Archive for the 'sundance' Category

Wednesday in May

Not exactly a shocking expose, but an interesting article nevertheless.  And one written by Gretchen’s old classmate, Dahlia Lithwick, along with Hanna Rosin, whose book, ‘God’s Harvard,’ I just finished this week. [Note: ‘God’s Harvard’ is a truly interesting piece of journalism about Patrick Henry College in Purceville, VA.  I thought the book could have used an editor with a closer eye, but if you want to read about the young, smart, dedicated religious right and their struggles and devotion (and sometimes their struggles with devotion), this is the book for you.]  Back to the Court.  It seems a foregone conclusion that Obama’s going to appoint a woman, eh?

Alright, Real Housewives NYC. I gotta say, last night was a bit of a disappointment. As much as I was dreading seeing Jill & Bethenny fight, and as sweet as I thought it was that Bethenny instantly rose to the occasion to be the better person, it was short-lived drama and unsatisfying. I hope Jill sincerely apologizes in the next episode, because she was so far out of line.

Also, I keep forgetting to mention this: my aunt, Terry, was recently given one of the best gifts a person could ask for. She was seated next to Robert Redford on a plane from Madison to Chicago (Redford had been in town to speak at an event celebrating the esteemed Progressive’s 100th birthday). Um, awesome? He even gave her his Madison Magazine (for whatever that’s worth), but apparently he hogged the armrest. And a cart came to pick him up at O’Hare, which I think is odd.

The power of the invite

Yesterday I received my invite to volunteer again at the Sundance Film Festival. As most of you know, it was the SFF and the pumpkin that kicked off this whole blog. As you also may remember, the SFF was a bit of a mixed bag. On the plus side: Robert Redford, movies, neat new city, some distraction from the pumpkin, Sarayu. On the flip side: the sofabed, the living room, freezing temps that did not distract from the pumpkin, too many instances of seeing Adrian Grenier, and being too tired to fully appreciate Sarayu. I knew this day would come, though, when I couldn’t really remember the downsides to it. Or, rather, I can remember them, but they don’t seem so bad compared to having another adventure that wouldn’t be as adventurous since I’d already done it. But I shouldn’t even say I “knew” the day would come because I more hoped that it would. See, upon arrival at my Park City residence, I was met with four very kind, veteran ‘dancers who were to be my roommates for the two-week period. In the course of their chatting, it became clear that not everyone who volunteers gets to do it again. They knew several people who were not asked back, some folks who’d even been at the festival for years. I soon learned, too, that our supervisors evaluate us at the end of the festival and having once told one of the Canadians not to yell at me (particularly about something I had nothing to do with), I wasn’t sure how I’d fare. Though throwing me that surprise mini-birthday bash made me think maybe we were all on good terms.  Anyway…

When I got the email that says,

“Based on your service in the past, we would like to invite you back as a volunteer for the 2009 Sundance Film Festival. The Festival will be held January 15-25, with additional days or evenings for training as required by position,”

my heart beat a little faster. Especially when I clicked on the application link and it requires I type in the secret log-in name and password. And the site it takes me to is captioned, “Alumni Volunteers.” Is it so wrong to feel excited about that? Who doesn’t want to be asked back? Maybe it’s not so much wrong as just super lame. Nonetheless, while it may be pathetic, it’s pathetic validation. It’s like when someone asks you to be their friend on facebook — whether it’s your best friend or someone you barely remember, it makes you light up a little: someone remembers me! Someone knows me! Me!! There are a TON of people in this world and someone knows me!!! Sad? Maybe. But that’s how it is. For me anyway.

So I know I said I’d talk Edwards — and I will, but I need to do more research and compose myself since when I first heard the news, I was quite hurt — but first I need to air this: Sundance ’09. Is it for me?

Back home

So, as most of you know, I’m back home in Wisco.  Although the weather is ridiculous, I’m so happy to be home, sleeping in a bed, next to my puppy and able to eat more than once a day if I want.  If I ever had need of a vacation from my vacation, though, this would be it.

