Friday, January 20, 2012

Day 1 - The Films Begin

My Southwest flight was not only on time, but it provided me with my first 'celeb' sighting of the Fest. A man who has spent his young career playing villains, and most recently in BIG LOVE, Matt Ross.

After checking into our lovely condo, we had our annual dinner at Zoom on Main Street. A pleasant time was had by all and it was nice to catch up with some of the folks we hadn't seen since last year. Today was the first day we saw movies, and for the first film fest in quite some time, I was pretty happy with all four. The morning started out on a real upbeat tone with WEST OF MEMPHIS, a grueling documentary about a horrific murder of three 8 year-old boys in Arkansas, the incarceration of three teens, and the subsequent release after many people banded together to fight for their innocence. The film was just completed weeks ago with an ending provided in November. Next up a bizarre movie with a stellar cast called THIS MUST BE THE PLACE, starring Frances McDormand (shout out to Bolinas!), Harry Dean Stanton and starring Sean Penn looking like a female goth queen. The storyline was somewhat surprising, to say the least. David Byrne makes some appearances, and the film is filled with Talking Heads music. Loved the next film, a documented train wreck called THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES, about wealthy people in Florida who agreed to be filmed showing off their opulent lifestyle, only to have their financial world crash around them mid-filming. Lucky for the filmmakers and us as viewers, too. The movie recently received a lot of press due to the main 'character' suing the filmmakers and the Sundance Film Festival for their portrayal.The last film of the evening was a lovely movie called WHERE DO WE GO NOW, from the Lebanese director of CARAMEL. It takes place in a small village of characters, where the women are strong in character and spirit, and work to keep the men from foolishly following a road of violence between Christians and Muslims.
Tomorrow will start early and end late...

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