Breakfast with my Dad. We are talking about music, Jimi Hendrix, The Band, the musicians from the BMI event the night before, my mom, our friends, and life in general. I can hear snippets of the other conversations at the restaurant: to my left “And when she turned 40 she had made a pact to get botox….” And to my right a different conversation: “So last night she was making out with this famous guy…” I understand now why locals aren’t always excited about Sundance and the “Hollywood types” that come with it. I heard that there’s even one restaurant in Park City where the waiters wear shirts that say: “Do you know who I am?” on the front, and “Now we’re even” on the back — a bold retaliation again Hollywood’s age-old Hollywood rhetorical question.
Today is the one day that we have no obligations…FREE! Free at last! My dad and I are walking down Main Street hoping to catch a Sundance film before we fly home. We walk past the shops and restaurants and come across an upright piano in the middle of the sidewalk where someone is playing flitty flighty beautiful music — his hands gracefully running across the keys. In my first journal I mentioned my belief that if all rooms were filled with couches, the world would be a better place. I will also now add that if all sidewalks were filled with musical instruments, this too would bring eternal happiness. (Yes kids, Vote Lucy Schwartz for President 2012.)
We come across a Sundance theatre where there is a line of people outside. The way that Sundance works is that most people buy tickets to shows weeks/months in advance, and then others will get waitlist tickets hours in advance & wait in line to potentially get a ticket (if there’s enough room in the theatre). My dad and I get a last minute waitlist ticket, but we soon discover that the film we are waiting for is a Korean horror film….and since I get scared watching spoofs of scary movies (i.e. comedies, and I am frightened of the dark, creepy crawlies, and even afraid of butterflies (good riddance!), we decide to pass on the horror flick. I had heard that this documentary Sing Your Song was great and so we decide to drive to one of the more distant theaters to get a ticket. We are on the waitlist again. While we are waiting, we start talking to this couple who tells us about how much they love Sundance, and that they come every year and they see three or four films a day, and they just can’t get enough! In front of me a woman is enthusiastically talking about a documentary project she’s working on about the aftermath of 9/11. Everyone is abuzz about the power of film. I can’t help but think about how the need for humans to relate stories to one another — whether that is through music, speech, art or film — is so strong. We, as people, want to know about one another and imagine ourselves in other peoples lives, and maybe learn something about the human condition that we didn’t know before; film gives us that opportunity.
Slowly they let people on the waitlist into the theatre. We are almost at the front of the line when DUM DUM DUM….the theatre is full and we can’t get in! And I’m thinking…..”Do you know who I am???” (Only joking.) Alas! Our last chance to see a film before we have to go to the airport is thwarted!
Too soon, it’s time to leave. My dad and I share a cab with a friend of a friend, Gemma, who is also going to the airport. She is lovely, and British (which makes one even lovelier) and is telling us interesting stories about the films she saw and music festivals she’s involved with, and these new kinds of schools where experts in psychology and philosophy and other subjects team up together to teach classes. She has a great passion and knowledge of music, film, art and life. And her joy is infectious. We part ways as we head home for California.
So what can I say to sum up my experience at Sundance? I’m sad to report that I didn’t see any films. Nada. Zip. Zippo. I also must admit that I didn’t have a Lord of the Rings good-against-evil adventure (as I had dreamt up in my first journal), though I am tall enough to be an elf. I think for me, the Sundance experience was about music and about meeting interesting creative people. Despite the “Hollywood types,” I found that most of the people I talked to or saw on stage or performed with were bright, artistic, interesting and most of all, inspiring! So I guess the next time I’m at Sundance and somebody asks: “Do you know who I am?” my response will have to be: “No, but I’d like to.”
That’s all for now folks. Thanks for listening to my babble!