I knew that at some point covering the Sundance Film Festival would get difficult, but I had no idea that it would be like this. Yesterday I found myself in great shape — I got a planned late start to the day and saw three films right in a row. Very little running across town from screening to screening meant very little stress and more time to get work done. Thus, I am not yet behind on writing reviews. In fact, just for the record: after today, I will have written more reviews in 4 days than I did in all of November and December combined — its just how I roll.
So I know what you must be thinking, “What is so tough about that?” The problem seems to be that I am seeing only great movies. Today I saw three films (Be Kind Rewind, Smart People and Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson), all of which were absolutely fantastic. And as someone who really enjoys seeing (and tearing apart) bad movies, it was somewhat frustrating. Then again, I did see three fantastic movies. I don’t regret it for a second.
Speaking of things that I will not soon regret — I must say that my experience during the first weekend of Sundance 2008 has been one of the most fulfilling and exciting experiences of my career covering film. Sundance has a very unique atmosphere about it: very cozy and personable at all times, yet you are constantly reminded that this, if only for a week, is the epicenter of the movie universe — and you are right in the middle of it all. It is quite a euphoric feeling, when you really take a moment to stop and think about it. At least, if I had time to stop and think about it then I would certainly do so — but I don’t, so I won’t.
As you can expect, there were plenty of celebrity sightings today, plenty of Hollywood stars all up in my grill as I took in a few world premieres. As I was walking into the Be Kind Rewind premiere, I ran into Jack Black, who was just hanging out on the street shooting the shit with fans. He was joined inside by Mos Def, director Michel Gondry, Danny Glover and Melonie Diaz to help introduce the film and do Q&A afterward. As well, thanks to the drawing power of Michel Gondry, a man respected by actors and musicians alike, we saw Edge from U2 and Dave Matthews at the premiere. Dave was even kind enough to take some pictures with fans — what a nice guy.
Sarah Jessica Parker was also on hand, being followed around by a flock of Jimmy Choo-wearing snow bunnies. When I saw this spectacle, I was far less interested in Mrs. Matthew Broderick and far more enchanted by all of the hot women following her around — if people don’t believe that Sex in the City: The Movie is going to do well, you’ve obviously never seen SJP make a public appearance. She’s like fucking Bono or something.
Sarah Jessica was not the only cast member of Smart People on hand for the premiere. Dennis Quaid, Thomas Hayden Church and the guy who plays Roy on The Office were all there. Thomas Hayden Church even had a prepared statement to read from Ellen Page, who could not be present because she is promoting a small film called Juno (not sure if you’ve heard of it) in Europe.
As Porky Pig would say — that’s all folks. At least for today. I have 6 movies planned for today: Sunshine Cleaning with Amy Adams and Emily Blunt, Phoebe in Wonderland, Incendiary, The Mysteries of Pittsburgh and Downloading Nancy. Stay tuned, because if I survive the day with my wits intact, I will have tons of reviews for tonight.
Also, check out some of yesterday’s pictures below.
Keep an eye on our Sundance 2008 Homepage for more from Park City.
Jack Black mingles with the people
Dave Matthews takes in a flick
Michel Gondry introduces Be Kind Rewind
Jack Black, Mos Def, Danny Glover answer Q&A
Thomas Hayden Church brings a message from Ellen Page
Sarah Jessica Parker