Entertainment behind the scenes
Every year at the Sundance film festival — and journalists can pretty much count on it — during the opening weekend an unexpected celebrity will show up in town and captivate the media’s attention. Whoever that is or (whatever he or she has done) becomes a “must-have” story. This year, the title was shared by British grafitti artist Banksy — who evidently turned up, although characteristically no one has seen him — and businessman Bill Gates.
On Thursday, the word on the snowy streets of Park City was that Banksy had tagged several buildings with his art. And in fact he — or someone — did. That’s a picture at left.
Why was he here? A film dealing with his stealthy artistry, “Exit Through the Gift Shop,” screens on Sunday night and a little advance publicity goes a long way. That certainly has been true and to be sure, on Sunday night reporters will turn out en masse for the movie.
But we have to hand it to Bill Gates. When he showed up on Friday, he did so with a cause beyond just movies and he did show his face (we might add that he was looking pretty relaxed, laughing and joking and seeming pleased to be at Sundance. He said he’d always wanted to come). Yes, he was here promoting a film, too — “Waiting for Superman” the new Davis Guggenheim documentary about education — and you had to get him at the Bing Supper Club, obviously affiliated with Microsoft. Can’t blame him. He’s a businessman.