Sundance Journal: The Last Day

Thursday was my last day at the Sundance Film Festival. I hit a wall and just couldn’t go to any more movies. This has never happened to me in my last couple of trips to Sundance. I’ve been able to go non-stop throughout the entire ten days seeing three to five movies a day. This year, for some reason, I just couldn’t handle it.

My last day still had me seeing four movies. By the last one, I was just completely exhausted. I can only take so many conversations with crazy old ladies before my brain threatens to explode. Some of them are nice, but I always seem to sit next to the ones who want to talk non-stop about how rich they are and how they travel up to Park City – to their second home – every year to come to Sundance. It’s like they know I’m a poor working writer and they’re just trying to rub it in.

I got up early today so I could get to my first screening (‘The Details’) that started at 9:15 AM. After that, I headed back to the press screening theater to see ‘Another Earth’ and ‘Life in a Day’. My last film was ‘The Oregonian’, but that was at a theater on the outskirts of town.

Celeb Sightings

America Ferrera sat directly behind me in the screening of ‘Another Earth’. She was one of the jurors judging the U.S. Dramatic Competition. After the screening of ‘Another Earth’ was over. I spotted William Mapother walking out of the bathroom and into the theater for the Q&A. Most people will know Mapother as Ethan from ‘Lost’, the man who kidnapped Claire and gave her mysterious shots. He’s also Tom Cruise’s cousin.

Capsule Movie Reviews

The Details‘ – Tobey Maguire and Elizabeth Banks star in this extremely dark comedy about suburban life gone terribly wrong. For the most part, ‘The Details’ is really funny. I think it’s the perfect role for Tobey Maguire. The movie runs off the rails in its third act and becomes a tad too mean-spirited, but it’s not afraid to go really, really dark.

Another Earth‘ – A new planet has been discovered that’s been hiding behind the sun. It’s soon learned that this new planet is an exact replica of Earth, even with exact duplicates of people on Earth. That’s the backdrop to a movie with a very similar premise to the story one of the characters in ‘Rabbit Hole‘ writes. It’s a great little grief drama. I really enjoyed this one.

Life in a Day‘ – On July 24, 2010, people around the world filmed their own lives and uploaded the videos to YouTube. Producers Tony and Ridley Scott, along with director Kevin MacDonald, took that footage and created a splendid movie out of it. It’s a living time capsule about our time here on earth. It’s moving, emotional, and amazing. This is one of my favorite films I’ve ever had the pleasure of seeing. It’s simply stunning.

The Oregonian‘ – I wish I didn’t have to end my festival on such a crappy movie. At first I thought ‘The Oregonian’ was going to be a fun, mysterious horror flick about a girl who wanders off into the unknown after a car crash. Boy, was I wrong. This movie wants so badly to be a David Lynch rip-off. If you’re not going to have a coherent story, then your visuals must be astonishing. This film has neither. It’s like watching a student film where a camera is rolled around a really bad Halloween haunted house. Ugh! I hope this movie never sees the light of day.

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