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LAist at Sundance: The Big Wrap-up

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Photo courtesy of jpchan via flickr

For me, the Sundance Film Festival officially ended at the airport in Salt Lake City when I was waiting in line behind Bijou Phillips at the Quizno's in Terminal 1. She was politely arguing with the counter guy about why she couldn't get fresh mustard from behind the counter instead of having to use the the mustard packets by the napkin stand. In a heavy accent, he kept saying that all they had was "runny mustard" and she kept asking, "What is runny mustard?" before finally realizing he was saying "honey mustard" and asking him to give her some. Somehow, that moment perfectly captured the surreality of Sundance.

For 355 days a year, Park City is a quietly wealthy little ski town. Its Main Street is lined with good restaurants and pricey shops. Its surrounding mountains are dotted with huge, splendid homes. Then, for 10 days a year, it's a madhouse. 45,000 people cram into a town that can barely accommodate them; lines spill out of every storefront; people wait for hours in single-degree temperatures for movies they wouldn't otherwise drive across town to see; celebrities are lavished with gifts they don't need; and, of course, about 200 movies unspool in theaters, hotels, libraries and racquet clubs--many for the first time. Everyone should go at least once.