Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Tales From Park City - Dreams Come True At The End

The last day! 

My morning started off far too early. In anticipation of my pre-7 AM alarm, I tried to get some sleep by going to bed early, but things are tough when you're bunking with someone on a different schedule. Plus, I never really slept that great the whole time I was in Utah. Whatever. On the last day, I decided to treat myself and go off the beaten path a little bit so I figured that a little extra work was worth it. 

Whenever I go to Park City, there's typically one or two movies that I have to see for me. There are tons that I need to see for my job and I'm fully aware that I'm there to work first and foremost, even if that job involves watching movies all day. (poor guy!) Last year, the "me" movie was 2 Days In New York, and this year, it was Before Midnight

What's ironic is that I had the opportunity to meet Julie Delpy through my job last year and heard a journalist ask her if there were any plans to make a third film with Richard Linklater and Ethan Hawke. She kept quiet about it and said that it might happen . . . but all the while she knew that they had a script and were leaving to shoot it in a month!

Anyhow, I didn't have a ticket for the film. To rushline a film at Sundance, you're supposed to be there about 2 hours early. Fortunately for me, as it was the first screening of the day, I was only required to be there 1 hour in advance. As the film was scheduled to start at 8:30 AM, I was supremely grateful for this. At each venue, they post a sign with the average number of rushline people who got into screenings at the venue the year before. At the MARC, that number was 50, (not terribly encouraging) and thanks to a misleading bus driver, I ended up with #95 (again, not very encouraging) Fortunately for me, a kind woman who was somehow able to buy a ticket, flipped my number around by giving me her spot at #59. 


Now to the film . . .  (no spoilers per se, but don't read on if you don't want to know the basic premise, which I think is a kind of spoiler in the world of this series.)

  • Before Midnight: I have loved this series since I was in my late teens. Jesse and Celine feel like friends of mine, and that's not exaggeration on my part. The films are so so well-written and the performances are wonderfully authentic that you feel like you know these people. In this one, we find the two together for nine years following the events of Before Sunset. In many ways, Before Midnight is about what "happily ever after" is really like. It's a very different kind of story than the previous two. With those, the characters still have rose-colored glasses on with regard to each other. But here? Here, they've been together for years and years, and the gloves come off. If the first two were about the fight to get together, this one is about the fight to stay together. Not surprisingly, the writing's great and the performances are strong. That said, I do wish that I'd watched the other two again before watching this one, as it'd been a while, and I think that, to have the maximum effect, a 1-2-3 approach would work best. These films are growers, and while I don't think that Before Midnight is the best individual entry in the series, the impact that they have as a trio is undeniable.

    Look, there's a lot that I could say about the film, but I'm going to collect as much as I can and post it once the film's come out for people to see for themselves. I want to talk about individual details and plot-points, but there's no reason to put that up when only a few people around the world have seen the film. Stay tuned, ok?
While I was disappointed to have to come home before the end of the Festival, I'm really glad to have been a part of the experience at all. It's an amazing thing to be a part of a town filled with so much energy all focused in one direction. I said this last year, and I'll say it again. It restores your faith a little bit to see people lying on the ground in front of the screen instead of missing the movie and people who'd rather get in line before 8 AM than risk missing a movie. This is my tribe, and I'm proud to be part of it.

Over and out,

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