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Sundance Diary Day Two

By Amanda Mae Meyncke | Miscellaneous | January 20, 2013 | Comments ()


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4 AM Wake up blearily. My head hurts. Too much wine. I stumble around trying to get a glass of water in the dark. Finally acquire a glass and water and it tastes like iron deposits mixed with blood. Not that bad, but something is slightly off with the water up here. Probably recycled road slush.

8 AM Wake up for reals and look out the window into the hillsides and mountains of the Canyons, which is a registered trade mark, apparently. I begin putting on all the make up I got this week for free from my production job, and since I'm not a make up wizard I end up putting on three different kinds of primers and then like, pink lipstick. Lady face on, check.

8:25 AM Make some pretty dope snack bags with pretzels, chocolate bits, different dried fruits. Aw yeah, gonna be snackin' for hours. Gonna crunch almonds so loud I make the ushers wince. This is actually a pathetic cost saving effort on my part, trying not to spend $800 on Starbucks and petit fours. It kind of works.

9 AM It's a crisp morning outside, and Seth and I catch the shuttle to the Yarrow, which is kind of the center hub of the screenings venues. A lot of interviews happen here, but it's also insanely expensive to stay here. Just like everywheres.

9:34 AM Text Abigail about a possible medical emergency. My body is turning against me.

10 AM The Spectacular Now. I can't even. I love this movie. Directed by James Ponsoldt, who has such an ear for dialogue and such an eye for astounding visuals. I loved his movie "Smashed" and am so looking forward to seeing how his career goes forward. The Spectacular Now deals with so many of the same issues as Smashed, alcoholism, emotional intimacy, depth of feeling and strength of relationship. Full review coming soon.

11:33 AM Seth informs me via text that the restaurant we ate at yesterday has a real good omelette. I get excited. Seth understands how to text people properly and relay information correctly, two skills that are top notch qualities in human beings.

12:10 PM Head to HQ to request tickets for a few different things so that Seth has an easier time of it. I get at least one movie he wants to see, but the elusive "Upstream Color" remains gently out of reach.

12:30 PM Eat lunch, these fools won't let me order the omelette. I get angry. Seth rolls in and he wasn't able to get into his wait listed movie, but he's taking it pretty well. He has coffee and I have a burger. I think about how I kind of need to be a vegetarian again but it makes life so difficult. It also makes me thinner, but I'm in fantasy land about diets right now. More ketchup on these fries, yo.

1:10 PM Get in line for Austenland. Anything I have to review I try to get in line for as soon as humanly possible. As a result, I've been hecka early to everything so far. I sit on the ground and write a review for something else and text with friends and foes alike about the daily schedule.

3:15 PM While talking with a friend she mentions she's moving to New York to be with her boyfriend. I say "How modern. Or whatever the opposite of modern is." And immediately regret it. Repeat to self: Other people's choices are their and have nothing to do with you. But I really wasn't judging her, I just spoke out of turn. Make a mental note to explain myself later, even though she's probably forgotten that I ever even said it.

3:17 PM Medical issue has resolved itself without me noticing. My body isn't mad at me!

3:30 PM Austenland is pretty terrible, even though I wanted it to be good. Keri Russell plays a woman who goes to an immersive Jane Austen experience and sort of experiences romance but it's a tough slog and not as good as it could have been. I suspect the problems lie with director Jerusha Hess and her sense of humor. (Remember a little bauble called Napoleon Dynamite?) Jennifer Coolidge would probably be funnier if she wasn't Trying To Be.

3:50 PM Stealthily crunch almonds during any scene in which people are laughing. I do not like this movie very much. I am worried I am chewing too loud and try to chew quieter but then I start to freak out that it's like destroying my teeth somehow to like grind slowly on almonds so then I abandon the plan all together.

5:30 I have to go to the bathroom worse than I ever have before in my life, but I buzz past the restroom and get in line for Stories We Tell. I'll pee when I'm dead, I really want to see this movie!

6 PM Stories We Tell - Other people loved this movie so hard, but I didn't love it as much. It's an interesting sort of documentary but it needs some editing and I wanted more from it. I always want more from documentaries, but as far as documentaries go it's certainly one of the better ones I've seen in a while. In fact, to say too much about it is to destroy what makes it good.

7:55 PM I am feeling movie fatigue already though I contemplate heading out to Main St. to party with the famous peoples but it's far too cold, me in my leggings and two dollar Target gloves. I also want to eat dinner but I know the shuttle won't stay around forever, and I'd rather be back at the hotel, warm and cozy, especially if I'm going out later!

