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Arts and Entertainment

LAist at Sundance: Run Like Hell

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Photo courtesy of Focus Features

Even on the best days, the Sundance Film Festival is an extremely hectic place to be. Screenings and events often overlap and are spread all over town, and even though the public transportation is good (and free!), it can still be a nightmare to get someplace quickly. Cabs can be hard to come by and parking (when available) is expensive. Furthermore, there are always going to be lines waiting for you so you have to plan to get everywhere fairly early. Sometimes, you get bit in the ass like I did (twice) yesterday.

Two films that I had high hopes of seeing, Anvil! The Story of Anvil and The Mysteries of Pittsburgh, both closed out before I could get there. In the case of Anvil! (a hilarious and poignant documentary about a failed 80s heavy-metal band--think This Is Spinal Tap but true), I expected it since I get there 5 minutes before it started, but I arrived to Pittsburgh 45 minutes early. Not early enough. Luckily, Be Kind Rewind was screening right next door and I was able to snag a decent seat.

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Photo courtesy of Sundance Film Festival

I'll be honest, I wasn't expecting Be Kind Rewind to be my kind of movie. I was excited about it when I originally heard of it several months ago, but the recent trailers had left me a bit cold. Frankly, the whole concept of "re-making movies on the cheap" seemed a little stupid and the first part of Be Kind Rewind did little to allay my concerns. Then, something sort of amazing happened. I suddenly realized that the point of the movie wasn't about the bad "sweded" movies that Jack Black and Mos Def were making. Rather, it was a parable about the magic of making movies. Frank Darabont tried something similar in The Majesty and it just fell flat. In Be Kind Rewind, though, it worked wonderfully and by the finale I was actually getting a little misty-eyed as the whole town came together to watch the film they'd all helped make. What a pleasant surprise.

Downloading Nancy, however, was a different story. It seemed like my kind of movie going in: dark, twisted and violent. By the end of it, though, I was praying for everyone to just die already. Mario Bello certainly gives an intense performance, but it ultimately felt meaningless. Essentially, this is a movie about a depressed woman who wants to die and a husband so caught up in his own banal existence that he doesn't even seem to notice. Is this movie an accurate description of a failed, dysfunctional relationship? Probably. Did I care? No, and neither did the twenty or so people who walked out of the screening. In retrospect, I should have joined them.