BONGO NEWS Satire. Parody. Jokes. FEBRUARY 2, 2005 Copyright © 2001-2017 Bongo News, Inc.
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Jack Palethorpe at the Sundance Film Festival

That’s me next to the Java sign
Our intrepid movie critic, Jack Palethorpe, ventured out to Utah to attend the Sundance Film Festival. Here is his report.

As a professional movie critic of some standing, I had to make it to Sundance, which I had never been to. I like movies, even independent movies sometimes, and I was really excited to be on my way Park City, Utah, in a cramped coach seat on a plane that flew there via Alaska, or so it seemed since the connection and total travel time were so long.

Using my Bongo News credentials, I snared a pass to the Festival, but realized later that the pass identified me as a "Critic" and was color-coded red, both ensuring that I would be dumped on by everyone, even by the volunteers managing the waiting lines, and be herded into lousy seats in the front corners of the screening rooms. Taking a look around me at the other critics, I realize why so many of them want Sideways to win the Academy Award. Most of the critics look like Paul Giamatti!

I saw Robert Redford at the opening, giving a welcome speech and looking as wrinkled as Moammar Ghadafi. Judging by Redford's speech, his politics are also similar to Ghadafi's. Sundance, in a Bush II environment, is all about "dissent," it seems. What would it have been if Kerry had won, all about "agreement?" Redford should have left the country like he promised to do if Bush won.

The opening movie, called Happy Endings, starred Lisa Kudrow, Maggie Gyllenhaal and Tom Arnold, who were all at the screening. The movie features homosexuality (male and female), abortion, adopted children's rights to meet their biological mothers, a male masseur at a women's spa dispensing "happy endings," and lots of inside, industry jokes about movie making. In other words, this was a perfect set of topics for the Sundance crowd! In the audience voting, I gave it a 4 out of 5 anyway, because it was so damn funny. The movies I saw got progressively worse, culminating with You, Me and Everyone We Know, a movie about underage sex, Internet sex, and bad performance art (another hit with the Sundance crowd; I gave it a 2) and Forty Shades of Blue, in which the Russian girlfriend of a Memphis music producer twice her age sleeps with his son (I gave it a 2; the judges gave it the Grand Jury Prize).

I tried to crash a few parties, without success. There was a club called M set up just for the Festival, on Main Street in Park City. They took one look at my pass and refused me entry. A huge black guy who I swear threw me out of a club in New York two weeks ago threatened to kill me unless I left immediately. I tried another club called Zoom, where I heard there was a bidding frenzy underway for Hustle & Flow, a movie about a pimp who is inspired by a rapper played by Ludacris to switch professions and enter the Hip-Hop business (another Sundance sensation!), but I got the same treatment. You'd think they would want some publicity about their big coup, selling the movie for $9.5 million plus getting $7 million to make two more movies. I know that's what they got because I read about it in The New York Times the next day, but you'd think they would have wanted the extra exposure an article in Bongo News would have given them.

I didn't get to see Pamela Anderson, Paris Hilton, Nicole Kidman, Naomi Watts and all the other hotties. That was a bummer. But I was so glad to fly out of that weird place and get back to New York and some mainstream movie fare.

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