All Photos: Shaun Harris & Jeff Jetton
Words By: Jeff Jetton
There are certain points in a man’s life where he asks himself several existential questions and begs the gods or God or experience or a shaman or any number of different higher powers for logical conclusions to these conundrums. The chances of two men getting off an airplane and both asking themselves the same exact existential questions at the same moment are minute, dare we say nearly impossible. I’m talking snowball’s chance in hell. Yet as Jason Bond Pratt and I crossed the threshold of Delta flight 171, from Salt Lake City to Washington DC, to that reality that is our lives back in Washington DC, stepped off the plane and waited for our luggage, we found ourselves defying statistical possibility and asking the questions that Man has been asking himself since he developed a consciousness:
Where is my Hummer limo?
Why isn’t Louis CK here?
How am I ever going to eat again if there aren’t any free catered events from T-Mobile and Renaissance Hotels and Stella Artois?
and most importantly:
Why are we here? Now, by ‘why are we here?’ don’t think that we were actually trying to figure out why human beings have inherited the Earth from dinosaurs and small mammals and what is our purpose in it all. Too much to ponder. Don’t care. By ‘why are we here?’ I mean we found ourselves asking nobody in general (God) why we were here, in Washington D.C., going back to our regular lives that don’t happen to involve living in a giant Snow Mansion.
Anyways, back to Sundance. We picked Tig up at the airport, departed the Snow Mansion and moved over to the Fairfield Inn outside of Salt Lake City. It was like going from one of Saddam Hussein’s Baghdad Palaces to the hole they found him living in, bearded and dirty. Okay, that’s a bit of an exaggeration, but it’s hard to get psyched to stay somewhere that you can’t watch playoff football on a movie theater-sized screen in the comfort of your own home (okay, someone else’s home, but let’s not split hairs). Here’s a few snaps from that set:
We dropped off the luggage in the room, grabbed some muffins and Jimmy Dean sausage sandwiches and headed back to Park City. The plus side of not staying at a palatial mansion is that it’s more of an incentive to get out and explore the town. Which we were ready for. We’d been hearing a lot about this awesome indie-rock, alt-county banjo band busking on Main Street in PC. They lived up to the hype.
Peter suggested that we go to the premiere of a movie called ‘The Extra man’ about which I knew absolutely nothing. I had, however, been suggesting that we do the ‘press line’ at least once during the festival. Let me explain the ‘press line’: basically it’s a corridor of fame walled in by a photo backdrop on one side and literally a phalanx of cameramen, reporters, videographers, gaffers, boom-mic operators and whatever other types of media exist. To get to the theater, the stars have to do the walk of fame down lense alley, stopping at certain points to chat with pre-chosen outlets about the movie and whatever other personal questions the reporters can squeeze in.
It’s ridiculous. Actually it’s so ridiculous that I didn’t even care that Kevin Kline, John C. Reilly, Katie Homes and the preacher kid from There Will Be Blood were all in the movie.
We just wanted to take pictures of the press corps screaming like a bunch of banshees at Katie Holmes to get their shots. All of the paparazzi from all over Sundance gathered into one spot to document the arrival of Katie Holmes (sans Tom Cruise). MTV, TMZ, EW and a host of others were in attendance, yelling out Katie, Katie. It was quite a spectacle. And thankfully the last ‘press line’ that any of us ever need to attend:
One of the reasons we made the trip out to Sundance was to see the premiere of the new movie by our friends in Animal Collective. We were certain that this was going to be some weird footage, especially because they told us it would be.
To say this is a movie that you need to be in an altered state of consciousness to really enjoy is not a stretch. It’s like a bad acid trip crossed with a good mushroom trip crossed with a vampire movie with a little bit of sitting around a campfire roasting marshmallows thrown in for good measure. I’ll leave it at that. Animal Collective superfans will love this movie. My mom would hate it. But then again, this movie was not made for my mom and she’ll never see it.
We joined the boys in the band at their afterparty at Star Bar (the Black Cat of Park City) where we played some pool, drank some beer and danced the night away.
Tig busted out her Michael Jackson impressions, which were surprisingly spot on. I mean ridiculously spot on. Even better than Chris Tucker in Friday. Remember that?
On our way out, we noticed a real-life Banksy mural on the wall outside the club. Apparently Banksy’s got a movie at Sundance called Exit Through The Gift Shop which is one of the last minute surprise releases. We didn’t see it but it got great reviews:
Meanwhile, our friends were having dinner next to Samuel L. Jackson. He had the steak if you were wondering.
Since we came to Sundance to hang out with Brian from Animal Collective AND Tig, we figured it might be fun to put them together for an interview. We met at Bangkok Thai on Main Street and let Tig press Brian over his new movie and work some Galifianakis’ Between Two Ferns-type awkward magic on Brian. He was definitely thrown off by her interview style at first. I think he finally gave in and just went with it. Definitely worth a watch:
After the interview, we rushed over to catch the Reggie Miller movie, Winning Time: Reggie Miller vs. The New York Knicks. It was my favorite movie of the festival. Everything you want in a movie: drama, comedy, big names and a Marv Albert cameo. Marv has blonde hair these days. The bonus was a short movie called Doc Ellis and the LSD No No. One of the few Sundance movies that’s available to watch on Youtube. The crew from this movie was in attendance and asked the audience members for a ride back to Salt Lake City after the movie was over. You gotta love Sundance. It was our last night at the festival, so we figured we’d cram in one last industry party. We dropped by the Filmmaker’s Late Night Lodge for some hobnobbing with the cats who actually make all these pretty movies that you see.
The light was low and everyone was in the mood to dance. We couldn’t blame them, so we joined them:
And with that, Sundance was over. It was sad saying goodbye. Fitting, though, considering on the way to the car we came across what can only be described as the saddest bear in all of Utah. Lonely and covered with snow. We bid Park City adieu. Until next year.
Goodbye Sundance! See you next year. (Thanks to Rasheed of Cromagnonjazz.com for the montage.)
And don’t forget to check out the rest of the Sundance footage:
As well as a bitchin’ Louis CK interview coming tomorrow. Stay tuned.