Hi, folks. Below you’ll find the second installment of “Matt from WithLeather went to Sundance and I didn’t”. If you need me, I’ll be crying. We can hook back up in the next post.
Couldn’t we have given the Mormons New Jersey instead?
I work from home in solitude and silence. When people call me, I email them back. I’m not exactly the kind of person you might call “likely to engage with celebrities” or “personable” or “safe to leave your children with.” And yet AXE sent me to Sundance to hobnob with famous people and watch movies and stuff, even though I write about sports. Why me and not this site’s author? Because Vince touches himself at night, that’s why.
Unless you land in the Hudson River, plane rides make for boring stories. But I got at least an idea of what was in store for the weekend when I noticed some famous faces on my flight to Salt Lake. Kyra Sedgwick and Vogue editor Anna Wintour (the inspiration for Meryl Streep’s character in The Devil Wears Prada) were both sitting in first class. Sedgwick was hidden under shades and a hat, and I identified Wintour from her famous bob, mask-like Chanel shades, giant purse made from 12 different reptiles, and the icy chill in my heart from looking directly at her. Fashion interns have been destroyed for less.
I sat back in coach with the real people, and there, in seat 29A, one row in front of me, was Jim Gaffigan. And holy shit, Jim Gaffigan is one of my favorite people in the entire world. Thankfully, I’m a blogger, so instead of complimenting him and engaging him in a conversation he wanted no part of, I merely did what bloggers do best: watch from afar. He slept most of the flight while wearing an eye mask and Bose noise-canceling headphones. Oh my God, those headphones are just like mine! We could be best friends!
If you’ve been to any resort town in the Rockies, you’ve been to Park City. The only thing that sets it apart is a film festival and a 40-minute ride from Salt Lake’s smudge of a basin. Once I settled into my fancy-pants ski lodge, I met my media counterparts who were joining me in freeloading on Unilever’s dime: editors from Maxim.com, Star Magazine, and StyleList. I was given the room in the basement. Natch.
Anyway, you know how these free trips to film festivals go — getting carted off to a “gifting lounge” for free crap, then a massage, then drinks and an expensive dinner before skipping the line to get into some fancy open-bar party.
There were plenty of stars/celebrities/persons of interest at the party (see gallery at bottom of page). Like Aubrey O’Day, whom I didn’t see. And Michelle Trachtenberg, whom I also didn’t see. And Mekhi Phifer (yeah… didn’t see him) [Vince's note: No Mekhi Phifer? OMG, it's just like 8 Mile!]. I heard Patton Oswalt was there, and I searched frantically for him to tell him that we shared a common love for the Stath, but alas: I did not see him.
My luck being what it is, I walked by Paris Hilton and her posse just as they walked in. And buckle your seat belts, folks, because this will shock you: Paris and her friends reeked of dank-ass weed. Oh, I know. I couldn’t believe it, either. A hotel heiress with no job who does nothing but party for a living and always looks relaxed and slightly out of it — I very nearly fainted from the surprise.
Paris, however, looked like Audrey Hepburn if you happened to see drunk-ass Billy Bush work the dance floor with the motor skills of Tara Reid in Ibiza. He spent the night invading women’s personal space and stumbling around with a bunch of guys we’ll just call the Douche Troop, and everyone agreed he was by far and away the biggest tool of the evening.
Also, DJ AM began playing around midnight. We were told it was his first show since the plane crash that nearly killed him (“Do you think he’ll give a shout-out to US Airways?”). Although I was prepared to loathe him, his music was actually… good. He won me over with a remixed “Maps” by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and some Arcade Fire set to a heavy bass beat. Because I’m gay, you see.
On Saturday, we all had a choice of hitting the slopes or going to see some of the films premiering at the festival. I thought this would be a good opportunity to watch some of the films and give FilmDrunk readers exclusive first-look reviews so that this site could become better established as an “insider” movie blog.
Then I had a good laugh and went snowboarding all day.
HOWEVA, I did talk to several people who DID go see movies, and all of following comes from multiple sources. This, I believe, is what is called “buzz”:
- Something to watch for: It Might Get Loud, a documentary about the electric guitar starring Jimmy Page, Jack White, and the Edge. It was highly recommended for all fans of rock and roll (even if you hate U2). Said one viewer: “You kind of feel bad for Jimmy Page and the Edge, because you just know they’re not gonna be as cool as Jack.”
- Jack White actually made an appearance at the Q&A after the screening, where he was “witty” and “funny.” Then — this is true — he strolled around Main Street flanked by the Raconteurs, Reservoir Dogs-style. Witness: “Hey Jack.” Jack White: “Hey man.”
- Brooklyn’s Finest wasn’t well received. Cuba Gooding, Jr to another person on the street: “I’m sorry, Brooklyn’s Finest? Antoine Fuqua is a hack.” So Cuba, where does it fall on a scale of Boat Trip to Snow Dogs?
- Apparently not as horrible as I would have expected, in that it’s okay for the first half before falling apart: Spread, starring Ashton Kutcher and Anne Heche. I guess Kutcher is believable as an asshole who sleeps with older women, although the viewer I spoke to said he didn’t need to see him kiss Anne Heche. Well la dee dah your majesty!
Black Dynamite didn’t open until Monday, and I left Sunday morning. I would have killed a man to watch that premiere. Killed with a kick to the chest.
I gleaned much of this information over dinner at Grub Steak, where we saw Linda Hogan eating with her Hulk-replacement boyfriend and superstar race car driver son Nick (Brook was busy battling Gamera in Tokyo that night). And wow: Nick Hogan makes Billy Bush look like Jay Gatsby. Nick’s the kind of guy who doesn’t just go to prison for recklessly making his best friend brain dead, he can also wear the douchiest single outfit I’ve ever witnessed in my entire life. It was Don Drysdale’s perfect game of douchiness: huge sunglasses indoors, huge gold chain, huge diamond-encrusted watch, huge pinkie rings ON BOTH HANDS, an oversized Bacardi t-shirt, and a tight-fitting beanie. In a related story, there is no God.
Saturday night’s party was a replay of the previous night, only with fewer celebrities I didn’t see (I did catch Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon’s exceptionally brief appearance), and Steve Aoki DJ’ing. And if you’re saying, “Wait, isn’t Steve Aoki that piece of hipster trash who desperately needs to get beaten to death?” then you are correct, and we can be friends. Also, his music sucked.
The party, however, was a good time, as are most things that give away alcohol. Ufford 1, Michael Collins whiskey zero. I always win that one.
A few hours of hazy sleep and a ride to the airport ended my trip. I finally caught a movie that weekend — at 36,000 feet, when I paid $6 to watch Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Here’s a review: Die, Woody Allen, DIE!!! I would rather have set my $6 on fire and watched it burn. How do you mess up Scarlett Johansson and Penelope Cruz making out? Precede it with two hours of insultingly unnecessary narration, apparently. F me. [Vince's note: I've actually got my own review of that coming soon. I think the key line was "Let's not get into another turgid discussion of categorical imperatives."]
Oh, and Kyra Sedgwick was on my flight on the way back, too. I think she’s stalking me. NO I WILL NOT WATCH THE CLOSER!!!
(Banner pic, Photoshop, and shitty Mariah Carey photo by Matt Ufford; all other images from Getty and WireImages)