Sundance Film Festival 2010 – or SUNDANCE TWENTYTEN, as they are marketing it – opens this week in Park City, Utah. As one of the premier film festivals in the world, the Sundance Film Festival annually attracts a diverse group of leaders from the worlds of art, entertainment, science, and technology and has become a global convergence for dialogue on art and culture – and art’s role as a catalyst for change.
I checked the lineup for films offering critical insight into hiking, or backpacking, or the vagabonding lifestyle. The festival is covering other cultural and social issues this year. But the exercise did make me think of three of my favorite films in the hiking genre.
Into the Wild (2007)
This dark drama directed by Sean Penn follows a vagabonding college student who turns his back on society – and trust fund money – to backpack into the Alaskan high country. There he attempts to eke out a living off the land. Based on a true story, the reckless, anti-social nomad abandons his car in an Arizonan arroyo, floats the Grand Canyon sans river running permit and hangs out with hippies in the Californian desert before making his way to Alaska. Hey, who among us hasn’t wanted to live off the wild?
The Sound of Music (1965)
Who can resist Julie Andrews and all those cute kids dressed up in lederhosen and hiking boots singing Edelweiss before they hike over the Austrian Alps? After seeing the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, I thought Edelweiss was their national anthem. The stunning photography of the Austrian mountainsides should make this a fave for every hiking enthusiast.
The Ten Commandments (1956)
Director Cecil B. DeMille’s over-the-top telling of Moses’ longest hike known to man kind, casts Charlton Heston as Moses, the ultimate trail guide. The star-studded cast includes Yul Brynner as Pharaoh Rameses, who pursues Moses’ followers who hike the desert for forty years after the deadly water crossing. Yul, they tell you not to cross when flooded.
Although you won’t see my favorite hiking movies there, the 2010 Sundance Film Festival will take place from January 21-31 in Park City, Salt Lake City, Ogden, and Sundance, Utah. Founded by Robert Redford in 1981, Sundance Institute is a not-for-profit organization that fosters the development of original storytelling in film and theater.
For more information on the Sundance Film Festival, click here.