I feel like shit. I’m hopped up on cold medications and my head still feels like it’s filled with about thirty pounds of concrete. Last night I was running a fever, but that thankfully seems to be over (knock on wood). My predicament isn’t unusual: my understanding is that a nasty bug has been tearing its way through the Sundance Film Festival, taking advantage of people who have been getting too little sleep and who have been packed together in theaters, buses and clubs all week. Most of my condomates have come down with extreme versions of whatever this is, and a couple went home early because they were so sick. I’m keeping my head above water for the time being, but being this sick has really cut into my review writing, which is bumming me out – I want to tell you guys about all the movies I’ve been seeing.
Despite feeling so ill, I went to two movies today. The first was Hamlet 2, starring Steve Coogan as a drama teacher who writes a bizarre sequel to Shakespeare’s classic (it involves time travel, sexy Jesus and Snoopy from Peanuts). The film already sold for ten million dollars, and I can see why – it’s fucking hilarious. This is my first Sundance and I wasn’t expecting it to be so funny, honestly – I’ve seen a bunch of hilarious films while in Park City.
Not so funny was my evening screening of Ballast, a low budget indie still looking for distribution. It reminded me of David Gordon Green – set in the South with a cast of local non-actors and lots of silence. Ballast is a really good film, but perhaps not one to see with a head cold.
Speaking of films still looking for distribution, how have The Wackness and Anvil! The Story of Anvil not been bought yet? These are probably my two favorite films of the fest and yet they’re still up for sale. This year’s Sundance has been slow when it comes to acquisitions, but both of these are terrific and, I believe, very commercial movies. These are films that people will see and that people will like; The Wackness especially could be this year’s Juno in the hands of the right marketing department.
The final two days of Sundance are a little more up in the air since the press screenings are now over. Depending on how I feel in the morning, I may attend a public screening or two, and on Sunday the award winners will be shown again. I could have the opportunity to fill some slots on my movie-watching list then, including American Teen, which is probably the most buzzed about film of the fest and which is a strong contender for the Documentary prize.
In the meantime, I’m updating my dorky ‘Movies I’ve seen’ list right here, and I’m going to be noting which films have been bought – ie, which movies you are likely to see in the coming months.