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Speaking of Wackness, when we parked for this screening, we were told to park in the front yard of a house that took $20 "donations" for parking. Because we were running late, we agreed, and thus stumbled upon a private screening of "Bottle Shock," where a possible deal was going down. We had places to be, so we will catch this film on Friday. 

The rest of Wednesday was fairly laid-back and we were able to relax a bit before our next screening at the Egyptian. "Funny Games" was a real treat. A remake of a 1997 Austrian film by the same director, it tells the twisted story of two young men who torment a wealthy family. The film was fast-paced, edgy and creative. A good combination when you are running low on energy. We got a quick shot of the cast, featuring Michael Pitt: 

We were unable to stay for the Q & A, though. The film let out just after 2, and with the shuttle service stopping at 2:30am, we had to hurry to the transit station to make it home for... 4 hours of sleep! 

That's right, we were back in line to see "The Last Word" on Thursday morning at 8am. This festival schedule can be punishing when you combine too many early morning and late night screenings. So it's rewarding when they are good ones. We enjoyed this quirky story about a man who makes a living writing people's suicide notes.  Afterward, we had time for a late breakfast at the super-yummy Good Karma Cafe.

Then it was time to catch a screening of "Fields of Fuel," a documentary on alternative fuel sources and America's dangerous dependence on foreign oil.  This was a must see film that explored all aspects of bio diesel and had cameos from Willy Nelson (who not only runs his tour bus on bio diesel, but has also invested in a chain of bio diesel fueling depots in Texas), Woody Harelson, and Neil Young. The filmmakers were very passionate and gave a great argument for going green. Here is a shot of the Q & A with what seemed like anyone who had anything to do with the movie on the stage: 

 When we left the screening, it was snowing like mad. Because of a medical emergency, it took our shuttle at least 30 minutes to arrive, instead of the usual 10. By the time we crammed inside for the packed bus ride, we were coated in snow. It didn't help that our fellow passengers were cranky, having been on the bus for long enough to worry about missing their next screening. One woman turned to Hazy and said, "Let me out or I'm going to knock you out!"  Good times. 

Our final film on Thursday was another midnight screening, this time a french film called "I Always Wanted to Be a Gangster."  This was a nicely told story about place, instead of characters; but was in the end, a love story of sorts.  The cinematography was exsquite and shot completely in black in white.  The film was laugh out loud funny at times and typical brooding french at others.  The director merged styles ranging from noir to old silent westerns.  Unfortunately, the midnight screening precluded the director from joining us for a Q & A for a chance to get inside of his head.

Wednesday finally saw the beginning of our ticket package, which will provide us tickets to 10 films and access to other festival venues. We may not be industry, but we can look the part.

Our first film of the day, "The Wackness,"  was a flashback to 1994 New York. Luke (played by Josh Peck) is a teenage drug dealer trying to work out various issues in his life before going off to college. Ben Kingsley plays his hilarious psychologist, who dishes out therapy in exchange for bags of weed. Earlier this week, we had been blissfully unaware of who Josh Peck is. At least, until we overheard some guys in line who were so star struck by him that they had to literally call everyone in their cell phone address books to tell the story of meeting him. Over the course of an hour, we had to endure long explanations of "Peck!  No, P-E-C-K. From Nickelodeon!  He's famous!" 

Unfortunately, headache-inducing exchanges like this are all too common during Sundance. It makes it easy to separate the festival novices from the rest of the jaded masses. Here is a picture of the director during the Q & A:

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