Nate von Zumwalt
Over the next few months we’ll be chronicling memorable moments in Festival history as we reveal the mystery behind the 2011 snowflake icon. This week we deconstruct the shovel.
Joel and Ethan Coen at the 1985 Festival
Joel and Ethan Coen arrived in relative anonymity at the 1985 Sundance Film Festival with their directorial debut Blood Simple. The crime thriller garnered the first-ever Grand Jury Prize and kick-started the celebrated careers of the Coen Brothers (Fargo, The Big Lebowski, No Country For Old Men).
Not only did Blood Simple spark wider public interest in independent film, but the soon-to-become film noir classic paved the way for smaller films to succeed both on the festival circuit and at the box office. Our shovel icon alludes to Marty’s (Dan Hedaya) burying, perhaps the most disturbing scene in a film saturated with sin.