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Arts and Entertainment

LAist at Sundance: Lights Out!

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There are usually only two things to talk about at the Sundance Film Festival: the movies and the parties. Last night was unique, though, because everybody was talking about...the blackout! That's right. Around 9:30 last night the whole town just went completely dark for at least half on hour. Periodic blackouts continued for the next hour or so before everything finally returned to normal. It was a surreal scene. Thousands of people were just standing out in the cold on Main Street in utter darkness.

Unfortunately, the blackout ruined our chances of seeing The Donnas play so we headed over to the T-Mobile Lounge to see Nikka Costa play an acoustic set. No complaints there: good music and free Amstel Lights. After she stopped playing, we went outside to watch one of the strangest events I've seen in awhile. Think about it: it's about 10 degrees outside; its midnight--what better thing to do than bounce on a skis. Once that exhibition ended, we did what any normal, slightly inebriated person would do. We went sledding.

Woke up the next morning to a better-than-expected hangover and headed over to the Yarrow to finally catch my first film of the festival. Getting my credentials on Friday had been a bit of a nightmare so I hadn't had the chance to catch any screenings yet. The first one I did see was an intriguing film by indie warhorse Tom Kalin entitled Savage Grace. The films tells the bizarre, true story of the Barbara Daly Baekeland murder case. It follows the family as they flit across Europe during the 50s and 60s.

Savage Grace is one of these movies that tests your mettle from time to time as a viewer. There aren't many things that can shock anymore, but the sight of Julianne Moore giving her gay teenage son a handjob is probably one of them. Of course, this does happen right after she essentially rapes him so it's a little understandable. Not sure if Savage Grace will ever make it to a theater near you, but it is a challenging film that's worth a look on DVD or cable. Back tomorrow with more Sundance news!