety? Today's films weigh in.
Sundance Diary – Day 2: 'Operation Avalanche,' 'River of Grass,' and 'Jim'
Image: Andy Appelle, Jared Raab
'Operation Avalanche'

I had a hard choice to make this morning: 9am screening of Swiss Army Man, or 10am screening of Operation Avalanche?

You might already have heard about the former, which is now known as “the movie where Daniel Radcliffe plays a farting corpse.” (Yes. That’s a thing.)

I think it’s very slightly more nuanced than that—I gather from my Twitter feed that Daniel Radcliffe plays a farting corpse that saves Paul Dano when he’s shipwrecked, or something like that—and I think the idea of a talented actor playing a dead body for a whole movie is brilliant and gutsy.

But the buzz hasn’t been great, so I passed, and instead I went to Operation Avalanche. It was a good decision.

But First, a Digression: So How Do You Get a Press Pass?

A friend asked this on Facebook today, which reminded me that it’s not as obvious as it might seem—and in keeping with my promise from yesterday, I thought I’d explain.

Having a press pass to a festival is great. It means you get access to press and industry screenings, which are usually before the film screens for the general public, and (probably most importantly) don’t cost you a penny.

Most festivals have a standard system for accrediting press. Generally they require a “letter of assignment” from your editor with details about coverage, plus a series of links to film coverage you’ve written, a photo (for your badge), and some basic information about the publication you’ll be writing for. Generally you submit all this information via an online system and then just wait for confirmation.

Some festivals are easy to get into (especially regional ones); others are quite difficult; the Toronto ...

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