Sundance 2008 Day 10: We've Reached the End
by Alex Billington
January 28, 2008
Almost in the blink of an eye, the Sundance Film Festival is over and February has arrived. Every year I lament the last day of the festival, where I celebrate the last 10 days of movies, filmmakers, friends, and snow, by enjoying one last meal at Main Street Pizza & Noodle. My eyes fill with tears that instantly freeze as I walk through the cold and snow one last time to our condo to begin packing for the long trip home. I love everything about Sundance: the sights, the sounds, the smells, the snow, the people, my friends, the crowded buses, the movie theaters - every last detail. It's sad that it's over, but it's two weeks that I'll never forget.
It's not just the movies, but it's the people that make the Sundance experience truly unforgettable. On Saturday night I spent the evening at a publicist's house enjoying some "adult beverages" together with Neil and Peter and the PR girls. Although I may have gotten in trouble with a few people at the time (it involved some snow angels), we all had plenty of fun and there were no hard feelings the next morning. We were all sharing the great Sundance finale together. If it weren't for those publicists and the other wonderful people I've met, Sundance wouldn't be the same.
As I walk inside the condo and glance up at the sign above the door, "Welcome Friends", I can't help but walk inside with a frown on my face. It's not because I'm unhappy, it's because I'm sad, because I already miss everything about the Sundance Film Festival. My mind is turning it into a montage, with all my memories being edited together then overlaid with a beautiful score. I know it's cheesy, but when you come to Sundance and then head home after 10 days in Park City, I think you'll feel the same way. I don't want to leave yet, I want it to keep going.
While there are still countless Sundance movies I missed, I did discover a few gems, like The Escapist, Baghead, and Assassination of a High School President. And as far as I know, they may remain on the top of my list by year's end. Among the films that I missed but are desperately hoping to catch sometime soon: Towelhead, Transsiberian, The Wave, Henry Poole is Here, August, Bottle Shock, Captain Abu Raed, Diminished Capacity, The Last Word, Timecrimes, The Visitor. Unfortunately there's never enough time to see everything, and that's partially why I want Sundance to never end. Even the bad films are special experiences in Park City.
Like Comic-Con in San Diego every July, Sundance is the one experience every year that reminds me why I love movies and why I love doing this so much. I know it's hard to understand if you've never been out here, but I hope you can feel the passion that I have just by being at Sundance. It is a movie lover's heaven with every last thing you'd ever need to live happily. Sundance is why I love movies, and it's where I come to enjoy movies. It's also where I come and share experience together with my best friends and the greatest people.
Rest assured, we'll be at Sundance again next year, and the year after, and for as many years as possible. It's an experience too amazing to give up on. And it's an experience that keeps building every year. And just like that, I'll finish zipping up my jacket, hop into my car, and head home to wait another year to return. Goodbye Sundance, goodbye.
Sundance 2008 Review List:
THURSDAY (JAN 24)
Goliath - 5/10
Red - 6/10
American Teen - 9/10
FRIDAY (JAN 25)
Hamlet 2 - 8.5/10
Quid Pro Quo - 2/10
Good Dick - 5/10
SUNDAY (JAN 27)
Frozen River - 6/10
The Wackness - 9/10
Total 31 films screened.
We're not entirely done yet! Check back this week for interviews, our annual awards, and a few more Sundance features.