Sundance Day 7 – Wednesday

This is the eighth in a series of Sundance Film Festival entries.

When I read in the program that there was a documentary about global warming starring and produced by former future president of the United States Al Gore I figured The Inconvenient Truth was the movie for me. And really if you have to make a movie with Al Gore doing a lecture then it couldn’t have been done more gracefully and powerfully than this. Filmmaker Davis Guggenheim’s foray into the world of global warming is stunning. It starts out simply enough with Al Gore’s voice warming the audience with a geniusly directed voice over. Sure, the film’s not an easy sell, but when you get into it it’s actually quite moving (I got misty) and even more anger inducing than Who Killed the Electric Car?. The only thing I regret is seeing it at the press screening. At the public screenings Al Gore was on hand for the Q&A session following the film.

The festival has these press and filmmaker functions. They are designed to give press people an opportunity to meet casually with filmmakers they want to cover or interview. There was plenty of food and not too many people. I ended up at a table with several journalists snacking and drinking and talking about movies and hair removal(!). And, a researcher from Harvard interviewed me for a study they are doing about digital media. It was weird.

Just when you thought there couldn’t be a party presented by more organizations came the Withoutabox/Shorts Program 3/Silverlake Film Festival/Filmmaker’s Alliance party at the Queer Lounge. It was loud, but I met some cool people. I couldn’t stay long though, had to make it back to the Yarrow to see Paul Rachman’s punk rock doc American Hardcore.

I was so tired when I left the screening I thought I was going to go into meltdown mode. Luckily I was brought out of my Sundance rundown funk by a perky friend who somehow (she worked her magic) scored us a ride in an Official Festival Vehicle. Randal, our driver, told us how The Edge, Glenn Close and Kirby Dick had all sat where our butts now were. I have to say, the Volkswagen was luxurious and with a retail sticker price of $80,000 it had better be. Randal drove us straight up Main Street and even got out in the snow and opened our doors for us right in front of Star Bar where we also received VIP treatment.

Randal drops us off at the top of Main Street.

The party for American Hardcore was one of the best of the festival. DOA played and the Circle Jerks closed out the night. It was loud and smoky, but the sound and the crowd were superb. DOA sounded just as relevant as ever. And on the way out we all got gift bags (primarily sponsored by VANS and Avid Express) with gift certificates to create our own custom old school VANS.

DOA rocks the Star Bar at the American Hardcore party.

Gifts in hand we headed out into the cold (it was really snowing now!) and down Main Street to the IFC Films party for Kirby Dick’s new one This Film is Not Yet Rated. After we finagled our way in, I threw myself back into meet and greet mode. The party was loud, but not too packed. And it was back at the Heineken Green Room, so there was sushi! Around 2:15 in the morning I trudged out into the snow and caught a taxi back to my condo. I thought my day would conclude quietly with me writing this blog entry and checking my email, but before I could get anything out I heard what sounded like a football team rushing through the front door. Upon further inspection I found two condo-mates and two film festival programmers getting ready to jump into the Jacuzzi. We stayed up late chatting with Paul Sturtz (True/False Film Festival) about the documentary Oscar race, festival programming, and naturally every Sundance documentary that we could think of. As the time clicked by I realized that Day 8 had started before I even went to bed.

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