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Sundance to Sarajevo: Film Festivals and the World They Made

Sundance to Sarajevo: Film Festivals and the World They Made
Your Price: $26.95 CDN
Author: Kenneth Turan
Publisher: University of California Press
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 190
Pub. Date: 2003
ISBN-10: 0520240723
ISBN-13: 9780520240728

About the Book:

A book-length, journalistic account of all the superficial glitz that we associate with film festivals, along with an account of the serious business that goes on there, and of the politics behind the glamour. There have been books about individual festivals, but never anything as comprehensive as this.

Almost every day of the year a film festival takes place somewhere in the world — from sub-Saharan Africa to the Land of the Midnight Sun. Sundance to Sarajevo is a tour of the world's film festivals by an insider whose familiarity with the personalities, places, and culture surrounding the cinema makes him uniquely suited to his role. Kenneth Turan, film critic for the Los Angeles Times, writes about the most unusual as well as the most important film festivals, and the cities in which they occur, with an eye toward the larger picture. His lively narrative emphasizes the cultural, political, and sociological aspects of each event as well as the human stories that influence the various and telling ways the film world and the real world intersect.

Of the festivals profiled in detail, Cannes and Sundance are obvious choices as the biggest, brashest, and most influential of the bunch. The others were selected for their ability to open a window onto a wider, more diverse world and cinema's place in it. Sometimes, as with Sarajevo and Havana, film is a vehicle for understanding the international political community's most vexing dilemmas. Sometimes, as with Burkina Faso's FESPACO and Pordenone's Giornate del Cinema Muto, it's a chance to examine the very nature of the cinematic experience. But always the stories in this book show us that film means more and touches deeper chords than anyone might have expected. No other book explores so many different festivals in such detail or provides a context beyond the merely cinematic.

What people say:

"If you want to know what it feels like to be overwhelmed by the three-ring circus that is Cannes, inundated by the hype and hustle of Sundance, or caught in the whiplash of history at the Sarajevo film festival, Kenneth Turan's breezy, deeply informed book is just the ticket. Turan has a passion for film, a historian's sense of context, an explorer's sense of adventure and a great eye for absurdity. Sundance to Sarajevo is a wise, witty, dead-on tour of the international film festival circuit in all its glory and folly." — David Ansen, film critic, Newsweek Magazine

"In this lively blend of travelogue and film history, Los Angeles Times film critic Turan details the inner workings of 12 of the world's 400-plus film festivals, capturing the essence of each. Turan's easy erudition and wholehearted pleasure in the film experience infuse the book, making it, like a good movie, a multilayered delight." — Publishers Weekly

"Every film festival I attend, there's Ken Turan, notebook in hand, big smile, racing to the next film. We always synchronize our watches. Ken touted me on the official film critic's model, the Timex Indiglo, which has great big numbers and lights up in the dark, so you can see how long an endless film has been running. Now I see why he was taking all those notes. His Sundance to Saravejo is smart, sometimes funny, sometimes appalled, always perceptive — an insider's report from the cutting edge." — Roger Ebert

About the Author:

Kenneth Turan is film critic for the Los Angeles Times and a frequent contributor to National Public Radio's Morning Edition. He is director of the Los Angeles Times Book Prizes and the co-author of Sundance to Sarajevo: Film Festivals and the World They Made.