how my day was planned out:
9:00 a.m. see 'perro come perro' ['dog eat dog']
11:30 a.m. go across the street to see 'the guitar', amy redford's movie [daughter of robert]
2:00 p.m. see 'reversion', one of the experimental movies
4:30 p.m. see 'king of ping pong' from sweden
10:30 p.m. see 'the merry gentleman', directed by michael keaton
what actually happened:
9:00 a.m. saw 'perro come perro'. plays like a colombian 'reservoir dogs' and has me leaving the theater thinking this is the kind of movie i'm supposed to be looking for. i call mike and tell him i think he needs to see this [i feel pretty cool, leaving the theater and whipping out my phone to immediately talk about a movie deal]. he wants me to find out when the next showing is and to get him a ticket. i'm on it.
11:30 a.m. 'the guitar' is packed. i don't make it to the showing.
11:47 a.m. mike and i grab some food at burger king, the only eatery near the theaters. i find out his nephew was a techno dj for a while as we discuss who will see what movies in the coming days.
2:00 p.m. i'm in the showing for 'reversion'. the movie starts off with a lady getting carjacked by the most apathetic robber i have ever seen. she eventually makes it to a grocery store, where we see her walking into a grocery store and just eating the food, seeing another guy doing the same, then running out. in the parking lot, another guy is held at gun point by some kids who look very much like someone stuck a gun in their hand and said 'ok, now in this scene you rob this guy--action!' this story is intercut with two kids sitting on a roof, smoking a joint and talking about how some people don't carry the gene that makes one move through time; that some people exist out of time. this is a sort of 'greek chorus' narration for the other story. the movie very quickly feels like a couple of kids saw 'pulp fiction' and watched 'the matrix' too many times and decided they would make a movie. i'm surprised to find out it's actually written and directed by a female ucla grad. this will ultimately be one of my least-liked movies at the festival.
2:43 p.m. i happily leave 'reversion' early to get mike a wait-list number for a public showing of 'perro come perro'. if a movie is sold out [everything is], you can arrive at the theater two hours before the showing and receive a number. come back to the theater thirty minutes before the show and you can buy unclaimed tickets in order of the number you have. i'm first in line for 'perro' and next to me are some friends from the hawaii movie, in line for a different show.
3:33 p.m. i triumphantly leave with my #1 ticket and meet up with mike. he runs into a friend who is representing another movie and wants him to see it. he's seeing 'perro' at that time and so asks me to go see 'chronic town'. it's my job, but i'm kind of sad to miss 'king of ping pong'.
4:40 p.m. i arrive at the library theater plenty early and so sneak into a quiet room and read my free copy of 'entertainment weekly'.
5:03 p.m. deciding i am now appropriately early, i call mike's friend, tell her i'm here, and get the ticket from her. she asks me to call her afterward and tell her what i think of the movie.
5:35 p.m. working as an 'industry' person, my badge gets me into all of the 'press and industry' screenings. these are in three theaters, all grouped closely together and completely separate from the public showings. the public showings are much more fun, i've learned. the audiences are much more responsive--i don't know if they're over-eager to see a 'sundance' movie, or if the industry people are tired of seeing movies or preoccupied with the other stresses of their job, but there's a significant difference--and the public showings are where the director and stars come.
'chronic town' had no one i recognized. set in alaska, it followed a small group of people and all the tragic things that happened to them. billed as a comedy, it wasn't that funny but was lead by an actor who both looked, sounded, and acted like my hometeaching companion.
8:00 p.m. meet up with mike at the yarrows hotel, where the industry people hang out [since two of the three theaters are here]. he affirms that 'perro come perro' is a great movie and we need to get on that. walking back to the condo, i remember to call his friend with my thoughts on 'chronic town'. i don't want to become a movie person who says they love everything just to make someone happy, so i be honest; i tell her i think the lead actor was great and that i loved the cinematography and how it captured the town.
8:12 p.m. mike and i talk with nick [the company ceo] about 'perro', that it's something we should acquire. early, i had the impression from mike that we would consider anything that's halfway decent. nick is much more scrutinous, repeatedly asking me where i'd place it on a scale from 1 to 10, what was the plot, why it was so great, and such. we talk for a while and eventually he gets the film's rep on the phone, but they can't work out a deal. i leave around 9:30, needing to be in line early tomorrow morning to get him a 'day of show' ticket for 'perro'. i'm feeling pretty good that i found a good movie.
finally: for the record, my name was on the guest list for the 'be kind, rewind' party. i didn't get because it was late and i was tired, and we justified it by reasoning that jack black and michel gondry would be off in some v.i.p. room, anyway.