I Was So There: My Sundance Experience
I love the fact that I can say I’ve been to the Sundance Film Festival! I can honestly say that I had a great time. The people, the places, the films were all amazing.
I think I’ve picked up a new appreciation for what it means to be a filmmaker. I never really thought about what it takes to get an independent film made, but I just spent the last three weeks pondering this and it’s a little overwhelming. If I were a filmmaker, I’d say thank God for Sundance and other such festivals. That includes Slamdance, where I happily volunteered for the alternative festival housed in one hotel near the top of Main Street.
Park City in and of itself is very charming. I wouldn’t mind coming back when there isn’t a world famous film festival taking over. I also want to say that the weather was so nice. The first week was all sunshine and warm during the day. As the second weekend came, the clouds got in the way, but they also brought new snow!
So here’s a rundown of the films I saw:
Chameleon Street- An oldie from the archives. Based on the true story of Doug Street, who impersonated professionals to support a finer lifestyle than installing burglar alarms.
Shorts Block IV- All were entertaining, and Short Term 12 won an award too.
Shorts Block V- Some were shocking, others were funny, and Netherland Dwarf was just endearing.
500 Days of Summer- A five hundred day long story about love with the great actors Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt. Watch for it in theaters.
Burma VJ- A documentary of the reporters who risk their lives to smuggle footage out of Burma’s closed borders.
Adventureland- Greg Motolla, director of Superbad, made this nostalgic film of the best kind of summer job experience. Again, watch for it in theaters. I know I’ll see it again.
Why We Laugh- Documentary on black comedy. Disappointingly put me to sleep.
Against The Current- Paul wants to swim down the Hudson River as his last accomplishment before he kills himself. His friends have no choice but to deal with it. One of my favorites.
Paper Heart- A fake documentary on Charlene Yi’s quest to find out what love is. Michael Cera offers her the chance but things crumble under the camera’s scrutiny.
The Yes Men Fix the World- The Yes Men’s second documentary on their eye opening exposure of corporate criminals and demonstrating just how easy it is to fix the world.
Adam- A guy with Aspergers Syndrome finds love with the most patient woman he is lucky enough to meet. If all guys with Aspergers were as attractive as Hugh Dancy, I’d date them too.
Unmade Beds- Axl and Vera only meet once in the whole movie, but it was just the connection they needed to move on in their lives. Really well directed film with a cool soundtrack.
World’s Greatest Dad- Stars Robin Williams but that didn’t get me to like it. His douche bag of a son dies accidentally and he covers it up as a suicide and everyone takes pity on him as he makes his son out to be some misunderstood silent sufferer.
Toe to Toe- Race and privilege collide when two girls meet on their high school lacrosse team.
The Works of Maria Marshall- New Frontier entry that seemed out of place in the theater. Marshall experiments with short films for museum installations.
Zombie Girl (Slamdance)- A documentary on a fourteen year old girl who set out to make a full length zombie movie. Talk about independent!
Shorts Block 3 (Slamdance)- A wide range of innovation and honesty. Right on the same level as Sundance
Animation Shorts (Slamdance)- Way more than cartoons. Claymation, computer animation, and anything else imaginable. A free ticket for volunteering well spent.
I just can’t imagine not ever going back to Sundance someday. Hopefully sooner than later. It really is an experience I won’t be soon forgetting.