A Tale Of Two Sundance

Back in Janaury, two of the films that came out of Sundance with big buzz were “Memento” and “Series 7: The Contenders.” Now both have been released into theatres. So why has “Memento” captured the audience and not “Series 7?”

Timing.

Filmgoers haven’t seen anything like “Memento,” with its twist of telling the story from ending to beginning, in quite this fashion since Harold Pinter’s “Betrayal” in the early 1980s.

On the other hand, “Series 7” has come out during the wave of reality television is skewers so successfully. Now, you’d think with the public appetite for these shows running at its current fever pitch, a film like “Series 7” would be bringing the crowds in. I suspect, however, the masses have stayed away because those who would normally seek out this type of film are so sick of “Survivor,” “Boot Camp,” “Temptation Island,” The Mole,” et al, the film became a victim of its own premise.

From what I understand, “Series 7” was ready months before Sundance, and the filmmakers waited because Park City has been a good place to launch films of late, plus the film got its start as a script-in-progress at the Sundance Institute two years ago. I can understand why the filmmakers waited. But I also believe if “Series 7” had come out back in September, at the height of Survivor mania, before the influx of new shows, it could have really made a dent in the charts.

Tim, my source who writes for his college newspaper in upstate New York, tells me he recently received a number of materials from USA Studios in anticipation of a screening that was supposed to happen last week. The screening never happened, and the film, which was supposed to open this past Friday, is off the booking chart.

If you were part of the many like myself who were waiting for “Series 7” to come to your town, you’re going to have to wait until video.

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