Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Sundance Post

I've been putting this off for a long time. The festival ended weeks ago and in theory I was hoping to write capsule reviews of each film I saw but the very idea proved to be just, too, daunting. So, time slipped away and here we are, a month later and a few bucks short. So, in lieu of a review-bonanza I thought I'd just post some of the pictures.

BTW, if you are interested in some reviews I wrote for The Satesman, go here.

A Huntsville sunrise. I was only able to attend the festival on the weekends which meant making the most of my days. Typically I was in the car heading to Park City at 6:45 a.m. and back in my car heading home to Huntsville at about 1 in the morning. I may have been dog tired, but that didn't change the fact that the sun coming up over the Wasatch Back is absolutely stunning.

Robert Redford at the opening day press conference in the Egyptian Theater. While I was in line I chatted with two nice reporters from Australia and a man from BBC.

Director Drake Dremus speaking about his film "Like Crazy," the first movie I saw and also this year's winner of the Grand Jury prize. Just over his shoulder are stars Anton Yelchin (Star Trek, Terminator Salvation) and Felicity Jones (British and crazy hot).

The cast of "My Idiot Brother" (including Paul Rudd, Elizabeth Banks, Emily Mortimer and Zooey Deschanel) at a Q&A following a screening of their film. This was also the last movie I saw and one of my favorites.

Director Gavin Wiesen discusses his film "Homework" starring Freddie Highmore (Finding Neverland, August Rush) and Emma Roberts (It's Kind of a Funny Story). This was a hard one for me to get into, but after loving It's Kind of a Funny Story I was interested in seeing what else Roberts had to offer. IKOAFS excelled, but Homework wasn't bad although it was strange to buy 'lil Freddie as her love interest.

Festival Director John Cooper at the closing day event "Film Church." Immediately after this panel I got in my car and headed away from Sundance for the last time. In all it was a surreal, amazing, and eye-opening experience. For two weeks I had my run off the town and even though I was just a punk student reporter, I was treated equally alongside seasoned veterans from USA Today, The New York Times, The Salt Lake Tribune and everything in between.

I have loved movies for so long and Sundance is the closest I have ever come to Hollywood. I've been to Grauman's Chinese Theater and the Walk of Fame but I mean REAL Hollywood. Here were people talking about Harvey Weinstein being a cup of crazy with the kind of jovial nonchalance that you would use to refer to an old roommate. Here were people who barely noticed when James Franco was out in the theater lobby. I remember walking down Main Street and seeing a group of 4 high school age girls squealing and pointing saying "Is that Colin Farrell?"

It wasn't, I had just seen him an hour before. I had just turned down the opportunity to sit in on a round table with Morgan Spurlock. Seeing those girls go ga-ga over someone who "might have been" a celebrity reminded me that I had been waist deep in celebrity for 2 weeks and already it had stopped fazing me.

I also realized that I don't need that life. I would be so content to get a solid job at a city paper and just live out my days in relative anonymity. Of course I wouldn't turn down the opportunity to work for EW, interview starlets and industry movers and shakers, but in the end I'd probably be better off just starting a family and getting a job that pays the bills and allows me to be with the people I love.

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