Get rid of everything you are indebted for with out sending an other cent

PARK CITY RECAP PART 2

Things forgot to mention yesterday: Dom, Sarah, Jacob and I saw Roger Ebert on the bus, bundled up in his green parka. Dom and I saw Joey Pants walking down the street, being interviewed and Ben walked next to Paris Hilton who “smelled like money”.

TUESDAY
We had a nice leisurely morning in the condo, and then Ben, Dom, Jacob and I went to Main Street for lunch. Faye, sadly, was still too ill to move. As we perused the menu of a “bistro”, I heard a familiar voice. We looked up in time to see Crispy and Courtney (how cute!) walking in to the bistro. They emerged a few seconds later, Crispy stressing about not having enough time to eat before they had to get somewhere. Ben happened to note a girl doing a double take as Crispy and his bride-to-be passed her.

We settled on lunch at “The Eating Establishment”. This is the restaurant where it had taken Sarah ages to get seated and served. There wasn’t too long a wait this time and Sarah had liked the food she eventually got, so we decided to give it a try. We didn’t have much time to argue, as we had a movie to get to. I probably should have ordered breakfast because their lunch menu was lacking in vegetarian options. I got a simple, cold veggie sandwich, the ingredients of which probably cost about a $1. Including tax and tip, I paid $12 for it. For bread, lettuce, cheese, cucumbers and mustard, it wasn’t a BAD sandwich. It just felt like a rip-off. Everyone else seemed to like their fancier, meat-filled meals. We all tried some of Dom’s warm, fresh-made beer bread and THAT was delicious. So it looks like I just screwed myself. Still, it wasn’t the first overprices, mediocre meal I had in Park City, and it wouldn’t be the last.

After lunch, we caught the bus to our theatre to see the only movie we had physical tickets for: “Wristcutters: A Love Story”. Starring that doe-eyed kid from that Cameron Crowe movie I hate about classic rock music and groupies, and Shannyn Sossamon, flat line-delivery extraordinaire, “Wristcutters” is a dark romantic comedy about suicides searching for meaning in their purgatorial afterlife. It sounds kinda cool, and there are some elements of the movie I really liked. The music, for instance, was really interesting and set the tone well. The color-correction was interesting. The make-up, or lack-there-of, on all the actors definitely made them look dead, without looking cheesy or vampiric. The performance by Shea Whigham was amusing and engaging. But damnit, I hate Shannyn Sossamon. She is so irritating and untalented. Therefore, I had NO interest in seeing her and the lead get together. There were a number of “conveniences” indicative of a romantic comedy that they used which pissed me off and, as the movie was based on a short story with a rather bleak (albeit REALISTIC) ending, they decided to Hollywood-ize it for the script. This resulted in a groan-worthy happy ending which, I feel, totally undermined the tone of the entire story. Of course, I’m sure that hot-topically depressed teenage goth girls, and fans of Cameron Crowe in general are going to “discover” this movie and adore the crap out of it.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that the movie was introduced by the director of programming at Sundance who admitted to being friends with the director and said that he submitted the film “just in time” and that “luckily” he was selected. Boy, that really IS lucky.

After the Q and A, Ben went up to talk to the director, and to find Jake Busey, who was in the movie too. He found Busey on our way out the door, shook his hand and said hello. After we’d moved on, Ben regretted not having asked for a picture with him. Not to worry, though. His day would come…

We went back to the condo and checked on Faye. Everyone was pretty tired, but Jacob and I decided to go out anyway. We met some of his friends from California, as they were just finishing up dinner at Bandit’s. We had two drinks there, and then they left us to go back to their condo to get drunk in their hot tub. They invited us to go with them, but we wanted to be out. We could get drunk in our OWN hot tub.

Next, we checked out a cover band in a basement bar called The Spur. They weren’t bad, but they were kind of loud. Also, the place was full of uppity types adorned in fur, and Jacob’s one ounce of scotch cost more than it should have.

We then checked out O’Shucks. As soon as we walked in the door, we knew we’d made the right decision. They were playing classic rock, there was no fur or white puffy ski jackets in the entire bar, you could shuck (get it?) your peanuts onto the floor, and you could buy a beer that was AS BIG AS YOUR HEAD. Jacob got one of these beers, and I got a house wine which was still quit impressive in its own right. It took a while for Jacob to get through his beer, and they rung the bell which sounded like last call, so we took off. Jacob suspected, however, that they were being pretty lenient with last call times that week. We vowed to return to O’Shucks to make the most of our “membership” amidst the divey goodness.

WEDNESDAY
Faye was finally feeling better and was ready to face the world. Before we headed out, we said goodbye to Sarah who had to return to her life. Then Faye, Jacob and I headed to the Box Office to see if we could buy any tickets for any of the movies we wanted to see the rest of the week.

