Sundance Lesson #2: Sometimes, the Party Will Be Cool

Above, a scene from Todd Rohal’s Sundance Film The Catechism Cataclysm.

I noticed in my friend Todd Rohal’s recent post on this very blog that he, too, has spent some time watching movies on hotel room cable. This is a phenomenon that must often occurs at film festivals, I believe. You run back to your hotel for a bite to eat or to pick up more screeners or even to go to bed for the night, and you casually flip on the television for a moment and almost instantly find yourself ensnared by some Hollywood picture whose sheer broadcastability makes it impossible to turn away from.

That’s not why I brought up Todd, though. I wanted to first of all say that I found his sophomore feature The Catechism Cataclysm a thoroughly hilarious journey. I’ve been rooting for Todd to make a new movie for years, and when he let me know last September that he was gearing up to shoot this crazy canoe trip movie, I scarcely allowed myself to hope that it would be done in time to appear here. I have no idea how they made this movie in the three weeks it apparent took them to make it, but if any of their black magic rubs off on me, I won’t complain.

Secondly, he mentioned in his blog that no parties are ever worth going to, or something to that effect. Sometimes this isn’t the case. Sometimes parties are fun and social and you get to talk to lots of friends who you haven’t seen in a long while (at least since the last party) and have a few free drinks. Then there are the parties where the entire venue smells like pee, and hundreds of people are standing shoulder to shoulder, pretending that they can hear one another over the throbbing house beats and the lines to get into the bathroom are conversely related to the lines being done in the bathroom. It makes you want to run back up the stairs and into a movie, which is exactly what I did last night.

We’re halfway through the festival now. Friends are leaving and new friends are arriving. We have one more screening on Wednesday. It’s snowing hard outside, which warms my heart. It feels like I’ve been here for weeks, and I’m thrilled to think that I’ve still got a few days left to go….