Day 2 – four films

Unfortunately, due to the snow, I-80 was closed on and off throughout the day, so film personnel were not brought down the hill from Park City for Q&A.  Thus, there no photos with important persons today, but there is still haiku.  (And just how cheeky is that: thousands of hours and millions of dollars getting summarized in 17 syllables?)  

1/2 Revolution (World Documentary):  The immediate in-your-face chaotic filming reflects the scariness of a mob in revolution.

Anger and chaos
     Black hole of revolution.
     Did anything change?

With friends for 1/2 Revolution

The Queen of Versailles (US Documentary):  The ultimate in tackiness and narcissism.  As an audience member, it was difficult not to be embarrassed for them.
     Gorgeous trophy wife
     Mesmerizing mammaries
     Boo boob bankruptcy
Elena (Spotlight): This (very) slow moving film builds in intensity without notice and leaves you wondering what the motivation really was.  Crafty use of an original Philip Glass score.

     Philip glass cello
     Tell tale heart throbbing
     Viagra to death

And contributed by Sarah:

     Melancholic throbbing
     Atmospheric sound scapes
     Mother strangles wife
Big Boys Gone Bananas (World Documentary):  Classic story.  David prevails over Goliath.  In this case it is little-bitty film maker vs. international corporation.  The film and story are dry, but they make their case and get their point across.
     Film offends chairman
     Banana thugs sue artist
     Swedes defend free speech

Afternoon at Rose Wagner

Man, the snow is dumping today!  I am, of course, thrilled that the ski season can finally get started, but I absolutely did not choose the appropriate footwear for a slushy day of walking.  After ½ Revolution we proceeded to The Queen of Versailles, which has gotten a huge amount of buzz.  Going to a film that I’ve heard a lot about is very different than the typical Sundance film. I can’t say that it is better or worse, simply different, because I weigh my own impressions against my expectations and others’ opinions.

David and Jackie Seigel, the subjects of the film (I don’t believe I can call them protagonists), live in an alternate reality.  Although I knew it was coming, I was still frequently shocked into laughter by Jackie’s words and actions, such as when she says how upset she is that banks received bailouts and that government assistance did not go “to the people…like us.”  I admit that I feel a touch guilty for feeling sorry for Jackie – she placed a huge amount of faith in her husband and her marriage, yet he regards her as little more than a pet or child.  Her commitment was – dare I say it? – admirable, but simultaneously saddening.  However, despite embracing the role of trophy wife, I know she has a quick mind and could survive in the “real world.”  What happened to her brain?  Why does she disguise her capabilities and not teach her children to use their respective skills?  Both David and Jackie were very intriguing characters and I would have liked to learn more about the people and events that shaped their values.

Following a snack break, we split apart and I went to Celeste and Jesse Forever.  I know that Jesse was kind of a slacker and so not my type, but can I just say that I fell a little bit in love with Adam Samberg in this role?   I thought that the screenplay was excellent, humorous and touching and about as uplifting as Sundance gets.  However, that’s really about all I have to say.  Maybe it’s that the film finished within the hour so I haven’t had time to process much, but I would categorize this as a fluff film; obviously less so than the typical Hollywood output, but more so than the average Sundance film.  The acting was good, and the product enjoyable, but not life-changing or challenging.  I thoroughly expect this to be picked up by a distributor and do well commercially.

The day is more than halfway done!