I had the brilliant idea (as it had been so much fun before) to walk to Main Street. There was a small sidewalk along the road that could be seen from the bus, and it didn’t look that treacherous. I’d walked back from two places already (albeit from a different direction), so I didn’t think it would be that difficult.

It was. The wind whipped us all around. The altitude got to us, and we were all breathing hard within minutes. Faye hadn’t been up for two days, so she wasn’t enjoying herself either. The mere MILE we had to walk seemed to take forever. So much for THAT bright idea.

When we finally, got to the Box Office, we discovered that there was ONE ticket left to ONE of the movies we wanted to see. We bought it, and then went to find something to eat.

We got a table at the Wasatch Bar and Grill. (By the way, everything in Park City is a bar and grill.) I thought perhaps I could order the deluxe quesadilla without any chicken. “The quesadillas are pre-made,” responded the waitress. Really, what I wanted was the beans, so I asked if they had a side of beans I could order. “Nope. Everything is pre-made”. So I got the plane, pre-made cheese quesadillas. Faye ordered some chips and salsa for us all, and a salad, and Jacob got the pre-made chicken fajitas which came with…a side of beans. I didn’t mind my quesadilla at all, but Jacob wasn’t impressed with his meal. The chips and salsa, we all agreed, were quite delicious, however.

We stopped, quickly, at a candy store to buy reinforcements before meeting Ben in the waitlist line for “The Darwin Awards”. This was the premiere, and though we’d been to a premiere before (“Art School”), this one was crazy. People were DESPERATE to get in there to see, I guess, Winona Ryder and Joseph Fiennes and Metallica. I really could take it or leave it, but we didn’t have any other plans for the day and thought, since we were getting there 3 and a half hours early, that we would be alright.

The scene was a most horrific display of humanity. People were selling wait list numbers (which aren’t worth anything if there aren’t any empty seats for ticket holders), and people were trying to scam their way into the wait list line. We met Evil Scarf Lady, whom Ben had seen before, yelling at the theatre VOLUNTEERS, and trying to shove her way in front of everybody. Some crazy lady singled Faye out and kept trying to get Faye to give her her phone number so they could “double their efforts”. It was impossible to tell what she really wanted because she kept changing her story. First she was meeting a “friend” there and then she just wanted to hook up with someone as a “safety measure” for getting in. We’d say “no thank you”, but she just kept coming back. Eventually, they told us that if we weren’t in the first 20 people, we weren’t getting in, and that perhaps even those 20 people might not get in (take that, Scarf Lady), so we left. But not before losing a little more faith in humanity. If people act like this about a stupid fucking MOVIE that they’ll be able to see (for cheaper) in a few months anyway, imagine what they’d be like after a major disaster when money is meaningless and food and medicine are scarce.

We headed back to the condo and decided to spend our evening watching one of our free “Cry Wolf” DVDs. “Cry Wolf”, as we learned when we received the DVDs, was made because the filmmakers won some contest as put on by Chrysler. Their script, and accompanying short film, earned them $1m and lots of help to make this movie. They shot it in Richmond, VA (and I swear to god, one of the locations is my high school cafeteria), with no-name actors and Jon Bon Jovi, and had nothing but incredibly nice things to say about how Hollywood treats independent filmmakers. Well, you won a fucking CONTEST sponsored by a big American car company. Of COURSE they’re going to be nice to you. But why you won, we can’t figure out because your script is AWEFUL. Another stupid “twist” ending “horror” movie with very little blood and NO redeeming values whatsoever won this contest? I’m not sure if that gives me hope for our script or makes me think that we will never be appreciated.

Their winning short was on the DVD too. It was a poorly scripted, flashy little thing featuring a Chrysler sports car.

THURSDAY
I really wanted to see “Stay”, the film written and directed by Bob(cat) Golthwait. We didn’t have tickets, I was slightly disheartened by what happened at “The Darwin Awards”, so Jacob and I got to the theatre FOUR hours early. It paid off. We were first in the wait list line. We chilled, listened to comedy on my i-pod, ate burritos from the burrito stand across the way, enjoyed the beautiful mountainous scenery. Dom joined us after a few hours, and the three of us ended up being among the 15 or so that they let in to see this VERY sold out movie.

“Stay” is a fantastic film. It’s a great example of how a very solid script and great acting can make the fact that you have a $0 budget seem like a minor inconvenience. The movie is hilarious and fucked up (everything that happens is a result of one misspent night, by the main character, of dog fellatio) and uncomfortable and universal all at once. I daresay it brought tears to my eyes at one point, and that’s no easy feat for me. SEE THIS MOVIE, if you are able.

After the movie, Bobcat gave a little speech about how humbled he was that so many people had come out to see his movie. He said he was very nervous and was going to keep it short, lest he throw up on stage. He also relayed a story about a woman at a previous screening who, as a result of seeing the movie, felt compelled to tell him about HER experiences with receiving cunnilingus from her dog. She said “I can tell you this because I know you won’t tell anyone”. “Sure,” he said to us, “until the next screening.”

