Monday, January 19, 2009

Sundance - Sunday, January 18

Hot Tub
Originally uploaded by Mirka23
I decided to take a relaxation day, and spent the day hanging around the townhouse. This included catching up on some stuff, and then taking a dip in the hot tub while looking at the snow covered mountains. Fantastic!

In the evening we went to theater right nearby that's also playing Sundance films. We saw Spring Breakdown, starring Amy Poehler, Rachel Dratch and Parker Posey. It was pretty funny - I started giggling in the very first scene and kept going pretty much through the whole film. None of the stars were there for the Q&A, and the Director left pretty quick when no one asked him anything. But it was still a fun time, and it was nice to be so close to home when we got out of the screening.

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Sundance - Saturday, January 17

Charlyne Yi
Originally uploaded by Mirka23
My second attempt to get into a movie by way of the waitlist was successful. I went to the World Premiere of Paper Heart, a movie by Nick Jasenovec and Chalyne Yi.

It's sort of a documentary, sort of a narrative. The lines are blurred by the structure, which includes portions where Yi is interviewing real people and experts about the notion of what love is, intermixed with narrative scenes in which Charlyne Yi and Michael Cera play versions of themselves, forming and developing a relationship. (To further complicate things, the two are dating in real life.)

Part of the story of the movie is about the making of the documentary, which is impacting the blossoming (fictional) relationship between Yi and Cera. In these scenes, the director, Jasenovec, is played by actor Jake Johnson, adding another level of abstraction.

Though more straightforward than On the Road with Judas, which I saw at Sundance a few years ago, the layers of reality and fiction could prove to be a little mind boggling if you think about them too hard. But, it's not necessary to unravel that mystery in order to enjoy the film.

Yi, Cera and Johnson are all interesting, sweet likable people/characters. The documentary parts take a very ambitious topic - defining love - and shed just enough light on it to be thought provoking, without trapping themselves in an impossible task. The narrative parts are entertaining, and woven in so seemlessly, many people will probably not even realize it's not entirely documentary. They play with this conceit in some lovely, subtle ways, such as when, at the end of their first date, Cera asks if the camera crew wants their microphone back.

During the Q&A everyone came up on stage. Most of the questions were directed at Jesenovec and Yi, with a couple directed at Cera. When asked how they came up with this structure, Jesenovec said that Charlyne wanted to make a documentary about love, and he felt that she should be in it because her unique perspective (she doesn't really believe she's capable of falling in love) puts the interviews in context. But they also knew she would need an arc - to somehow develop and change her view over the course of the movie - and at the same time, he knew she was too stubborn to actually change. So they scripted an arc for her! Charlyne didn't disagree with this description.

Cera was asked when he became involved in the project. He said that he became involved with it at the beginning, and stayed involved right up until today. He concluded by joking, "And now I never want to talk about it again." I don't know what it is about him, but he can say the most straightforward things and it just comes out hilarious.

Saturday, January 17, 2009

LBP crew at Sundance

LBP crew
Originally uploaded by Mirka23
Ok, so the reason I'm here at Sundance is to hang out with my friends from Low Budget Pictures, who are here to meet folks and spread the word about LBP. Officially I should be helping them, but my help has mostly taken the form of having been here once before, so I could show them where things are and how to get around. They're the ones that are really working it, though.

In this photo you can see Chris "the Seavage" Seaver, Meredith Host, and Jesse Ames putting together press kits to hand out to important people. Casey Bowker, star of Ski Wolf and other LBP flicks, was elsewhere in our amazing townhouse at the time.

Friday, January 16, 2009

Sundance 2009

Ok, it's been a long time since I've posted here, and I'm not going to bother playing catch up. But now I'm at the Sundance Film Festival for the next week, and some interesting things are bound to happen. I'll post about them here when they do.