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Ray Pride

By Ray Pride

Sundance Day 1: The Bear Went Up The Mountain…


A shuttle filled with Sundance-bound travelers. IPhones bing, tinggg, jing, bongggg. (Withstanding the text of time.) The sound-swarm is like a Brian Eno app on an iPad, like Bloom or Trope. It’s not until halfway up into the mountains, as the gray sky cracks blue over a crest up ahead, higher up, that a biz conversation asserts itself. Our points, our deal, don’t let them fuck us on dimes or dollars. I would not have expected the shotgun of commands from the woman’s small features—pixie’s feral, careful. 6am flight from MDW meant no sleep last night—but -30 wind chill made for splendid horizontal plumes of steam and smoke in the taxi in the pre-dawn dark. Sleep and fitful dreams on a Southwest flight, accompanied by the customary shite jokes—does Southwest have writers? Are the gags and puns copyrighted? That’s all back there, that’s all back down the hill. The sun in Park City is brilliant and warm. Seven thousand feet up, cheeks warm along with the slightest nip on the air. Cold, cold Chicago’s far behind. Post some photos, check the email, shower, run for validation, I mean, festival I.D., and the week begins. A couple of movies, a couple of events. A hard day at the mines.

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One Response to “Sundance Day 1: The Bear Went Up The Mountain…”

  1. Direwolf says:

    Hi Ray,

    Still cold here in Chicago but I think we broke zero! Thanks for the breif update. I’ll have to make do with Another Year, Barney’s Version, Rabbit Hole, and The Illusionist until Park City next weekend. Enjoy.



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“But okay, I promise you now that if I ever retire again, I’m going to ensure that I can’t walk it back. I’ll post a series of the most disgusting, offensive, outrageous statements you can ever imagine. That way it will be impossible for me to ever be employed again. No one is going to take my calls. No one is going to want to be seen with me. Oh, it will be scorched earth. I will have torched everything. I’m going to flame out in the most legendary fashion.”
~ Steven Soderbergh

I feel strongly connected to young cinephile culture. The thing about filmmaking—and cinephilia—is that you can’t keep hanging out with your own age group as you get older. They drop off, move somewhere. You can’t put together a crew of sixty-somethings. It’s the same for cinephilia: my original set of cinephile friends are watching DVDs at home or delving into 1958 episodes of ‘Gunsmoke,’ something like that. The people who are out there tend to be young, and I happen to be doing the same thing still, so it’s natural that I move in their circles.

In terms of the filmmaking, there was a gear shift: my first movies focused on people around my age, and I followed them for three films. Until The Unspeakable Act, I was using the same actors, not because of an affinity for people at a specific age, but because of my affinity for the actors. I like to work with actors a second time, especially if I don’t feel confident casting a new film. But The Unspeakable Act was a different script, and I had to cast all new people. Even for the older roles, I couldn’t get the people I’d worked with before. But when it was over, the same thing happened: I wanted to work with Tallie again in the worst way, and I started the process all over again.

I think Rohmer did something similar around the time of Perceval and Catherine de HeilbronnHe developed new groups of people that he liked to work with. These gear shifts are natural. Even if you want to follow certain actors to the end of their life (which I kind of do) the variety of ideas that you generate makes it necessary to change. And once you’ve made the change, you’ve got all these new people around.”
~ Dan Sallitt