So, in sum, this was my Sundance experience:

1.  Celebrities: Robert Redford, Ben Kingsley, almost-Steven Spielberg, Colin Firth, Adrian Grenier (twice), Sarah Jessica Parker, Dennis Quaid, Paul Giamatti, Thomas Haden Church, Josh Hartnett, Mischa Barton, Martin McDonagh, and Tom Arnold (I’m not sure he counts).

2.  Movies: I saw Be Kind, Rewind (A-); Absurdistan (A); Donkey Punch (C+); Choke (D); Assassination of a High School President (A-); August (D); and Chronic Town (B).  Movies I wanted to see but didn’t get to: Bottle Shock; The Broken; American Teen; Alone in Four Walls; Be Like Others; The Deal; Frozen River; In Bruges; Funny Games; The Great Buck Howard; Hamlet 2; I Always Wanted to Be a Gangster; King of Ping Pong; The Linguists; Love Comes Lately; Man on Wire; Mancora; Red; Riprendimi; Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired; Secrecy; and Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden?

3.  Weather: it was cold.  Not as cold as home, but I don’t usually stand outside in January in Wisconsin for seven hours a day for ten days in a row.  So, it was cold and I was very tired of carting around an extra forty pounds in layered clothing at 8000 feet.  Rough going.

4.  Hungry: I ate a lot of Zone bars (free) and bagels (free).  I did not eat anything actually hot or resembling a meal, really, until Sarayu got there and she and I only tried that a handful of times.

5.  Lonely: the first days were rough.  It felt like a summer camp where everyone knows each other, but you know no one.  And it’s not at all like summer camp because it’s freezing and there’s snow everywhere.  But my roommates were really nice and I grew to like several people that I worked with very much.  On our last day, also my birthday, they surprised me with a nice serenade, a cute card, and some delicious chocolates brought from California just for the occasion.  Very, very sweet.

6.  Too much travel:  Although Sarayu and I left Park City at 10:45 am on Monday, I did not get into Madison until 10 am on Tuesday.  Spent the night in Cincinnati after my flight was repeatedly delayed in Salt Lake.  Oh well.  I’m home now and couldn’t be happier about that.

7.  Will I do it again? Sarayu has pretty much forbidden me from repeating this adventure, but I’m not sure.  The thing is, I feel like I really didn’t get the system down until the end of the festival.  It seems to take at least a week or so to learn how to navigate it all.  So, as for next year, well, we’ll see.

The real question, though, is should I continue this blog now that Sundance 08 is over?  I’d really like you peeps to weigh in and let me know what you think. 

Day six in the tunnel

I saw two movies today!  So proud of myself.  I finished my shift around 2:30 and went right on in to the film we were showing at the Egyptian, which was Absurdistan, a Russian narrative.  It was super fun and cute and bright and great.  I lost my ballot, though, so I wasn’t able to convey that to the Sundance folks.  Such a shame, esp since I love voting so much. 

After Absurdistan, I took the bus (!!!another new adventure!!!) over to the Eccles mega-theater for the premiere of Assasination of a High School President with Bruce Willis and Mischa Barton (in the movie, definitely not on the bus).  Mischa was part of the post-screening Q&A.  She is very tall.  Anyway, I really liked this movie, though I must tell you that some of my fellow bus-goers did not.  The language was over-the-top sexual at times, but it also has the Wes Craven/John Hughes/Kevin Williamson teenagers-don’t-talk-like-this dialogue that I love.  In addition, it’s a noir film and, again, in my opinion, a rather good one.  Quite enjoyable — I left with a big smile on my face.  Love high school movies!  Incidentally, Geoffery Gilmore, who is the director of Sundance, introduced the film by saying that he, too, loves the high school movie genre.  Who doesn’t?  What’s not to love?

So, Michael Rapapport is also in the movie and he was apparently outside our theater today, but I missed him.  And today is day two of Kate just missed William H. Macy on Main Street.  Aside from nearly running smack into Adrian Grenier yesterday (second sighting of the lad), all has been rather quiet on the celebrity front.  Oh!  Except Josh Hartnett at the Q&A yesterday for his movie, which was b-a-d.  Wait, I may have already mentioned that in my comments from yesterday.

Celebrity count: priceless

Robert Redford.  Robert Redford.  Robert Redford.