The excitement can be caught like a cold, even if all you do is brush shoulders with a few people standing in line for yet another “film.” (The word, and I whisper here, “movie” is never spoken here.) Up to two hours ahead of a starting time lines begin to form to buy whatever tickets may become available fifteen minutes before start time. And, yes, it’s worth it! When you might see Chris Rock, Rashida Jones and her dad, Quincey, Kirsten Dunst, Bruce Willis, Ic-T, and yes, they’ve all been here. Thousands of people flock to Park City, Utah, the heart of it all, and hundreds see up to six films a day. It’s possible. And necessary if you’re serious about this festival.
Though not in my experience of Sundance. Not willing to plunk down serious money to be the first in the internet line to buy “packages” for events including parties, I waited until whatever was left over for Utah residents. For that I had to register in December to buy during a specific half hour only, in person, on a day to be specified in January. Away I came with tickets to movies I knew next to nothing about, but I had one ace up my sleeve.
My husband, Sam, is on the board of the local Salt Lake City Film Society
and they are hosting a couple of events for members. The first movie (er, film) we attended was Filly Brown, a heartfelt story of a girl rapper in Los Angeles with her share of family problems. The story moved, had heart and really good acting. The real treat is having members of the production be on hand at the end to be quizzed by audience members. It’s like having a personal showing and explanation by the people who know the film best. We had Youssef DeLara, Michael Olmos, and we heard Gina Rodriguez say hi over a cell phone.
Last night after seeing For Ellen we had So Yong Kim and her location man (wish I heard the name). I have my thumbs up and down for that one, but definitely an up for actor Paul Dano. Then it was off to dinner where Sam had this meatball with spaghetti. I got to sit across from Utah filmmakers Tyler Measom and Jennilyn Merten. Tomorrow its The Surrogate! Then a Chinese New Year party! Whatever is happening to my life? It’s hijacked by films and parties! I can stand it.