PARK CITY — OK, shoot me.
I just finished spending a day — and a night — watching Sundance movies.
Using my media pass, I got in the press-screening line in the morning and watched whatever movie was playing next. Every time one screening ended, I got back in line for the next one, with a brief stopover for more popcorn.
There was no pre-planning on my part, no scouting, no scrutiny whatsoever. It was just me immersing myself in Indiewood, aiming for a representative sampling (it's physically impossible to see all 186 Sundance movies in 11 days).
And I was glad it was just me, alone, because, to be honest, there aren't that many parts in the movies where you want to jab your neighbor and go, "Did you see that?" let alone admit that you're there.
There is no rating system at Sundance, but they could have a Parental Warning: Do not see these films with your parents.
Especially your mom.
Let's just say that the word "art" covers a lot of territory.
"That was amazing art" can also mean, "I think I'll go jump off a cliff."
In a way, Sundance is like that old story about the king who has no clothes on.
No, I mean the king literally has no clothes on.
Here are the movies I saw, in order, with a short synopsis and review:
"Contracorriente" (Undertow) — a Peruvian film (with subtitles) about a married guy with a pregnant wife in a fishing village whose gay lover dies and returns as a ghost to prod him out of the closet.
Review: Never see this movie. Ever.
"Blue Valentine" — about a married couple that used to be happy, but now their marriage sucks.
Review: See this film! Be glad you're not them!
"The Perfect Host" — about a bank robber who cons his way into a man's house to hide, only to find himself drugged, tied up and guest of honor at a dinner party with his host's imaginary friends. And that's just the first part.
Review: Only see it with your imaginary friends.
"Louis C.K.: Hilarious" — Louis C.K. is a stand-up comic whose specialty is "taboo-busting" — anything you think he shouldn't joke about, he jokes about — who filmed his monologue and turned it into this film.
Review: A very funny man who I'm pretty sure broke Tommy Lasorda's world record for most F words in a contiguous sentence.
(Just curious: Is there such a thing as an F rating? They use that word at Sundance. They use it a lot. If this column was a Sundance movie, I would have used at least 50 F words by now.)
In the end, I considered it a stroke of good fortune that my movie marathon ended with a film where a guy makes a laughing matter out of all the stuff Sundance treats as no laughing matter.
Quoting Louis C.K.: "You know what problems we have in America? We have white people problems. That's where your life is so awesome, you make things up to be miserable about."
And then put them in Sundance movies.
Lee Benson's column runs daily throughout the 2010 Sundance Film Festival. Please send e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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