Know where I am not this weekend? At Sundance. Whenever I open Wordpress to write a post like this one, I am immediately confronted by a conveyer belt of newsfeeds, many of which are from "trades," like Variety and The Hollywood reporter. I'm drawn to the reviews and descriptions of the movies that are opening at Sundance. Reading them, I have mixed feelings. I went once, a few years ago, and there is something about seeing a film at a festival. There is something about seeing a film at a festival, being in the audience for a film that hasn't been seen anywhere else the moment before a film begins--a feeling of closeness, camaraderie, excitement and hope. A collective feeling of hope that the experience will be good, that the film will be good, that you will discover something together.
But there are
lots of other moments too--moments in line, realizing you won't get in.
Moments of being really cold, walking up long hills because the people
who booked the shared condominiums refused to tell you how really far
away from the festival they were. Feeling isolated and pretty worked
over from the "networking" on buses, in theater lobbies and at parties,
the where people look past you for more interesting prospects, the
knowledge that I was sometimes looking over someone's shoulder too. Not
because I have the savvy to recognize anyone important, but because the
neediness of the person in front of you can feel like an undertow, and
when that happens, you look in every direction for shore.
So, overall, mixed feelings about not being at Sundance this year. Sad to miss it, and NOT sad to be missing it.
librarian of the Philosophy library upstairs from where I work loves
the opera and ballet, and music and movies. When I ask about his
weekend he'll often say, in a still-thick Chicago twang (despite the
fact he has lived in Southern California since before I was born),
"Barrington, I'll tell ya', I saw a great movie!" Or, "Barrington, I'll tell ya', that orchestra was spectacular!"
When I ask about his upcoming weekend, he usually seems happy with his
plans, and equally happy without plans. This weekend after Friday
night, "I don't have anything going on! I've got two days to just read,
and listen to some music. It's gonna be great!"
really, what is greater than that? In high school and college, a new CD
or two in your hands or a friend's was entertainment for an evening at
least. In my 20s, a movie night with rented videos was a fully-formed
A package of a dozen screeners for the Independent
Spirit Awards showed up my mailbox this week, and I have the option to
attend nine different screening this weekend. This is in addition to our
Netflix, Hulu and cable package. We have a hundred CDs and iTunes and
...and somehow all this feels incidental and interstitial. Everything is a thing that one crams in between other things...
weekend however, I'm working to pare down the things, and appreciate
each one as I'm doing it. Today I cleared the calendar for the afternoon
and spent several consecutive hours reading. Reading is a luxurious
experience in itself, one I have enjoyed since I was six. Granted it's
because I need to finish a three-hundred page book of historical
non-fiction in time to write a thousand-word book review for Tuesday,
Related post: Review of movie I would be interested in