Be There: Friends, Films, and Fur
A miracle occurred this year: Jason and I (or more accurately just I) remembered to buy our locals only passes to the Sundance Film Festival back in October and so we were able to get our tickets to this famous affair before the indie movie loving masses and the Hollywood wannabes. Praise be! For once we were actually able to attend almost all of our top show picks. Unbelievable! A number of our acquaintances also benefited from our good planning. We offered over half of the twenty tickets included in our package to friends and family; the end result was that we had different combinations of friends with us at every screening we went to. It was great to see so many of our buddies and get a chance to catch up with them while waiting in line or over a post-show dinner. The excellent company made our festival experience even more enjoyable.
As much as I loved chilling with our chums, they weren’t furry or red enough to make me smile until my cheek muscles hurt, that was all Elmo. One of the screenings Jason and I went to, along with our friends Lauren and David, was a documentary on Kevin Clash, the puppeteer that does Elmo, called Being Elmo. It was a fantastic show and afterward we got to meet the director, most of the crew, Kevin Clash, and Elmo. Being in Elmo’s presence made me feel like a little kid again; I don’t think you ever get too old to find joy in the innocence and love embodied in that little guy. Meeting Elmo was definitely the highlight of Sundance for me this year.
Although nothing could beat my Elmo encounter, all four of the films Jason and I attended were excellent. We saw a documentary on Ronald Reagan that was aptly named Reagan. I thought it was well done and it didn’t seem to have an obvious agenda besides providing a realistic view of Reagan, which pleased me greatly. I’m a facts girl; I have a very low tolerance for political propaganda or idealist portrayals so this documentary was right down my alley.
We also saw two non-documentaries: Salvation Boulevard and Perfect Sense. Salvation Boulevard, a satirical comedic mocking of the world of the megachurch, was perhaps a bit irreverent but absolutely hilarious and the acting was spot on. Perfect Sense was a thriller/drama based on the unique “what if” scenario of a global pandemic that slowly strips mankind of their ability to smell, taste, hear, and see. It made for an intriguing story. Sadly, none of the big name stars in either of these movies, such as Ewan McGregor, Pierce Brosnan, Greg Kinnear, Ed Harris, and Jennifer Connelly made an appearance at our screenings but we did get to meet the director and writer of Salvation Boulevard. As a side note, Salvation Boulevard has been bought by Sony Pictures and is scheduled to be released this August. I would definitely recommend checking it out; all its ridiculousness is sure to make you giggle.
Sundance has never disappointed us and this year was no exception. We saw some great flicks, hung out with some awesome people, and met an adorable Muppet. Beat that.