Jacob, Dom and I bussed to Main Street to catch Lloyd Kaufman signing books at Dolly’s Bookstore. After some prompting, Lloyd remembered us, and “Snow Day”, from the ComicCon. He asked why we didn’t submit it to Tromadance. Of course, I told him that we DID submit it and were rejected. He said he was surprised, because our movie was so good. He called over one of the directors of the festival and introduced me to him. He said “This is one of the directors of this really good short. We should try and squeeze it into the Secret Screenings tonight.” The guy said OK and took the DVD. He gave me his cell number and told me to call him “later on” to find out when and where the Secret Screenings would take place. Lloyd took another button and the festival director, Kiel (yes, that's how he spells his name…should have tipped me off), had a DVD and business card. Things seemed promising at that point.

Next stop was the liquor store, to buy the biggest, most potent bottle of wine we could find. I touched base with Faye who, along with Ben was having her own adventures on Main Street. She and Ben had just happened upon a concert/expo thingy for Brendon Small’s new cartoon. Then they were to catch a special bus full of VW owners (of which Ben is one), that were to be whisked to a secret screening of “Little Miss Sunshine”, the big darling of the festival.

Jacob, Dom and I stopped in at the Stella Artois tent, where they were giving out free Stella and free Stella MINTS! Jacob and I each drank our allotted beers and the three of us chatted with some students from New York who were a lot of fun.

By the way, you should know that during Sundance, ALL of Park City is sponsored by Stella Artois. In fact, EVERYTHING is sponsored by something. This is why, whenever possible, we decided to take photos of each other displaying a corporate logo of some kind. It would have been harder to AVOID logos in our pictures.
After our fast and furious Stella orgy, we got some dinner at the Hungry Moose, and went back to the Condo for a brief rest. I called Kiel and left a voicemail. Then I laid down for a nap. I was asleep for 10 minutes when Faye called. I told her I was waiting to hear back from Kiel, and she told me that she and Ben were on their way to a super secret VW party. I told her I’d call her when I knew what was going on.
Shortly after that, Kiel called me back. It was obvious that he hadn’t listened to my voicemail and just called back his missed call. I asked him what was going on for the night. He said “I just got out of the shower. Call me back in half an hour”. I realized after we hung up that he had no idea who I was.

I called him back in 45 minutes, and explained who I was straight away. He was very gruff and said the screenings probably wouldn’t happen until around 1 or 1:30. If we were still “out and about” then, I “could give [him] a call. Right now, we’re going to Cicero’s for karaoke”. I told him I’d call later. I thought perhaps he was just awkward on the phone. I was very excited to tell Jacob that I knew where there was karaoke in Park City! I called Faye, who was in the midst of lots of free VW sponsored Stella with Ben. She said she’s meet us at Cicero’s when we got there.

The lady at the door was very nice. She asked if we were filmmakers. We said we were. I waited for her to say “Can I see your credentials?”. She didn’t. Instead, she handed me and Jacob a voucher for the cover charge and said “We want to take care of the filmmakers.” I’m glad SOMEBODY does. We moseyed in and found a table and started looking through the book. They had NONE of my sure-fire standards and this was not a crowd for experimentation. I finally settled “heaven is a place on earth” which had gone over well before. Faye (2 Stellas in) and Ben (9 Stellas in) showed up a short while later. Apparently, Jack Busey had been at the VW party. Ben and Faye sat next to him and eavesdropped as he chatted up two ladies. Ben would loudly exclaim “Did you hear what Jake Busey just said?! Did you see what Jake Busey just did?! I’m losing respect for Jake Busey!” Of course, Faye DID hear and see what Jake Busey said and did, because he was RIGHT NEXT to them. Ben did get his picture with Busey, though.

Jacob saw a Tromette that has been at the book store and started chatting her up. I saw Kiel on my way back from the bathroom and smiled at him. He smiled an annoyed “please God, don’t talk to me” smile back at me so I decided to leave him alone and resign myself to the fact that he only took the movie because Lloyd told him too. Why does Troma hate “Snow Day”? I would have thought it would be right up their alley. Oh well.

Faye, Ben and I all put in songs. Ben got to sing early because he bribed the karaoke DJ. Faye and I, to our knowledge, were never called.

The karaoke festivities were curtailed by a screening of a short called “One Sung Hero”, about a karaoke singer. That was when we figured out that the party was SPONSORED BY the short, which starred some lady, a chick from Mad TV and Kyle Gass of The D. The short was pretty bad. It was like a Mad TV sketch without the budget. After it was over, Faye, Ben and I left and Jacob remained with him Tromette. I guess he eventually made it to the Troma condo with her, but of course, “Snow Day” was never played.

Stay tuned for the final installment…

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