So Jon and I really do have all-access passes to the Sundance Film Festival, not because either of us has anything to do with the film industry, and not because we really did anything worthwhile to earn these passes, but because, and I’m totally convinced of this, at one point in our life we both paid ten percent of our gross income to The Mormon Church Corporation and we’re finally seeing a return on investment. God does indeed answer prayers.
So we’ve done nothing for the last several days except watch movie after movie after movie, and watching any single movie at the festival involves standing in the icy cold for at least two hours among the huddled lines of the other 1,000 people who want to catch a glimpse of indie royalty such as Philip Seymour Hoffman and Hope Davis as they field ridiculous questions at the Q&A session at the end of the film. Questions like, “Did you get to keep that wig you wore in that scene?” or “Was it hard to play a Canadian?”
And we’ve seen some stunningly brilliant films this week, films that made my knees and my gut ache as I watched the credits. And we’ve seen the requisite gaggle of celebrities, the ones who do enough independent work that you totally feel justified in peeing your pants, like, oh my god, there’s Steve Buscemi, he really is cute in a totally creepy way!
But regardless of the great work we’ve seen on screen, despite the scripts that have almost inspired me to give up on this whole unemployment thing, despite that great sex scene between William H. Macy and Maria Bello where they both show their less-than-perfect naked bodies and make you believe that less-than-perfect is the most perfect thing in the world, it’s really hard to be around a concentrated group of people whose lives revolve around that industry, people who treat life like it’s a neverending year of high school.
I’m talking about the people who show up to Park City, Utah, in January wearing spaghetti-strap tank tops and mini-skirts who clamber their way up to Ed Burns after the show and bark over the low roar of the emptying crowd, “I really love your work,” and he gives them a look back like, “Have you seen my work?” Or the people dressed entirely in black wool doing their best impression of Tina Fey, glasses and flippy hair ablaze, chattering on their cell phones and remarking much too loudly, “Actors are so overrated.” I’m talking about the people so aggressively unkempt and grouchy that they are all but screaming, “I am indie. Adore me.”
And while I’m sure not everyone attending the festival is one of these people, it’s hard to ignore the purist fuckwad waiting in line next to us who has to let everyone know that he remembers the way the festival used to be, when independent was really independent, whatever that means, and people could experience the art without the interference of such unnecessary celebrity appearances as Britney Spears.
And I’m like, BRITNEY?! HERE? WHERE?!!!