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Party in a Box: The Story of the Sundance Film Festival

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Lory Smith, Party In A Box: The Story Of The Sundance Film Festival

Much like the prospectors who ventured west to strike gold 150 years ago, Hollywood’s cell-phone-toting sharpies have transformed Utah’s Sundance Film Festival into a mecca of greed and skulduggery. But Smith — a Sundance vet who was on board for its birth as the U.S. Film Festival in 1978 — argues it wasn’t always such. In Party in a Box: The Story of the Sundance Film Festival, his dishy, info-packed insider’s account of how Robert Redford’s indie-flick Shangri-la evolved from a ragtag, cash-strapped gathering into a Tinseltown feeding machine in the wake of 1989’s breakthrough movie ”sex, lies, and videotape,” Smith pines a tad too loudly for the ”good old days.” Still, ”Party in a Box” manages to show how the high-altitude Horatio Alger story changed the celluloid landscape forever.