Our Super Cool Sundance Experience

Posted by on January 25, 2009 at 9:19 pm :: 4 Comments

January in Utah means the arrival of the annual Sundance Film Festival. This year Jason and I, as usual, forgot to register for the locals’ passes in time and so we were forced to be part of the pandemonium the day tickets were made available to the general public. In the midst of the chaos we were able to get tickets to three films: The Missing Person, The Yes Men Fix the World, and Earth Days.

The Missing Person, a feature film about a PI, had a nostalgic feel to it. Its slow pace reminded me of a movie from a different era, which I believe was the film maker’s intent. We enjoyed it and the Q&A afterward, where we got to meet John Ventimiglia, Frank Wood, and Noah Buschel.

Kara and Jeremy joined us for The Missing Person

Goofing around with Jeremy and Kara before the screening of The Missing Person

Earth Days was a well done documentary about the origins of the environmental movement. I love history so I thought it was enthralling. I had no idea that environmentalism started here in the United States-what a surprise, since American aren’t exactly perceived as being the most environmentally conscientious people now days. We got to meet the director, Robert Stone, after the film. His insights were fascinating.

Robert Stone, director of Earth Days, at the Q&A

Robert Stone, director of Earth Days, at the Q&A

I can’t say enough good things about the third film we saw, The Yes Men Fix the World. It was easily the best film Jas and I have seen at Sundance. I laughed until I cried through parts of it, but, during other parts, I thought I might cry in earnest at the injustices that it revealed. This documentary followed two men, Andy and Mike, as they set out to expose corporations involved in unethical business practices. They exposed these companies using creative pranks and hoaxes. The film was completely hilarious, one of the funniest shows I’ve seen in a long time, but it was also inspirational. It made you want to change the world, even if your methods might be a little bit more main-stream and would in no way involve wearing an inflatable “survival suit”.

One of the Yes Men at the Q&A dressed in his survival suit.

One of the Yes Men at the Q&A-dressed in his "survival suit"

The Q&A session after the screening, with the Yes Men themselves, was also quite entertaining. Andy and Mike were as wacky and clever in real life as they were in the movie.

And yes, in case you didn’t catch it in the previous paragraph, The Yes Men Fix the World was a documentary, and yes, I thought it was more thought-provoking and entertaining than any movie I’ve seen in quite a while. So all of you that avoid documentaries and immediately start nodding off the second the word “documentary” is even mentioned, you might be missing out on more than you think.

Every documentary we have seen at Sundance has been absolutely fantastic. But beyond just presenting these remarkable shows, that you may not get a chance to view otherwise, Sundance also gives you a unique opportunity to experience them in a theater setting. A film is always more moving when you have that big screen in front of you and can join in your neighbor’s laughter.

We will definitely be attending Sundance again next year and look forward to more surprises.

4 Comments

  • Cam says:

    One of these days I’m going to make it to the Sundance Film Festival. We just watched March of the Penguins the other day and Fist Full of Quarters in on my short list. Documentaries rock.

  • Rachel says:

    You just barely watched March of the Penguins? You are a little behind the times. I think I watched that when I was like five or something. Just kidding. I’m glad you are a fellow documentary geek. You should come with us to Sundance next year. It’s awesome!

  • Cam says:

    Be nice. I got MofP at Walmart for 2 bucks on black Friday. I had been meaning to watch it for a long time. Because of my overcrowded schedule I can only watch about5 movies a week and a season or two of a TV series(this week I just polished off all 9 seasons of Seinfeld though). If you ever need a theatre do watch a documentary holler.

  • Rachel says:

    Excuses, excuses. Jason and I are lucky if we make it through one or two movies a week. Sometimes that doesn’t even happen.

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