Wednesday, January 27, 2010

monday, sundance monday

  • there's a dang awesome sunset this morning. a bold pink sky over the dark blue snow on the mountains. today is going to be a good day.
  • last night i drove one of the programmers for the festival who was telling me about several of the docs this year. i'm usually more of a narrative guy, but a lot of the docs this year seem to be the more interesting of the lot. one of the most notable was a movie called a small act, about a lady from sweden who contributed $20 a month to put a child through school in africa. the boy when on to go to the university of nairobi, then to harvard law school, and is now working for the u.n. he later sought her out and how now set up his own such foundation. my first ride this morning was jennifer arnold, the film's director, on her way to the broadway theater in salt lake for a screening for high school students. she said that roger ebert had written a great article on her film and waiting for superman (directed by davis guggenheim, whom i drove yesterday), praising them as being two excellent films on the power and importance of education. i think she said she met bill gates here, too, who was interested in her film.

conversation with a security guard who looks like jimmy carter above the broadway theater, trying to find my way into the locked theater:

"hi, uh, is there a way that i can get to the theater from here?"


"i'm a driver with the festival and the doors are locked downstairs, do you know how i could...."


"i know this isn't the theater but was just wondering if there's another entrance."

"no. we're not part of the theater. no."

"ok, thank you."


  • after the screening, there was a Q&A and then the students left. in the lobby, a goth girl came over and talked to the director. she was obviously very moved by the story and asked to give her a hug. it was cool to see the movie have that kind of an impact on someone like that.
  • when i'm driving someone, i usually keep the radio on the classical station. it's peaceful and unobtrusive amidst the hurricane of being a director at the festival. i dropped jennifer off and switched to a new station and jubilantly sang to "what's the frequency kenneth?" and "footloose." and dang the 80s on 8 plays a lot of bananarama.....
  • my run that evening was for mark ruffalo's movie. i knew his name but couldn't think of where i'd seen him. looking him up on imdb, i learned that i saw him in collateral a few weeks ago and would be seeing him in eternal sunshine of the spotless mind next week at movie night. a total of six people, said my trip sheet. even though all of my rides have been good, i still get nervous waiting, wondering if they're going to be jerks or impatient or have some odd preferences (as i'm writing this two days later, i no longer get nervous). and mark is the biggest name i've had yet.
  • the group pulled up in another van and i helped everyone into mine. the man with the wheelchair sat up front and the other three loaded in the back. it turned out that mark was starring in another movie that was premiering tonight and would be attending that showing and not going with us to ogden. so i had an entourage of actors who wanted me to go and pick up another of their friends before we got on the road. despite the schedule allowing us ample travel time, i always seem to get in situations that leave me racing the clock to get to ogden on time. i tell them we'll make it all work out.
  • i'm in a van with actors who have one movie at sundance. so far, i've driven mostly documentary people. narrative film makers (and actors) are a little more interested in the public/fame scene, it seems. but there's a group of them in my van; they're energetic, praising each other and talking about their chances of winning. i'll let them entertain themselves and i'll focus on driving. about 20 miles out of town, the guy up front starts talking with me a little. his name is chris and not only does he star in the film, but he write it with mark over the last ten years. we hit it off well and talk all the way to odgen. it's his first time having to do press interviews all day long and it can be pretty grueling he says. the actors in the back also talk about the whirlwind feeling of doing press, of getting some silly questions and that most of the time the reporters were interested in orlando bloom and juliette lewis (in the film but not in my van).
  • i'm not familiar with the film or much about it, but chris is happy to talk about it, despite having done so all day long. he tells me that my questions are better than the press's.
  • we get there just after the movie has started, so they don't get to introduce the film. i'm able to park the car right out front. i tell the theater people i'm the driver and am seated right next to chris.
author's note: i forgot to charge my computer last night and it just threatened to shut down in a moment. coming up next: my best conversation of the festival and the nightmare night that followed.


Brooke said...

My dear Mr. Editor:

Unfortunately, it is in your best interest, as a writer, and my best interest, as the reader, to inform you that the sun cannot set in the morning. I believe you are more correctly referring to the sunrise, rather than the sunset. My apologies for making so public a correction.

My sincerest regards,

Ms. McClure

(lol...I have been watching Jane Austen again! ;) Perhaps we should start one of her books next after hpbc? Cheers)

--jeff * said...

ms mcclure::

i have reprimanded our staff and they will stop making edits after working 15 days. thank you for continuing to read despite our lapses in editorial quality control.

the editor

The Former 786 said...

Security guards are jerks.

And what's wrong with Bananarama?