Sundance at 30: The Most Infamous Fistfights, Freak-outs and Firsts

 Illustration by: Kyle Hilton

How a broken movie projector almost ruined "Reservoir Dogs," why Harvey Weinstein lost his temper in an Italian restaurant, what that camel was doing in Utah and other unforgettable events.

16. Trade wars erupt (2000)

Variety and THR both get into Sundance scrapes. First, Variety's Dan Cox is arrested for disorderly conduct after he can't get into a CAA party. Then, THR's critic Kirk Honeycutt nearly gets into fisticuffs with Courtney Love, after Love grabs his wife's camera and throws it to the ground. Honeycutt and Love reportedly made up afterward.

17. Banksy paints the town (2010)

The elusive British graffiti artist visits Sundance, leaves masterpieces everywhere.

STORY: 8 Thoughts, Predictions and Trends to Look for at This Year's Fest

18.-23. Sundance's six biggest legal brawls

Kurt & Courtney, Nick Broomfield's documentary about the death of Kurt Cobain, got pulled from the 1998 festival after Love threatened to sue. That's just one of many suits that have swirled around Sundance: A 2004 filing for $10 million by Napoleon Dynamite's producers over the contracts signed at Sundance with Fox Searchlight; a suit over Michael Keaton's failure to appear at the 2008 Sundance screening of The Merry Gentleman; no fewer than four lawsuits over 2009's Grand Jury Prize-winning drama Precious, between The Weinstein Co. and Lionsgate over disputed North American rights; a defamation suit filed by real estate mogul David Siegel just before the 2012 festival screening of The Queen of Versailles, a documentary about his life that filmmakers were billing as a "rags-to-riches-to-rags story"; and an $11 million suit filed in 2012 by a branding agency called Hype Creative Agency over an event that never took place at Redford's Park City restaurant, Zoom.

24. A camel walks Main Street (2013)

To promote his movie Egypt Through the Glass Shop (which wasn't even screening at Sundance), filmmaker Next Anyextee takes a camel ride through Park City. Police cite him for obstructing traffic.

25.-29. Biggest Sundance Bombs:

Hamlet 2 (2008)

BOUGHT FOR $10 million

BOX OFFICE $4.8 million

Happy, Texas (1999)

BOUGHT FOR $2.5 million to $10 million (depending on whom you believe)

BOX OFFICE $2 million

Girlfight (2000)

BOUGHT FOR $4 million

BOX OFFICE $1.5 million

Introducing the Dwights (2007)

BOUGHT FOR $4 million

BOX OFFICE $400,000

Grace Is Gone (2007)

BOUGHT FOR $4 million

BOX OFFICE $50,000

30. CAA's XXX party (2013)

At Sundance, unsimulated sexual conduct is sometimes permitted on the screen (see No. 14) but offscreen, even the simulated sort is frowned upon (it is, after all, Utah). So when CAA threw a party with pole-shimmying Vegas burlesque dancers, some of them wearing strap-on penises, it did not go over well. Nicole Kidman was so put off, she promptly left. "I think I prefer it out here," she was heard saying.

comments powered by Disqus