How time flies. It's hard to believe I'm attending my fifth straight Sundance Film Festival. I'll admit, a bit of the thrill is gone, but I've always been partial to the euphoria of discovering a great movie for the first time in Park City than attending say, Toronto, where you've already been inundated with TV spots and trailers and the surprises come in smaller does (plus, I'll take the cold over the sweaty heat of an Ontario September any day).
My first festival in 2005 started off pretty dramatically. That year found Salt Lake City's airport inundated with fog and my plane had to turn back land in Vegas with no chance of getting to Utah till the next day. Like many, I was desperate not to miss Friday's screenings and met a stranger at a car rental counter and we ended up sharing the 8-hour drive to Park City together. Randomly, my traveling companion turned out to be Dave Kajganich, the screenwriter of the Nicole Kidman thriller "Invasion." You could tell he was pretty excited about the film as it was his first screenplay to go into production. Years later, I felt bad when I saw that the film had little of the political subtly he spoke about in his script. But, it was a great way to see the beautiful Utah landscapes.
Over the years I've been lucky enough to attend the premiere's of "Little Miss Sunshine," "An Inconvenient Truth" and The Squid and the Whale." And I've also sat through a slew of bad movies that could depress any film historian.
There was the great Beastie Boys performance in 2006. The star-filled "Black Snake Moan" and Motorola late night parties last year. The live set by Paul Oakenfold where myself and a buddy seemed to be the only people in Harry O's to realize it was Oakenfold (!). Great one on one interviews with Justin Timberlake and Maggie Gyllenhaal. The most bizarre press conference around a fireplace with Catherine Keener and Jennifer Aniston. Sitting with Terrence Howard the day after the premiere of "Hustle & Flow" as his eyes were filled with a glassy realization that his life was never going to be the same.
What will this year bring? Your guess is as good as mine, but Dan, Drew and I are ready to bring you the good, the great and, heaven help us, the ugly.
Five for Five: Another Park City run
Will there be a 'Little Miss' or 'Hustle' this year?