Essays · Movies

Sundance Blog: Let’s Get to Work, People

We roll into Saturday with cold phallanges, more celebrity sightings and one awesome film that deserves to be seen — by everyone.
By  · Published on January 19th, 2008

Nothing like a late start to day 3 to keep Sundance 2008 rolling along. I am still here, still alive and I have abandoned both sleep and food. But a warning to the wise: when they tell you to “stay hydrated”, that does not mean “stick to alcohol”. So midway through my second day, I decided that it was all Aquafina in the thin air of Park City. Needless to say, today is a much more comfortable day.

Although, I can’t say that I have it as rough as some of the folks from out west. Its funny, walking down the street, you can tell who is from California and who is not — the California crowd complains about the cold. Those of us from the midwest know how to handle ourselves when our fingers are falling off.

But back to actual festival news — I had a chance to catch the premiere of The Yellow Handkerchief (read my review here) as well as the premiere of The Wackness (review here). The Yellow Handkerchief was a solid flick, with good performances from William Hurt, Kristen Stewart and newcomer Freddie Redmayne. It will reach an audience, but more of a narrow one. The Wackness on the other hand, is a film that could take off akin to the way Juno and Little Miss Sunshine did. It is a teen coming of age dark comedy/drama in the same vain, but it is significantly more edgy. Also, Ben Kingsley delivers an eccentric and hysterical performance as a pot smoking shrink. That is one to watch, for sure.

We also got a chance to get some damn work done. The folks who run the festival have a great press area set up, which includes free drinks. And we all know that I am not one to turn down any kind of free food or drink. As you can see from the image above, we had quite the movie geek setup. Pictured is myself in the middle and Peter from /Film on the right. In reality, we were probably just watching videos on YouTube — but you never know.

Alright, alright — enough about the films and the work. You want to here all the gossipy stuff that doesn’t end up in my more serious columns such as the Sundance Buzz, Reviews and news. The casts of both The Yellow Handkerchief and The Wackness were at each of the premieres, but we did not stick around to chat with The Yellow Handkerchief. For The Wackness, we hung around after the Q&A to chat a little bit with Olivia Thirlby, who was very sweet. Ben Kingsley was also mingling through the crowd, recieving nothing but praise from those who saw the film. Those who did not see the film were left to shout idiotic things like “You rocked as Ghandi!” Ah, film geeks.

Walking out of The Racquet Club after The Wackness, I walked right past Quentin Tarantino, who was headed in to see Sunshine Cleaning. I didn’t even recognize him and walked right by. It’s ok though, because he didn’t recognize me either. I’m sure we will meet again, as he is judging for this year’s fest.

Aside from that, I didn’t really see anyone famous — except Peter and Alex. But, as the weekend starts to heat up, I am sure I will have more updates for you. Keep an eye on our Sundance 2008 Homepage for more.

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Neil Miller is the persistently-bearded Publisher of Film School Rejects, Nonfics, and One Perfect Shot. He's also the Executive Producer of the One Perfect Shot TV show (currently streaming on HBO Max) and the co-host of Trial By Content on The Ringer Podcast Network. He can be found on Twitter here: @rejects (He/Him)