Day One: Welcome to Sundance
I woke up this morning at 5:40 a.m. My eyes didn’t stay open long. After feeling around for a few minutes, I reached under my socks on the floor next to the recliner I slept in, picked up my watch, and saw that it was 5:42 a.m. Immediately, I made the executive decision to go back to sleep. The condo was quiet, other than a few minor snores coming from the bedroom above and the couch next to me. I know some people left shortly before I woke up, in order to get to the theater and get wait-list tickets to see Celeste and Jesse Forever. I didn’t yet have the energy to trek down and wait in line before sunrise. But, a few hours later, I woke up again, this time at the more reasonable hour of 8:10 a.m. I stretched a bit, and then waited. I’m not sure what I was waiting for, but I knew I had to wait for something. I was in no position to venture out into Park City alone, and even less ready to find a theater where a movie I might want to see would be screening. I didn’t even have a map of the festival yet.
After a few minutes, I mustered up the energy to stand up. I yawned. I stretched. I stared out the window, for longer than I think I intended to. But I couldn’t pull myself away- the snow covered mountains were just too beautiful. Snow had been falling since late last night, when my plane landed on the tarmac. Spotted: a Sundance film guide on the kitchen counter, where the movies playing each day are all listed on a nice, neat grid, with handy-dandy plot summaries and showtimes. Jaaaaackpot. I pulled out one of the bar stools and took a seat as I flipped through the guide, stopping to read the summaries of anything I had heard of, or sounded interesting. I was guilty of judging these movies by their titles and the screen shot that accompanied them. I’m sure that someone will think everything is interesting and the best film ever created, but I’m not one of those people. There are some movies I enjoy, there are some I’ll tolerate, and there are others I refuse to watch.
As I turned the pages, I became more and more excited about my current adventure here in Park City. Before I arrived, and before I booked my ticket, I think I was more excited about the idea of Sundance rather than the actual film festival. Now that I was in the moment, and actually planning out my day and picking out which films I want to see, it hit me: YOU’RE AT SUNDANCE! As soon as that lightbulb went off above my head- since I am, in fact, a cartoon character- I rushed into the bathroom, brushed my teeth, and started getting dressed. I threw my long johns on, pulled out my snow boots, and ventured out into the snowy morning with Annilese, Katie and Dan. We walked down the road, almost got run down by a snow plow, and caught the shuttle bus to the Yarrow Hotel Theater. I’m just saying: the plow was on the sidewalk, we were not walking in the street… I tend to get grief about walking on and around streets. It’s a long story. Ok, it’s a pretty short story- I got hit by a school bus in Boston in 2009. There.
Once we were on the bus, we ran into another member of our gang, Jessica. It was my first time meeting her. She sat down next to me on the bus and we chatted a bit about her morning and what films she had seen. We all exited the bus at the stop for the Yarrow Hotel Theater, where we went our separate ways. Katie, Annilese and myself got in the wait-list line for the Animation Spotlight, which was a compilation of all the animated short films being screened at Sundance. A total of nine short films were shown, each of varying quality. I personally loved the animation- some were 2D, others were 3D claymation, and to my surprise, none were digital. I’ll post a bit later on tonight about each of the films individually, but for now, I’ve got to get going. If I’m not standing on the line for 1/2 Revolution within the next 10 minutes, I will have to stand at the back of the line and my numbered ticket and the fact that I showed up two hours early won’t matter. (1/2 Revolution is a documentary about the Egyptian people’s revolution that began a year ago in January 2011, so I really
want to need to see it.) So, be back soon, people.
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