Tuesday, January 20, 2009


A while ago, I met a girl in L.A. who was actually friends with another friend I met there. We call her Gallo, because that's her name. But it's her last name, and I'm not sure why we call her that. Anyway, she ended up dating a talented documentary maker, and he works at Sundance every year.
"Wanna come hang out?" Gallo says.
"Why yes," I say. "Yes I do."
Park City is where Sundance happens, and that's about half an hour east of SLC, through a great big canyon. It's a small ski town, and I'm sure you've seen pictures of the celebrities that swamp the place during the festival. We stayed in one of the local's houses. Turns out they do just like the locals in New Orleans do during Mardi Gras, which is to get the hell out and rent their houses out to yahoos that want to come have no space for parking and nowhere to go to the bathroom. And pretty much all you do for a week straight during Sundance is go see movies.
Well, you do if you got tickets seventeen years in advance. I hadn't. But I knew Gallo, and she knew Todd the documentarist, and so we got in to see Tyson, which turned out to be a surprisingly human view of Mike the boxer. Yeah, everyone knows he's the guy who bit that other guy's ear off, but when you hear him tell you that he was getting head-butted (which is an illegal tactic), you suddenly see it in the slo-mo replays, and you wonder how you could have missed it. Of course, cannibalism is probably not the best way to respond, but really, who can say what they would do in any given situation, blah blah blah. And the film reminds you that under all that goofy hoopla, he really was one of the most amazing ass-beaters of all time.
He looks funny in a tux. Yup, he showed up. Tuxedos are meant for people who can't lift Winnebagos. He was soft spoken and friendly, and answered the audience's questions in an amusingly frank way. And when someone asked him if he was meeting Paris Hilton later, he didn't kill them like I would have.
After that, I saw Elijah Wood on the street. He looked taller that I thought he would.
While we were walking back to the house, a car full of locals that couldn't get out idled up. I guess they were brain-dead, because they had spraypainted the car with the word LOCALS and were wearing no shirts in the 30 degree weather. And they all hung out the windows and continually screamed, "I WISH I COULD WALK AROUND WEARING A PEA COAT!" I'm pretty sure they were brain-dead, but I have to admit that just about everyone who came to Sundance (including me) was wearing a pea coat.
Sundance is now done.


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