All The Rage

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Sundance needs a makeover

January 21, 2008 |  4:58 pm

15320787monicacorcoran12120086510_2 When Paris Hilton -- dressed in a pink Paris Hilton ski cap and a T-shirt bearing994210 her image  -- causes more of a manic panic than Robert Redford at Sundance, you know this film festival needs an overhaul. The fact that she had a movie to promote, "The Hottie and the Nottie," is utterly irrelevant. (The film was not officially part of the festival, but merely piggybacking on the vast exposure of the annual event in Park City.)

Paris, wearing her frothy Paris togs, represents everything that is now wrong with Sundance. The festival has become a hot bed of branding for everything and anything. (Even Sundance itself teamed up with designer Paul Frank to hawk its own festival branded merch this year, but, hey, they deserve to make a buck.)

Movie parties are sponsored by vodka brands and speaker companies. Magazines like Bon Appetit35m_2 open ad hoc eateries to host catered luncheons for visiting talent. (Full disclosure: I attended a lunch for the cast of "The Wackness" at this venue and watched Sir Ben Kingsley chew his beef tenderloin from across the room.) When an agent approached to introduce me to a film director but got waylaid by a PR rep who was touting a Napa Valley Chardonnay, it was clear to me that there's too much heat in the kitchen.

Photo credits: Paris Hilton, Wire Image; 'Sundance Woman,' 20th Century Fox