Posted Mon Jan 30, 2012 at 12:00 PM PST by Aaron Peck
Today's journal is the last one of the festival. Day 8 turned out to be my last full day of movie watching. It's been a fun and exhausting ride. I plan on spending Saturday with my wife. We're going to take in a screening of 'Celeste and Jesse Forever.'
The morning didn't start off great. Turns out I busted my camera at the hitRECord.org presentation. I don't have good luck with cameras at Sundance. The first year I went to Sundance we left our camera on the bus. At least that's what we think happened, because we never saw it again. This year I had my camera too close to my leg when I tried to turn it on and the extending lens hit my leg for a split second and now it won't open properly. Another camera taken by Sundance. Hence the reason why this post is without accompanying pictures.
When I got on the bus this morning it was packed. The bus into town usually isn't as packed as it was, but I thought I was lucky enough to find a seat. Turns out it wasn't lucky finding a seat because the seat was wet. It wasn't like sitting in a puddle, no this is the worse kind of wet. The kind that slowly seeps through so you kind of feel like you're getting soaked, but you're not sure until it's too late. When I stood up I was sure the back of my pants looked like I just wasn't able to hold it in. I don't know what they looked like, I never checked it out. I simply waited for them to dry, which isn't easy when you're walking around in freezing temperatures.
I only had two movies planned today. First was the expose documentary about the Dole corporation and the great lengths they went to in order to try and get a documentary about them and their nefarious employee practices hushed up. The doc tells a story of filmmaker Fredrik Gertten and the bitter legal battle he found himself in when he tried to screen his movie 'Bananas!' at the Los Angeles Film Festival a few years ago. We all know the kinds of lengths big corporations will go to in order to keep their brand unsullied, but this is truly a David versus Goliath story. While we've seen the big bad corporation stepping on the little people before, it's refreshing to see how the little people were able to change what the corporation was doing.
From there I went to the Eccles Theater to take in my last new movie of the festival. I ended my festival experience with 'Smashed' starring Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Aaron Paul. Winstead plays Kate, a struggling alcoholic who has finally decided to sober up after far too many instances of waking up in alleys unable to remember what happened the night before. The story of the alcoholic has been done, but this movie focuses less on the actual struggle and detox and more on what getting sober really does. It doesn't automatically make everything better. Most of the time the people getting sober are finally just now facing the long term consequences for their actions. That's the position Kate finds herself in. It's a great acting performance from Winstead in a role we're not used to seeing her in.
And that was it. Short and sweet. Nothing big today other than sitting on a wet seat and seeing two decent movies to finish off my Sundance 2012 experience. At final count I saw 25 films and one performance presentation in eight days. Not the 30-plus I was planning, but things rarely work according to plan anyway.
I had a blast up here at my fourth annual Sundance trip and I really hope you had a fun time following along. There should be Sundance reviews popping up over the next week or so on The Bonus View so bee sure to continuously check that out as the week goes on.
With that I'll say farewell to Park City and the 2012 Sundance Film Festival. Hopefully, many great movies will soon be coming to theaters near you because of what was shown here.
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