8 PM Wander around the Yarrow, contemplating a drink as I wait for the shuttle. I end up seeing the table under the stairs where I interviewed Richard Ayoade a few years ago. I wonder how he's doing and if his new movie The Double is going to be any good. That was the best interview I ever did, I think wistfully.

8:10 PM Shuttle back to hotel, I talk with the shuttle driver about work and movies. She wants to review movies but says she gets too tired between her job and school. I feel terrible about complaining about my life, and we wish each other well.

9PM I create a snack castle in my bed, with bags of almonds and dried pineapple rings and other delights as a I write my two reviews, one for Austenland, and one for Stories We Tell. I try and decide whether or not to go to a karaoke party at 11 pm, Seth won't be getting back until 10:40 pm or so.

10:30 PM I decide not to go since it is very warm in the room and it is very cold everywhere else. I feel terrible though since I love karaoke and love the people putting on the party. Oh well, next time, I lie to myself as I wash my face, giddy at the thought of eight hours of sleep.

11 PM Seth gets back and I make him tell me about the plot of "Mud," and relay any funny stories he heard throughout the day. He says he doesn't listen to other people in line, but that he met an old lady who was crocheting and she said she didn't like "Austenland" at all. I said that from his description she could very well have been a 20-year-old hipster from Silverlake in L.A. he says she wasn't, that she was old. I bet she doesn't feel any older than I do now, everyone stuck inside bodies that turn against them as the days go on.







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Comments Are Welcome, Bigots and Trolls Are Not


  • Quatermain

    My general taste in movies doesn't really run to film festival films, but your writing makes the festival itself sound interesting. I think I'd gone for the karaoke, though.

  • Sad that you weren't so taken by Stories We Tell. It was released here in Toronto a few months back and it was right up there, fighting with The Master and Lincoln for the best film I saw in 2012. A beautiful film about how we use stories to understand our own memories, especially of the people we love.

  • the dude

    I'm not digging the thought catalog vibe I get from this girl writer.

  • Kballs

    I'm not digging the mindless comment vibe I get from this asexual abbreviator.

  • Quatermain

    The phrase 'girl writer' sounds to me more like a writer about girls, and less like a writer who is a girl. It sounds kind of like 'sportswriter', you know? A better term to use to convey your dismay that yet another of the wimmenfolk has turned from baby-making to opinion having might be 'authoress' or maybe 'lady scrivener.'

  • the dude

    it was my bad, I didn't mean this in a sexist way, I meant it in an anti-ohIenjoythelittlethingsinlifebecauseimabum- kinda way

  • TheOtherGreg

    "girl writer?" - oh, dude.

  • Amanda Meyncke

    Ah, well.

  • the dude

    sorry :) I didn't like the tone, and not because you're a woman

  • ViciousTrollop

    Can we send you to every film festival ever, Amanda? I can only imagine how hilarious a diary of your experiences at Cannes would be.

  • Amanda Meyncke

    Thank you! So kind of you.

  • Robert

    Sad about Austenland. I wanted that to be good, too. So Napoleon Dynamite wasn't just a distinct look into a certain kind of character? It's the entirely of this director's style? That's a damn shame.

  • Margrete

    I had to find your interviw with Richard Ayoade. I really loved Submarine, and found him to be adorable on IT Crowd and the Big Fat Quiz series. You're right, it is a great interview, and I am putting Flannery O’Connor at the top of my must-read list.

  • Amanda Meyncke

    So sweet! Thank you!

  • Idle Primate

    "snack castle in my bed" sounds so cosy. but why hide in the hotel when so much stuff and partying are going on? i feel a vicarious cabin fever and the urge to look for drunk/stoned celebrities reading today's diary.

  • Amanda Meyncke

    Drunk/stoned celebrities are a dime a dozen in L.A.

  • Idle Primate

    i suppose they are. i don't live in LA. vicarious kicks, man, give your loyal audience vicarious kicks! (love the diaries, keep rocking it)

  • Return of Santitas

    I have so got your back on the snack castle and 8 hours of sleep. No judgement.

  • TheOtherGreg

    I get a Hunter S Thompson vibe, but with almonds taking the place of ether.

  • e jerry powell

    Girl, be careful with the lady face.

    And the petit fours aren't that great anyway.

    You can always substitute quaint for antiquated.

    Is Jennifer Coolidge ever not Trying To Be Funny? She's a walking caricature. Wendy Ho is subtler.

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