2005_sundance_logo.jpgGothamist decided to make the annual pilgrimage out to Park City to check out Sundance and its many accompanying festivities.

The festival kicked off on Thursday night with a screening of Don Roos (The Opposite of Sex) latest Happy Endings starring Maggie Gyllenhaal, Lisa Kudrow, Tom Arnold and Laura Dern. Unfortunately, the film screened before our arrival, but we've heard good buzz.

Since getting in Friday mid-day we've definitely felt the pressure to schmooze. Friday night we hit the TLA Releasing party at the Queer Lounge. TLA is a distributor based out of Philly that will be releasing Harry and Max and Damon Dash's Death of a Dynasty in the next coming months. The party had a festive crowd and some tasty nibbles.

From there we hit THINKFilm's party for Murderball, which is screening in the documentary competition. Murderball is about quadriplegic rugby players and we hear it's quite good (unfortunately the choice was between attending the party or the press screening and we opted to satisfy our thirst and grumbling stomach). Past films distributed by THINKFilm include Primer and Spellbound.

Our last stop Friday was a party up in the hills of Park City for a film called The Unseen written and directed by Lisa France and starring Gale Harold. We spotted Kevin Costner in the crowd.

P1220005A.jpgOn Saturday we hit the streets for a few more celeb sightings including Adrien Brody, Shannon Elizabeth, Joan Allen, Jenny McCarthy among others. We caught Todd Oldman on the shuttle bus and snapped a photo. He's probably out here to make sure things are going smoothly at the VW House which he designed and is the spot of many parties this week.

On Sunday Gothamist hit the theater, taking in screenings of Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room, Hustle and Flow, Why We Fight and Inside Deep Throat.

The Enron film, directed by New Yorker Alex Gibney, was exceptional and will be released by Magnolia in the next coming months. While the film has a toe in the political doc genre that has become so popular over the last year, it isn't overly preachy or knock you over the head with its Bush bashing.

We were less fond of the Eugene Jarecki doc, Why We Fight, which was well-made but heavy-handed and extremely similar to Robert Greenwald's Uncovered: The Whole Truth About the War on Iraq.

As for Hustle and Flow, the film acquired by Paramount as part of a $16 million deal with John Singleton, we loved it. The film features Terrance Howard as DJay, a pimp/drug dealer who decides to pursue his dream of becoming a famous rapper. With a 70's blaxploitation feel, the film doesn't take itself too seriously which is what makes it so fun and endearing. It should hopefully do well for Paramount and its partner MTV Films.

And rounding out our viewing experience, the latest from Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato (Party Monster, The Eyes of Tammy Faye), Inside Deep Throat. Entertaining and glitzy, the film gives the sour background behind the successful porn flick. This one should be hitting theaters soon courtesy of Universal.

Things are quite hectic here, more party and screening reports to come.