A Day in the LIfe

So what has a day in the life of Ms. Spice been during the Sundance Film Festival? Crazy, exhausting, bone-chillingly cold, fun, unexpected, and packed. Thus explains the multitude of reasons for the spottiness of my posts.

To illustrate, what follows is (some) of what went on in the just a single day of my fete week. I write as I defrost under my silly Volkswagen swag blanket, in spite of a six o'clock alarm (it is now about two), to wake me for the last showing of Rocket Science at eight-thirty. (Never did I dream I would do such things to see a movie. I guess frigid temperatures and being in close quarters with film geeks makes Cinemaphilia contagious). Enjoy.

First activity of the day: screening of The Documentary Spotlight, aka, short docs. Three of which left me emotionally sick.

The first film was about a kid obsessed with horror and pro-wrestling. He taped everything he ever did with these two passions, and lucky Sundance audience us, we got to watch. We saw the time he had a light bulb smashed into his forehead during a wrestling match, and were treated to clips from his ghastly homemade horror films. I was absolutely nauseous by the end of the short. It was sorrowful enough to see a kid so vacant and distant, but his attempt to fill the void with blood and guts was sickening.

Next up, a silent slaughter of tuna fish caught in the nets of Portuguese fishing boats. The grand finale shows thousands of fish violently struggling to breath, this then trickles off into sporadic flapping, finally they focus in on the one last flicker of life, till it stops. The grotesque homage thus sealing my perspective on the whole notion of fish-eating vegetarians: rubbish.

Third on our emotional havoc tour, Freeheld, the story of a woman dying of lung cancer, battling to get her pension left to her partner, Stacy. We hear everyone talk about how lovely this woman is, see it for ourselves, watch her waste away, and then attend her funeral. The only light grey spot is that she gets her wish about the pension.

And in a fourth film, we see a girl taking self-portraits with her still and video cameras at various places all over the world. This is juxtaposed with scenes from Bush protests. There's never an explanation of the rhyme or reason for any of this. According to the credits, the girl didn't even have anything to do with filming the protests. Um, okay.

Although, it may have inspired me to take my own picture as I left the theater. I'd caught my reflection in a mirror, and I looked so unwell. My eyes seemed pained. I felt awful. They should have titled the shorts montage "Spotlight on Visceral Emotions Films can Trigger."

Next on the movie docket: a failed attempt to get into the first screening of Manda Bala. The man at the box office told us not to feel bad, "even the executive producer's father couldn't get a ticket." I'm not sure if knowing this helped or not.

We whiled our time away from the cold, anticipating the release of wait list numbers for the Korean film, Driving with My Wife's Lover . When out of nowhere, Dianne pulled out this globe and casually put it on her lap; as if there was nothing remotely peculiar about the discovery, and that setting it on one's lap was just what one does with a globe in such a situation. I suppose, as a prologue to our foreign film, her prop was appropriate.

Finally, with pink numbers in hand, it was off to dinner. While waiting to be seated at The Easting Establishment, we met two delightful gentlemen who ended up inviting us to share their table. My fantastic dinner companions were (from left to right) filmmaker Jon, attorney Dianne, and screenwriter Michael.

Jon directed Urbania, a previous Sundance feature. And Michael wrote the screenplay for one of my absolute favorite movies, Contact (among other things). His current project is a little picture that's coming out in July called Harry Potter.

Back into the cold to wait and see if we can get into our Korean flick, which we do!

We ended up sitting in back of the director and next to his interpreter (pictured here during the film's Q&A).

After the movie we headed to a party overlooking Main Street thrown by the "Friends of Tom."

The moose statue across the street was our target for snowballs: the perfect use for all that white stuff on the balcony.

We danced all night (except for the time-out we took for a limbo contest).

Ms. Anne with Justin, Jeff, and miscellaneous others.

The infamous Tom and the top of my head.

A last look at the slowing revelry below before our departure.


Alex said...

an alter ego! fabulous dreamy writer girates galor! the offer on the creative kabutz is still on the table. just scrape together a harmonica, some scattered lines in your head, and a little shutzpa.

anne spice said...

monsieur alex, how lovely it is to know there's a kerouacian arcadia in the catskills full of dharma bums who would welcome my arrival . . . but it is not yet in the nature of this gypsy to commit her gyrations to one spot. so many places remain unexplored! perhaps someday, proceeded by a few reedy notes, i'll announce my arrival at your pastoral plot and call it home. and while i'd have to procure a harmonica on my way there, there'd be no scraping for the remaining required items; i've an overabundance of scattered lines and my chutzpah would cripple most men.