MCN Columnists
Ray Pride

By Ray Pride Pride@moviecitynews.com

Sundance Seen Part 1

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Three girl ghosts at dusk.

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Infernal. Everyday sight if you get around town, or if you just like sitting in traffic. (Or don’t take a taxi, or don’t like to say, “We’ll Uber it” or “That your Uber,” two of the more common phrases this year.

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Never an empty rack: is no one picking up the Reporter?

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Up the hill on Main Street, wildposting is done in the proper place for Slamdance in front of the Treasure Mountain Inn. (Chicago filmmaker Michael Olenick, left.)

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A promotion at the International Documentary Association’s fete for the fine, compassionate screengrab-of-our-moment doc by Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus.

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Don’t ask what happened here. It can’t be unseen.

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The Pulitzer Prize-winning Jonathan Gold, food critic of the Los Angeles Times and subject of Land Of Gold, has a moment with Film Quarterly editor Ruby B. Rich in the Mariott headquarters hallway.

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Breezing past the nineteenth century children’s cemetery.

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And in between movies, slices of the Utah sky.

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Pop-ups everywhere in Park City for the ten days of Sundance. Not all of them connected to Evel Knievel.

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On Main Street, Kevin Smith is smodded by fans outside a popup Tim Horton’s somehow in support of his later-in-the year Yoga Hosers. “I never saw myself making a kid’s movie,” he told me, “but I think it came out kinda good.”

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Pride

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“I had this friend who was my roommate for a while. She seemed really normal in every way except that she wouldn’t buy shampoo. She would only use my shampoo. And after a year it’s like, “When are you going to buy your own shampoo?” It was her way of digging in her heels. It was a certain sense of entitlement, or a certain anger. It was so interesting to me why she wouldn’t buy her own fucking shampoo. It was like,“I’m gonna use yours.” It was coming from a place of “You have more money than me, I just know it”—whether I did or I didn’t. Or maybe she felt, “You have a better life than me,” or “You have a better room than me in the apartment.” It was hostile. And she was a really close friend! There was never any other shampoo and I knew she was washing her hair. And clearly I have a thing about shampoo, as we see in ‘Friends with Money.’ I had some nice shampoo. So I found that psychologically so interesting how a person can function normally in every way and yet have this aberrance—it’s like a skip in the record. It was a sense of entitlement, I think. I put that in Olivia’s character, too, with her stealing someone’s face cream.”
Nicole Holofcener

“When books become a thing, they can no longer be fine.

“Literary people get mad at Knausgård the same way they get mad at Jonathan Franzen, a writer who, if I’m being honest, might be fine. I’m rarely honest about Jonathan Franzen. He’s an extremely annoying manI have only read bits and pieces of his novels, and while I’ve stopped reading many novels even though they were pretty good or great, I have always stopped reading Jonathan Franzen’s novels because I thought they were aggressively boring and dumb and smug. But why do I think this? I didn’t read him when he was a new interesting writer who wrote a couple of weird books and then hit it big with ‘The Corrections,’ a moment in which I might have picked him up with curiosity and read with an open mind; I only noticed him once, after David Foster Wallace had died, he became the heir apparent for the Great American Novelist position, once he had had that thing with Oprah and started giving interviews in which he said all manner of dumb shit; I only noticed him well after I had been told he was An Important Writer.

“So I can’t and shouldn’t pretend that I am unmoved by the lazily-satisfied gentle arrogance he projects or when he is given license to project it by the has-the-whole-world-gone-crazy development of him being constantly crowned and re-crowned as Is He The Great American Writer. What I really object to is this, and if there’s anything to his writing beyond it, I can’t see it and can’t be bothered. Others read him and tell me he’s actually a good writer—people whose critical instincts I have learned to respect—so I feel sure that he’s probably a perfectly fine, that his books are fine, and that probably even his stupid goddamned bird essays are probably also fine.

“But it’s too late. He has become a thing; he can’t be fine.”
~ Aaron Bady