January 24, 2007 | Comments ()

By Dustin Rowles | Miscellaneous | January 24, 2007 |


I’ve had several months now, really, to consider how to inaugurate Pajiba’s first stab at covering an actual event “on location,” in this case the most popular, influential film festival in America, a festival that has jumpstarted the careers of Kevin Smith, Steven Soderbergh, Quentin Tarantino, Robert Rodriguez, and — more recently — Little Miss Sunshine’s husband-wife directorial team, Jonathon Dayton and Valerie Faris (who are due some congratulations for the success of Sunshine in this year’s Oscar nominations).

It wasn’t easy, but after giving it a lot of thoughtful consideration and taking into account the sensibilities of our readership, I surmised that I would need to follow the same tact most of the other outlets in both the mainstream media and the blogosphere have taken: Completely ignore the films and focus, instead, on the goddamn celebrities swarming Park City for the week. Because, really, after 28 years in existence, what really matters at Sundance is the motherfucking color of Perez Hilton’s hair, the many ways that Tara Reid has embarrassed herself, Josh Hartnett’s Sundance orgies, the pervasiveness of P-Diddy, and all the goddamn swag.

So, for the next few days, I’m going to eschew the films and instead engage in brief, awkward conversations with celebrities and pseudo-celebrities, pretending for the purposes of my daily dispatches that we had a meaningful interaction (“I really liked you in that, you know, that movie” … “What is a Pajiba, again?”) and then I’m going to compel the celebrity in question to allow me to drape an arm around him or her and have some random passerby take a picture of the two of us with my cell phone, after which I’ll plaster my fucking mug all over the site and call it a form of journalism. And if that doesn’t interest you, I’ll go the route of the New York Times and I’ll just file a video report on boot styles at Sundance.

Because from what I have concluded so far from 2007’s coverage of Sundance, the purpose of the entire festival seems to be to sell tabloid magazines instead of movie tickets. No one seems to care that the Weinsteins are throwing money around, that John Cusack may have found a career-resurrecting role, that there is a horror spoof based on vagina dentata (!), that Sam Rockwell is back in two films, or even that Dakotta Fanning is starring in a film in which she is raped by a 12-year-old. The awful truth is, they are no longer looking for the next Kevin Smith or Quentin Tarantino here, they’re looking for the next Tara Reid or Paris Hilton, some no-talent fucktard that might sniff coke from between Jaret Leto’s toes, blow Justin Timberlake, and slap a goddamn Miller Light logo on her crotch when she conveniently forgets to wear a fucking pair of underwear.

And you know what? I just don’t give a shit.

So, for the next several days, I’m going to talk about the films. I’m going to see as many as the weather, the erratic shuttle bus, and time allow. And at the end of the night, after 12-plus hours of cinema, I’m going muster as much energy as possible and tell you what I thought of the films and not what I thought of Kate Walsh’s outfit while she was outside smoking.

Today, I had hoped to see my first film, John August’s directorial debut, The Nines. I’d actually made the incredibly expensive and impulsive decision to come to Sundance after August announced on his blog that The Nines, which features Ryan Reynolds, Hope Davis, and Melissa McCarthy, had been picked up to premiere at Sundance. So I quickly booked a flight, a hotel, and festival passes for the second half of the week (after many of the glossy people have left) only to discover several weeks later, once the actual Sundance schedule had been released, that The Nines will not be screening during my time here, shutting me out of the opportunity to see it if and until it arrives in theaters. So I’m bummed, partly because it was the film that provided the impetus for this excursion, partly because it finally gives Ryan Reynolds a decent dramatic role, and partly because I hear it’s a great fucking film (which Whitney Pastorek has now confirmed) from one of the better screenwriters in Hollywood.

So, unfortunately, the act of watching actual films will not start until the morning. Until then, I think I’ll go out and see if I can convince Sienna Miller or Dustin Diamond to pretend we’re now total BFFs.

Dustin Rowles is the publisher of Pajiba. He lives with his wife in Ithaca, New York. You may email him, or leave a comment below.

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I'm a Celebrity Whore

Daily Dispatches from Sundance / Dustin Rowles

Miscellaneous | January 24, 2007 | Comments ()



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