One of the many benefits to staying in a condo filled with fellow critics is getting up each morning (and making sure one another get up) and fighting over who gets to be “friends” with who as people match up their screening schedules for the day. Our motley crew headed out early yesterday morning armed with mini pumpkin muffins (thanks, Kate!) and hopes that we got enough sleep the night before to make it through the day.
Thanks to the snow Park City was hit with Saturday, the shuttle system has been less than speedy, making jumping from venue to venue a bit of a headache. There are a few venues that are walking distance from one another, but as I learned today (with fellow colleague Rudie Obias) walking may have been the faster option, but it certainly wasn’t the drier one. (Snow is wet! I’m from California!) Either way, I made it to all my screenings and yes, my socks were soaked for most of the day, but luckily our condo has a washer and dryer in house (like I said – it’s the bloggerati condo of dreams) so it was worth it. Well…kind of.
The movies! Yesterday morning I started out with That’s What She Said and eek, only two days in and this may have taken the cake for worst movie I’ll see during the festival. As my review said, the three characters were simply unlikable by the end of the film and while they all forgave each other, it was hard for me to since the majority of the film had been about pointing out (or highlighting) their flaws (which really did not need to be pointed out or highlighted.) Luckily I followed that up with Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap, a documentary from Ice-T about how the intricate flows that drive hip-hop are conceived and written (and one that was worth walking through the snow for.) I really enjoyed the film and even though it ran a bit too long for my taste, it was definitely an interesting look into the creation of this genre of music.
My last screening was Lay The Favorite and, although the early reviews that came in after Saturday’s screening (and the in-person ones that came into my condo from fellow condo-mates The Film Stage’s Jordan Raup and MSN Movies’ and Film.com’s William Goss) were less than favorable, I did not hate it. Rebecca Hall’s baby voice throughout set me off starting with her opening voice over, but the hilarious scenery chewing performances from Vince Vaughn and Catherine Zeta Jones kept me entertained. And after That’s What She Said, I’m pretty sure no other movie I see will leave me with such a bad taste in my mouth. (At least here’s hoping!)
Kate Erbland and I braved Main Street earlier last night to go to the Finding North after party to see a live performance by The Civil Wars, who scored the film. The lovely Alyssa Grinder and Alice Zou from DDA Public Relations greeted us at the door and it was great to put faces with names after having exchanged emails back and forth over the last few weeks. It was the perfect end to the day with some mellow music and strong vodka tonics. The performance had a good-sized crowd (not too big, not too small) that was definitely into the show (read: lots of dancing) and even at 5’3” I was able to see the stage (always a victory.) Even though their songs were not written “for this altitude” their performance was definitely a highlight of the fest for me so far. We also scored a man on the street interview on our way out with a Sundance staple that I am very excited about and will be posting here to FSR in the next few days.
As I wrapped up the day, a discussion broke out comparing The Artist to Swim Fan (“You love me, I know it!”), Kate was fighting with the washer, and Eric Snider was entertaining me with a song he has started writing titled, “The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo” – because that name sounds like, “an old-timey, Groucho Marx tune.” He only has that one line so far, but it’s already amazing. The musical performances continued with GeekTyrant and Not Just New Movies Podcast host Ben Pearson’s (aka S.P.O’NAJ) latest rap song, “TBG.” I’ll leave it to you, dear readers, to decipher what that title stands for, but I can tell you as someone who watched a documentary on rap earlier today, it is pretty impressive.
Today: Smashed, Red Hook Summer, and Teddy Bear.