Sundance 2019: Day 11

Director of Programming James McNally is attending this year’s Sundance Film Festival from January 22nd to February 3rd.

Festival Day 9

Another hour in the office this morning, and then off to the enormous Eccles Theatre to see To The Stars, a rural 50s story about two misfit young women. Great performances, really nice black and white cinematography, and an excellent score. There were some touches that made it feel like an old-fashioned melodrama, but it had a sweetness and a love for its characters that made it really enjoyable. And nice to see young Kara Hayward in something. Moonrise Kingdom seems so long ago now.

I met up with my Toronto friend Mike Lane at the screening. Remarkable because Mike doesn’t own a smart phone and we’d tried to arrange our meeting by email. But when I got to the Eccles, the largest cinema at Sundance, it was impossible to spot him, thanks in part to my diminished eyesight. I sat in the middle of a row but happily there was a free seat in the row in front of me, and he somehow found it. After the film, we walked back toward HQ and had lunch at Este Pizza. It was nice to hear how his festival has been.

I put in another couple of hours at the office but found myself getting sleepy. I’d originally planned to see Greener Grass at the Ray and then try to stick around and get a ticket to Blinded by the Light which was playing next, but I decided to come home for a nap and then get into the volunteer ticket line early so I didn’t miss Blinded by the Light, which a few of my colleagues had recommended.

It’s a very frothy crowd-pleaser about an English Pakistani kid in the 80s who discovers the music of Bruce Springsteen. Despite some downright silly moments, it was hard to resist. A feel-good movie was just what I needed at this stage of the festival. The film let out at 11:30pm and I just stopped at Fresh Market on the way home for some snacks.

It’s hard to believe that tomorrow is the last full day of Sundance 2019. I don’t need to be in the office until 3:30pm when we’ll be heading over to work the awards ceremony and party. If I’m keen, I’ll get up early and try to see a film, but I wouldn’t bet on it. 🙂