Eric D. Snider

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Archive for January 19th, 2008

Sundance Diary: Day 2

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

Day 2 (Friday, January 18):

I arose at 8 a.m., an early hour that readers of previous years’ diaries will recall is typical of the first day of the festival and much less typical of subsequent days. But this year we are being very diligent and professional and will arise by 8 a.m. every day! We are even referring to ourself in the plural, that is how professional we are.

First on the docket was a documentary I was very eager to see. It’s called “Stranded,” and it is the story of the Uruguayan rugby team whose plane crashed in the Andes Mountains in 1972. You probably remember this story because it involves cannibalism. I know that’s why I remember it. My whole life I thought it was a Chilean soccer team, not a Uruguayan rugby team, but you can bet I got the cannibalism part right.

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Sundance Diary: Day 1

Saturday, January 19th, 2008

Day 1 (Thursday, January 17):

Have 12 months really elapsed since the last time we cavorted in Park City, Utah, for the Sundance Film Festival? A look at the calendar confirms the answer to my rhetorical question. And here we are again, movie critics, journalists, filmmakers, showbiz honchos, and regular ol’ movie lovers, all crammed into an affluent mountain town that is currently colder than the frozen tundras of hell.

Why do we do it? Because we love movies. Also, at least in my case, because someone is paying us. This year I’ve endeavored to spread myself as thin as possible by offering coverage to both of the major outlets I write for, and Cinematical. Officially I’m here on’s dime — that’s what it says on my press badge — so I guess it’s like I’m married to but openly cheating with Cinematical. Luckily, my spouse and mistress are both very understanding, and neither is particularly concerned about the quality of my performance. I’m sorry, I believe this metaphor has gotten away from me.

The first day of the festival consists only of a premiere screening in the evening, and so usually I ignore “Day 1” altogether. But this year they offered a press screening of the opening-night film to be held at the same time that the flick was unspooling at the public gala event across town. (Actually, I’m told they’ve been doing this opening-night press screening for several years and I just haven’t ever gone to it. WHATEVER.)

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