Sundance Finale

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Saturday morning began with a sad realization: we were both getting sick.  We were joining the ranks of all of the other outbreak monkeys who coughed and sniffled through screenings and on the shuttles.  Nevertheless, we persisted in seeing "Reversion," quite possibly the most uninspiring film we caught at the festival.  The premise was promising, a mutation causes a break down of the temporal paradigm for certain people in the population, but the execution was riddled with inconsistency.

Afterward, we crammed ourselves onto an overflowing ski bus and headed down to Eccles to catch "In Bruges," which had premiered the previous week.  As a general rule, we were noticing that the Q & A's were getting worse as the week progress.  Many films, such as this later screening of “In Bruges,” were lacking them completely.  Set in Bruges, Belgium, this Colin Farrell flick tells the story of 2 hit men hiding out after a killing that went awry.  It will be in theatres shortly.  We really liked this film and both ranked it among our festival favorites.

Dinner with friends and some work on our short film prevented us from using our ticket to the Awards Night party.  We were pleased to learn that 3 of the films we saw this year won awards:

The Wackness: Audience Award: Dramatic

Fields of Fuel: Audience Award: Documentary

I Always Wanted to Be a Gangster:  World Cinema Screenwriting Award 

Our final film at Sundance was "George A. Romero's Diary of the Dead."  Again, there was no Q & A, but it was a fun zombie movie and a good selection for the midnight time slot.  It is an updated take on the zombie genre, focusing on a group of aspiring film students who document the emerging zombie uprising.  The use of amateur film making and the internet to share the story was a contemporary twist by the classic zombie film maker.

We had a fun time at Sundance and can’t wait to do it again next year!

We wound up closing out Sundance by seeing 6 films in 2 days.  Friday morning, we wait-listed for "Bottle Shock," a film that is based on a true story about California wines winning a French wine tasting contest in 1976.  It was a very enjoyable film to watch.  Although it had some Hollywood elements, which would have been better received had I been drinking some wine, the subject matter was dear enough to my heart that I enjoyed it thoroughly.

After leaving the Egyptian Theatre on Main Street, we headed down to the Sundance House for the Delta Sponsor giveaway.  Every day, sponsors give away swag items at this venue, so we wanted to check it out.  Getting plastic luggage tags was slightly disappointing and we wound up giving them to some people on the street who were on their way there.  At the bottom of Main Street, we found ourselves at the Alpine Internet Café, where we spent an hour drinking coffee and numbing our brains on the Internet.  When we left, we headed up Main Street to go to the 4:00pm Wine Escape at the Filmmaker Lodge for more free Turning Leaf wine.  While it can easily be used as just an excuse to drink and get out of the cold, we did have the pleasure of rubbing elbows with several filmmakers, including the ones responsible for one of the movies we wanted to see but just didn’t have time for - "The Linguist."  We followed this with dinner at the Wasatch Brewery and were sufficiently intoxicated for our night time films.

"Fear(s) of the Dark" is a black and white animated piece, featuring all kinds of violent acts and phobias.  It was told as 4 different vignettes with little coherency between the story lines other than the trippy designs with voice overs which preceded each new theme.  We counted 14 people who walked out during it, but it kept us entertained.

"Hell Ride," a 70s-style biker gang film, was our midnight screening. Produced by Quentin Tarantino, it features Larry Bishop and Michael Madsen (who were there for the Q & A) as well as a couple other classic Tarantino tapped cast members like Dennis Hopper and David Carradine.  While it was fun in the B movie sense, it was far from cinematic brilliance.  This was clearly apparent after the film with the melt down Q & A.  Loaded with fan boy inane questions such as, "You're hot!" and "Can I take my picture with you?" and "I think you worked with my friend. What was it like working with him?" it was quite possibly, the worst Q & A we have experienced.  Michael Madsen looked like he was high as a kite, which helped the insanity.  He was singing, jittery, and began taking apart the microphone, much to the dismay of the sound techs.

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