I had a phone call last fall from a good friend, Sue Martin, an excellent artist from Salt Lake City. I had been down with a shoulder injury, not writing, not painting and trying to endure the usual Timber Valley cabin fever. All she had to say was “It’s time for us to go to Sundance again.” I didn’t even have to think. I got a plane ticket to Salt Lake, bought a furry warm coat for Park City and left for the Sundance Film Festival 2013.
Wow. I am one of the world’s greatest film lovers. I can say this with certainty. I remember coming out of the first movie I ever saw “on my own”. I had seen “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” at the old Hollywood Theatre in Portland, Oregon. When I came out of the theater still lost in make-believe and the magic of film I was convinced that EVERYONE was one of the “pod people” I’d seen in the movie. I ran home a little scared but so happy and amazed that I could become almost part of the story I’d seen. I loved the feeling of being somewhere else. Movies have everything that can pull me out of myself and into other worlds.
So I’m just back from Sundance. Sue and I had a great time fitting in nine movies, lots of galleries, great food while fighting a weather inversion that left Salt Lake in cold icy smog. But up at Park City, high in the mountains, we were above the bad air and into the snow and sun. Beautiful landscapes, beautiful people and a world that was full of the excitement of directors, writers, actors and movie lovers. I LOVED it. Sue and I had made lists of the movies we wanted to see. After comparing them we picked ten that we both agreed on. We saw two premieres.
“The East” was one of my favorites starring Brit Marling and Alexander Skarsgard (of True Blood fame). Eco-terrorism, elite operatives and Alexander Skarsgard made for a tense few hours of great film. “The Way Way Back” with Steve Carell, Toni Collette and Sam Rockwell was a twist on the “coming of age” story that made you laugh and cry at the same time. One of the “Spotlight” films we saw was a British dark dark comedy called “Sightseers”. About two lovers, running away from a horrible mother take a “caravan” (travel trailer) around England. Things happen. That’s all I can say. “Cutie and the Boxer” was a movie about art…but more about relationships. The two artists from the film were there to answer questions after. They also did a demonstration of their art after the film near the theatre. Zachary Heinzerling, director, won the Directing award for U.S. Documentary in the 2013 Sundance Awards.
I was in heaven at the Tower Theater in Salt Lake.
“The Whole World is Wild at Heart and Weird on Top.”
I was back in Timber Valley for a week when Ron and I went to see “Django Unchained”, last year’s Quentin Tarantino movie. It was a kind of spaghetti western/Civil Rights movie so well directed by Tarantino that we were both excited and impressed. This movie was powerful and unflinching in showing slavery and bigotry in a way we’ve never been able to read or hear about. Sometimes darkly humorous sometimes violent, it made me proud of Tarantino for being brave enough to approach the subject so directly and unflinchingly. Movies have power. Art has power. Don’t ever stop making movies Quentin.
If you haven’t seen the old 1988 movie “Mississippi Burning” with Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe about the slaying of three civil-rights workers in 1964 you need to stream it or rent it before seeing “Django”.
I also discovered an exciting gallery in Park City called Coda Gallery. www.codagallery.com I saw some great paintings but fell in love with the work of John Erickson. Page Juliano was nice enough to take time to show me some of his other work. I also liked the work of Kim Brown, a ceramic sculptor showing at the gallery. I was impressed. Coda has beautiful work, a perfect setting and a great person to show you the art. It also has a nice balance of painting, sculpture, color with a touch of humor that will keep me coming back.
Did you like Beyonce’s Zumba Workout at the Super Bowl? How about those Ravens?
Remember the stock market is up, the country is in recovery, Obama is president, maybe Hillary Clinton will run in four years. Be optimistic. Buy art!!