Posted Fri Jan 27, 2012 at 11:30 AM PST by Aaron Peck
Remember in my last journal when I commented about seeing an early movie the morning after staying out for a late movie? Well, that's what happened to me today. I stayed out last night for a screening of 'John Dies at the End.' I didn't get home until well after midnight. I had to wake up only a few hours later to meet Luke at the Park and Ride so we could get back into the city to catch the early morning screening of 'Goats.' Have you ever been able to feel your pulse in your eyeballs? I swear I can right now. I'm that tired.
We got to the 9:00am screening of 'Goats' in plenty of time. We found our favorite seats in the Eccles Theater, which are located in the front row. I love the front row in the Eccles because the screen is pushed far enough back to allow for great viewing and you're right there for the Q&A after the movie.
'Goats' starred David Duchovny, Vera Farmiga, and Ty Burrell. It was about a young boy who has to deal with the moronic adults in his life. I thought it was alright, but nothing special. I liked Duchovny as Goat Man (really, that's his name in the movie), but everything else felt a little phony. It all felt like it simply meandered around for 90 minutes. Or maybe it's just that every year at Sundance the festival is full of coming-of-age tales and it's very easy to become jaded against them. Maybe that's what happened here. With that said, 'Goats' is a very generic coming-of-age tale so it didn't even have much originality going for it either.
We stayed for the Q&A where Vera Farmiga talked quite a lot about inspiration for her hippie, new age mother she plays in the movie. Duchovny only gave simple one word answers to the questions he was acted. Most of the time he made wise-ass remarks and then smirked that Hank Moody smirk. There was nothing special about the Q&A, but it was fun for me because I got to see Duchovny again. Honestly, he's the only actor that I've seen up here that I've been starstruck around.
Luke and I decided to hit up the Sundance Channel Headquarters on Main Street. The rumor is that the place not only has free coffee and hot chocolate but also free gourmet sandwiches. I didn't really believe Luke, because the last time we tried to go there all the food was gone. This time, however, the legend proved true. There were mountains of free sandwiches available to anyone who liked Chase Bank on Facebook. That's all they had to do, and they got a free lunch. Luke and I simply got the lunch pass because we're with the press. At least that's what I assume.
It was a good time. I never usually make it down to Main Street. I don't really enjoy the atmosphere down there. It's too crowded and there are too many gawkers walking around hoping to catch a glimpse of a celeb. But that didn't matter, getting free food was worth it.
My original plan was to go to the early morning screening then head over to headquarters and write until my 6:30pm screening. Then I found out Luke was going to a 1:00pm showing of 'The Words' starring Bradley Cooper, Dennis Quaid, Olivia Wilde, and Jeremy Irons. I wasn't planning on seeing it until Saturday, but I decided to join him anyway, and boy was I glad I did. 'The Words' is a thoughtful, emotional journey told 'Inception'-style. A story, within a story, within a story. Quaid is an author who's written a story about a man who plagiarizes a novel from a discarded manuscript he finds and then it becomes a best-seller. It was bought within the first day of the festival so it'll for sure be in a theater near you soon.
I've got to say, I'm sick of seeing movies with Industry people. The screenings we go to as press are also reserved for people in the industry. I'm convinced that most of these people – whether they be buyers, distributors, or cinema owners – don't really care all that much about movies. They simply want to know what is going to be marketable and because of this they are, for lack of a better term, asses in the screenings. The industry people constantly have their cell phones out emailing people. They walk out of screenings ten minutes into the movie just because. Most of them behave fine, but some of the worst offenders are ridiculous. I had a lady sitting next to me in 'The Words' who simply fell asleep and started snoring loudly. She was one of these old ladies that piles everything on her lap – huge down coat, purse, and water bottle – and then has some of it spill on over onto my lap. I'm not sure what it is, but most of these older industry people have no concept of personal space. They're oblivious and it drives me bonkers.
We're nearing the end of the festival and people are starting to get a bit snippy with each other. The buses, once places of wide-eyed optimism for future movies, have now turned into dour log jams of body parts as people yell at other people to "scoot in" or "move out of the way!" It's always around this time where people start to lose it. They've been in Park City a week. They haven't slept much. They've probably eaten mostly from fast food joints. Simply put, everyone's patience is wearing thin and you can tell.
As I was writing a few reviews in the Festival Headquarters a pair of industry folks walked into the lobby I was in and started yelling at each other. I think they may have been married, but I'm not sure. She was yelling at him for not "protecting" them, and he was yelling at her for I'm not sure what. All these people walking back and forth and they're yelling at each other. If I had to be stuck solely around industry people for that long, I'd probably be yelling at them too.
Tonight I had a screening of 'Price Check' starring Parker Posey at 6:30pm. I was planning on being home around 9:00pm. A very early day for me.
In the line for 'Price Check' I met some wonderful people from Utah who wanted to know all the movies I'd seen over my time here and what my favorites were. It was fun talking to them, and just reaffirmed how I feel about the spirit of this film festival. Nowhere else are you going to run into complete strangers and simply start talking about all the movies you've seen in the past couple days and what you thought about them.
'Price Check' was marginally funny and never really turned out to be anything more than a phony workplace comedy. I felt cheated when, at the moment of the movie where all the tension and mistrust is coming to a head it decides to fade to black. When we come back everything is perfect. Nothing horribly bad has happened and we get a warm, sappy ending. It was a major letdown.
I didn't stay for much of the Q&A because I found the movie to be generic and uninteresting. I did however stay long enough to snap a couple pictures of Posey.
Tomorrow I'm planning on seeing the movie 'Shadow Dancer' at noon which stars Clive Owen and Gillian Anderson. After that I'm headed to 'Wrong' which I've heard good things about. Finally, for the nightcap I'm going to check out Joseph Gordon-Levitt's HitRECord.org special and see what it's like. Oh, and I may fit in a free lunch in there somewhere. Everyone loves free sandwiches.
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