' Cinema Romantico: Conclusion of a Sundance Waltz

Friday, January 27, 2006

Conclusion of a Sundance Waltz

My last day at the 2006 Sundance Film Festival was my most eventful day by far. I attended a showing of the new Ashley Judd film in which she “breaks convention” by portraying a middle school janitor incapable of scoring a date who forms a bond with a second grader with epilepsy. It’s a heartwarming tale. At least that’s what people said on their way out. I attended the showing, yes, but that simply meant waiting in line for 3 hours and then not getting a seat. But my mood was altered when after the screening I could not get into Ashley Judd appeared herself outside the auditorium. Everyone around me instantly took to gushing but being a serious blogger I maintained my cool and managed to conduct the following hard-hitting interview with Ms. Judd.

Me: “When are you going to make another one of those crafty thrillers with Morgan Freeman?”
Ashley Judd: “Sundance is all about independent film. We’re here to celebrate the glory of independent film.”
Me: “Is that an answer?”
Ashley Judd: “Morgan Freeman is a fine actor and a great human being.”
Me: “Did he make ‘Kiss the Girls’ to pay his rent?”

Unfortunately, the interview was stopped at this point by her publicist who whisked her away and into waiting limousine but I think you all saw my journalistic skills on full display.

I then hurried down the street to catch a bus to the new Paul Thomas Anderson drama set on five of the Hawaiian islands and featuring 211 speaking parts. The press release informs me the film’s running length is 7 hours and 19 minutes (edited down from 9 hours and 27 minutes). But in yet another strange turn of events the bus dropped us at the wrong theater and we were forced to endure the new Matthew Perry drama in which he does some “convention-breaking” of his own by portraying a “play-by-his-own-rules” sheriff of a small Oregon town. However, Perry’s sheriff also turns out to be neurotic, wise-cracking and a fan of sweater vests. I give it a “thumb-down”.

At the end of the day I wound up at the bar of a steakhouse in downtown Park City next to a scotch-drinking Harvey Keitel. I attempted to give him a copy of my new script treatment. He advised me that the “doctors will have to give you some treatment after I break your fingers.” I then decided to leave the bar and drive back home.

All in all, I enjoyed my Sundance experience. Independent film is not dead and I'm glad I'm not dead, either.

1 comment:

Wretched Genius said...

Sounds like you have way more fun at Sundance than I ever had at the Toronto Film Festival. I always ended up stuck in line for the new Hilary Swank movie where she plays a widowed dog with a drinking problem who has to fight prejudice in a Southern town full of cat-lovers. The only "celebrity" I had the "honor" of meeting was Jon Cryer, and he was just asking me for a dollar to go buy a hot dog from Quick Trip because he hadn't eaten in days.