Aaron's Sundance 2012 Journal: Day 4

Posted Wed Jan 25, 2012 at 12:45 PM PST by

The buses were unkind to me today.

This morning I caught my normal bus into town and for some reason it took a wrong turn into a neighborhood and came out facing the wrong direction. The driver assured us we were still headed into town, but then he grabbed his jacket and stepped off the bus without explaining anything. People were freaking out. A lady next to me was channeling 'Jurassic Park' as she repeated, "He left us," a few times.

I know I should've known better. I should've stayed on the bus, because I knew that they weren't just going to leave us there, but I was in a hurry. Every time I'm at the grocery store I always pick the wrong line and get behind the person taking the longest. When it comes to situations like this bus my mind starts racing, wondering if I'll make my movie on time, so I jumped off the bus and started walking. I only needed to go about three blocks to get to where I was going, but three blocks on icy sidewalks seems more like 10 blocks. It was a stupid move on my part because right after I started walking down the street a new driver appeared, hopped in the bus, turned it around, and they were off. I, on the other hand, was beginning to sweat because of all the layers I had on. It was cold outside, but I was walking at a pretty steady clip.

I finally did make my first destination, which was the movie 'Liberal Arts' directed by Josh Radnor. I took up my favorite seat in the whole place, front row, off to the side. The front row in the Eccles theater, which is a huge high school auditorium, is a great place to sit. The screen is pushed all the way to the back of the stage so there's no neck breaking going on. Then, when the Q&A starts after the show, you're right there in front to take it all in.

I liked 'Liberal Arts,' but do admit that you probably have to be a fan of Radnor's in the first place. If you're into How I Met Your Mother then you'll probably like 'Liberal Arts.' It's not as zany as that show, actually it's quite dramatic, but there's a lot of similarities. Mainly, Radnor, who is just playing a slightly calmer version of Ted Mosby.

Elizabeth Olsen is fantastic in it, but she's great in everything she's in. A friend of mine wondered, while we were in line for another movie, if Elizabeth Olsen ever brags to her two multi-millionaire sisters that she's a better actor than the both of them put together and then in turn they whip out a million bucks and burn it in front of her just because they can.

During the Q&A it was freaky how much Radnor acts and talks like Ted Mosby. So much so that I wonder if he is actually doing any sort of acting in How I Met Your Mother. All his mannerisms, inflections, and slightly pretentious anecdotes were totally Ted Mosby. It was eerie.

After that was over I hopped on another bus and encountered my second bus mishap of the day. Around noon the buses start to become really crowded. Standing room only. This is difficult because sometimes the bus driver can't see that you're trying to get off the bus because the crowds are so thick. We pulled up to the stop where I wanted to get out, but the driver couldn't pull all the way up so he opened the doors to let some people out. I thought he was going to wait for the bus in front of us to leave, then pull up further into the bus stop, but he didn't. He simply took off, headed straight downtown and I was stuck. I had to ride it into town and then back out in order to get to the stop that I wanted.

When I finally got to the press tent I went in and got into line with Luke for 'Save the Date,' which ended up being a very charming, very funny rom-com. Only it's one of those movies where really grungy guys continuously score really good-looking women. None of the people that get together in this movie would ever be put together if we were matching them up in the real world. It doesn't matter though, because the movie really is quite fun.

After that it was off to write a bit. I was going to hit up 'Nobody Walks,' but decided not to just because it's already hard enough to take out enough time to write everything I need to write. Luke and I hung out in the Yarrow Hotel for a little while, and then it started snowing again. Not as bad as Snowpocalypse, but it was still pretty ugly out there. What's funny is that out-of-towners really romanticize the snow. All these people from Los Angeles think snow is simply the greatest thing they've ever seen. That is until they have to start trudging through the wet, muddy slush created by buses and cars. Then suddenly snow falling isn't so awesome anymore.

At 6:00pm I got in line for 'Black Rock.' A survivalist horror film written by Mark Duplass. It was directed by his wife Katie Aselton, who also stars alongside Lake Bell and Kate Bosworth. As much as I love everyone involved, 'Black Rock' is simply awful. The men hunting the girls down in the woods are completely moronic idiots. When it comes to a hunter-and-hunted movie the film is only as good as its villains and these guys aren't scary in the least. What a letdown that movie was.

After fuming about 'Black Rock' I headed back to the bus stop to catch a bus out to the Redstone Cinemas to take in one last movie. It was a Chilean movie called 'Young and Wild,' about a 17 year-old girl who goes through sort of a sexual awakening. Only, it's not as fun as it sounds. This is more like watching 'Shame' the teenage girl edition. As the sex acts get weirder and more explicit, I honestly felt extremely uncomfortable watching it with a theater full of movie-goers.

Then it was back home. I got back around midnight and crashed. My first movie tomorrow isn't until noon so I can take some time to relax and sleep in a little. I'm planning on seeing a would-be comedy about a startup phone sex business called 'For a Good Time, Call…' After that I'm going to the third Mark Duplass movie that's at the festival this year, which also stars 'Parks and Rec.'s Aubrey Plaza. The movie is called 'Safety Not Guaranteed.' It has something to do with time travel but I really have no idea what to expect. Then I might hit up 'The Surrogate' after that. Only three movies today. I planned on five, but decided that I didn't want to wake up and try to make it to an 8:30 screening of 'Bachelorette.'

This festival is doing anything but flying by. It's only Tuesday, but I feel like it should be Friday. That's not necessarily a bad thing though...

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Tags: Fun Stuff, Aaron Peck, Sundance 2012, Sundance Film Festival (all tags)