Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Sundance - Part 1

OK, OK. I know some of you want to know what Sundance was like. I wrote about one film, but then I lost steam. So now, the official NaiveHelga Sundance recap!

Day 1 - got into Park City about 5 PM, after three 1/2 days at a conference about 45 minutes away. (note: I never saw the Salt Lake Temple, which was kind of a bummer) If you haven't been to Utah, I highly recommend it. It is really beautiful. Lots of mountains, lots of snow, horses grazing in pastures, that sort of thing. As soon as we dropped our bags off at the condo (thank you, Nice Board Member Lady, for letting us stay for free - more about NBML in a little bit), we headed for the main box office so I could buy some tickets.

OK, I can see that I need to back up. Here's the scoop: I went to Sundance for work, and three of my colleagues plus NBML had industry passes, which has its own merits and drawbacks. The way I see it, the merit is you're basically guaranteed a seat at any industry screening you choose to attend. They're held in smallish (250 seats) theaters, all in the same building, so even if you do get shut out of one, there's another screening starting in no more than a half-hour. The drawback is no celebrities, and no Q&As. But if you're there to see movies, then no Q&A isn't so bad - you can certainly see more movies in a day if you don't have to listen to the director or produce talk about his vision. I digress. When I arrived, I didn't have an industry pass, so I embraced that and just decided to take whatever was offered to me: if I could get in, I was going.

And that's how I wound up at Bran Nue Dae, the best Australian indigenous musical I've ever seen! When I arrived at the box office, they only had tickets for this, so I bought two, gave one to one of my art house buddies, and said I'd see her at 8:30 AM the next day. And am I ever lucky I got tickets to Bran Nue Dae. I LOVED it! It was campy, it was predictable, it was sunny and colorful and happy and I loved every single second of it. How can you go wrong with a song including the lyrics "There's nothing I would rather be, than an Aborigine, and to watch you take my sacred land away!?" For realz, if you get a chance to see this, whether at your local fancy movie theater or via Netflix (fingers crossed), take it. You probably won't love it as much as I did, but you'll love it.

When Bran Nue Dae was over, I hopped on the bus (free ALL YEAR ROUND!) and headed back to the box office, where I picked up tickets for Life 2.0, probably one of the weirdest movies I've ever seen. Life 2.0 is a documentary about Second Life, an online virtual world that allows users to interact with each other through avatars, which are sort of like... replicas of the real people? Only, some people have avatars that look like them and some people have avatars that look like they want to look? And you can buy stuff and sell stuff for real money, and build things, and on one level it's all about computer programming but on another level it's about building relationships with people you'll maybe never meet who become your best friends... and that's enough. It was weird, y'all. The movie itself was fine, but the subject matter was really disconcerting. In fact, I don't even really want to talk about it. Just take my word for it, it's bizarre and made me feel really uncomfortable.

So then, I met up with my boss and my art house cronies and... got an industry pass! Probably not totally ethical, but hey, NBML was only there for a half-day, so I took her pass for the rest of the evening. I saw His & Hers, an Irish documentary "which chronicles a ninety-year-old love story, through the collective voice of seventy ladies" thank you, IMDb). H&H stars with this Irish proverb: "A man loves his wife the most, his girlfriend the best, but his mother the longest," and features about 88 minutes of 90-second clips of girls and women talking about their fathers, boyfriends, husbands and sons. It was nice, and I'm sure it will do well at my theater, but I had enough after about twenty minutes. Snooze.

And then I saw Hesher. You all know what I thought of that.

And that was just the first day! I saw four more screenings after that! I'll tell you about those tomorrow.

Sundance, part 1 - A-

2 comments:

Viejo Fuerte said...

Thank you for the report. We will look forward to seeing those movies when they come out. Did you see any famous people?

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