BELAFONTES

01.21.11

Belafonte and Bobby Fischer at Sundance

Harry Belafonte premieres the buzzy documentary "Bobby Fischer Against the World."
harry-gina-belafonte-sundance
Harry Belafonte and Gina Belafonte (SundanceChannel.com)

Still not much deal news, but the cinema-going aspect of Sundance is in full swing. A 9:30 a.m. screening of the Harry Belafonte documentary Sing Your Song was filled with early-rising fest-goers and volunteers who were inordinately friendly (“Hello!” “Welcome!”) considering the hour. Things get started later here: The Starbucks crush (i.e., when they run out of spinach-feta breakfast wraps) is around 11.

Even more packed was the screening of another documentary, Liz Garbus’ Bobby Fischer Against the World, which has been receiving strong buzz, and was raved about by L.A. Times film critic Kenneth Turan. At the 11:30 premiere, we had the good fortune to find a free seat next to an authority of sorts: Evan Edgar, former eighth-grade chess champ at Concord Elementary School in Northern California. Edgar was 11 when Fischer played Boris Spassky in the 1972 world championship of chess (a big focus of the film), and said he and his brothers would organize chess tournaments around Fisher’s moves, which were published in the papers every day. When asked for chess advice for someone who has a fear of chess boards, but was once fairly proficient at checkers, Edgar said: “Keep your pawn structure.” He added: “We’re all pawns in the game of life.” We wondered if this was a cheesy, oft-repeated mantra amongst chess players, and guessed it probably was.

To read the rest of Nicole's post on Sundance Channel, click here.