MCN Blogs
Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

Sundance on Ice: The Escape

Sundance Class of 96.jpgPACKING FOR SUNDANCE each year, I tote along a valuable guidebook about the history of the Sundance Festival’s hometown, called “Park City Underfoot.” I leave it on the coffee table of the condo, and no one ever consults it. The first draft of history is more urgent. Who needs backstory when there’s a hailstorm of privileged moments. Still, there’s a wealth of backstory in this mining town, not limited to the past 25 years of the festival or the last decade or so of exurban sprawl. Whenever I pass this cemetery on the edge of town, which is largely populated by children, I think of the movies and hopes and careers that have been interred at festivals past: call this portrait “Sundance Class of 96.”
Joseph Smith’s wilderness is easier to escape now, especially on Sunday morning on the way to the Salt Lake City airport (SLC, tagged on luggage parked in foyers, mud rooms and basements nationwide).
Joseph Smith's wilderness.jpg

And it’s especially easy if you’re being ferried by Town Car.
Escape from Park City (by Town Car).jpg
The packs thin toward the last several days of the festival. Still, writers and reviewers gather to fashion consensus.
Critical consensus.jpg
The swag shacks up and down Main Street are shuttered, the freshly stenciled logos freshly scraped off, such as Hollywood Life(less) House.
Hollywood Life House (after).jpg
Lush, fluffy snow fell for a few hours on Saturday, as this view from inside the hospitality suite.
Outside Hospitality.jpg
Inside hospitality, interviews still. I have no idea who’s parked in the Cowboy Seat.
In the cowboy seat.jpg
Earlier, I saw a geometrically satisfying composition of a newshen and her camerabear against the backdrop of the nearby hills, but didn’t catch them in time: quickly, he turned his bright light on my oh-just-taking-shots-of-the-sky-doh! act.
Quick draw.jpg
If Hollywood is a place where you can die of encouragement, is Park City where you can languish from detours?
Or from simple YOU DO NOT BELONG HERE?
Utah’s not another country: the Burger King stars-‘n’-stripes droop and drape here as well.
From the multiple screens of the “anterior” press tent during the closing night awards, Terrence Howard is natty, speaking fluent Howardese.
Terrence Howard presents.jpg
And Miguel Arteta wears a goofy t-shirt and goofier grin.
Miguel Arteta's ice cream.jpg
Closing night (not)rave.jpgIn the din of the underpopulated after-party, colleague Robert Koehler and I are shouting about So Yong Kim’s prize-winning mood gem In Between Days and move on to Claire Denis’ L’intrus and Hou Hsiao-hsien’s underrated mood piece, Millennium Mambo, when a quartet of women schooled in twirling light up one of the party’s favors, streaking Hou-like neon colors across the drab confines of the tent.

Comments are closed.

Movie City Indie

Quote Unquotesee all »

“Well, actually, of that whole group that I call the post-60s anti-authority auteurs, a lot of them came from television. Peckinpah’s the only one whose television work represents his feature work. I mean, like the only one. Mark Rydell can direct a really good episode of ‘Gunsmoke’ and Michael Ritchie can direct a really good episode of ‘The Big Valley,’ but they don’t necessarily look like The Candidate. But Peckinpah’s stuff, even the scripts he wrote that he didn’t even direct, have a Peckinpah feel – the way I think there’s a Corbucci West – suggest a Peckinpah West. That even in his random episodes that he wrote for ‘Gunsmoke’ – it’s right there.”
~ Quentin Tarantino

“The thought is interrupted by an odd interlude. We are speaking in the side room of Casita, a swish and fairly busy Italian bistro in Aoyama – a district of Tokyo usually so replete with celebrities that they spark minimal fuss. Kojima’s fame, however, exceeds normal limits and adoring staff have worked out who their guest is. He stops mid-sentence and points up towards the speakers, delighted. The soft jazz that had been playing discreetly across the restaurant’s dark, hardwood interior has suddenly been replaced with the theme music from some of Kojima’s hit games. Harry Gregson-Williams’ music is sublime in its context but ‘Metal Gear Solid 4: Guns of the Patriots’ is not, Kojima acknowledges, terribly restauranty. He pauses, adjusting a pair of large, blue-framed glasses of his own design, and returns to the way in which games have not only influenced films, but have also changed the way in which people watch them. “There are stories being told [in cinema] that my generation may find surprising but which the gamer generation doesn’t find weird at all,” he says.
~ Hideo Kojima