Movies I Would Have Seen At The Sundance Film Festival, With Bonus Feature Of Movies I Would Not Have Seen At The Sundance Film Festival, Had I Actually Gone To The Sundance Film Festival: Now that it no longer coincides with the Golden Globes, Sundance gives film bloggers some no doubt welcome time off from having to think about awards and such, which must be nice for those who actually go. For those who can't or don't actually go, it's a bit of a pickle, as all they are going to read about on other film blogs is this or that Sundance movie. I suppose I would have had to have gone and seen Derek Cianfrance's Blue Valentine, but I don't know if I woulda liked it. As I get older, I tend more to enjoy films mit a plot. And this appears not to have much of one, just two interlaced accounts of a relationship, its beginning and end, imagine that. And a score from Grizzly Bear. What's with all these bands and such, and the names? Grizzly Bear, Panda Bear, Animal Collective, Wolf Parade. Feh. The only one of the lot I got any use for is Wolf Eyes. I'd like to get a boom box so I can blast that band's collaboration with Smegma next time I'm on a film festival line and some clod says something like "I don't like films about bourgeois people."
Grumble, grumble, mutter, mutter...where was I? Oh, and I suppose I woulda gone to see Cyrus, which is a Duplass brothers picture featuring movie stars of a sort, among them John C. Reilly, Catherine Keener, Marisa Tomei, and Jonah Hill. "You could say Cyrus looks ugly, but that ugliness is an artifact of a working method," Karina Longworth writes of it on on the Voice film blog. I don't mean to come off like some kind of spoilsport, but that sounds like a hifalutin way of saying "The movie looks like ass because it looks like ass." I mean, what is this working method of which you speak? Inability to properly operate a camera? No, seriously, I'd like to know. I mean, you read a little about Cassavetes, you get a pretty precise understanding of why his work looks the way it does. Saying their style "privileges intimacy and immediacy over beauty" may well be true, but as none of those qualities are mutually exclusive, if I'm sitting in that theater having my eyeballs violated, I'm gonna want a good explanation. Of course I don't know that Cyrus is going to violate my eyes, as I haven't seen it yet. Because I'm not at the Sundance Film Festival.
You know what picture I probably wouldn't have seen at the Sundance Film Festival? Buried, which is apparently an hour and a half of Ryan Reynolds in a coffin. "But Glenn," I can hear you saying, "we'd imagine that a curmudgeon such as yourself might get some enjoyment out of seeing the fluffy Reynolds interred alive." Well, first off, I really don't have a lot against Reynolds. Secondly, don't even joke about it, dude. The whole buried-alive concept is one of my biggest freak-the-fug-out pho-pho-pho-phobias. Just thinking about the ending of George Sluizer's original The Vanishing is enough to make me lose sleep for about two weeks. Just digging up the illo to run at the top of the page is gonna keep me up late. And Kill Bill 2 doesn't count, because you know she's gonna get out of the coffin, the whole entrapment's just an exercise to show how inventively badass "The Bride" was.
Of course, in the current Buried, Reynold's character's coffin is roomy enough that he can prop himself up on his side. And he's got a cell phone. And, judging by stills, some kind of light source. So maybe it's not so bad. One is reminded of the immortal Groucho Marx protest, "Let me out, or at least throw me a magazine."
I have to tell you, though, even the accounts I've read of the supposedly lighter fare, such as Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids Are Alright, make the festival fare seem, well, just like what festival fare seems to a lot of the philistine set: joyless, grim, pompous, and agenda-driven. I wonder, if I were at the Sundance Film Festival, if in my own coverage I would inadvertently convey a similar vibe.
We have no way of knowing.