Sundance 2015: Day 10

Cast and crew from Tangerine

Director of Programming James McNally is attending this year’s Sundance Film Festival from January 20th to February 1st.

Festival Day 8

I had vague plans to get up early this morning and get out to a 9:00am film, but when presented with a choice between Don Verdean at the large Eccles cinema or Homesick at the more distant Temple theatre, I chose sleeping in again. I did head down to the Main Street Deli for some eggs and potatoes, though. Then on a lark, I headed to the Prospector to see if there were any last-minute volunteer tickets left for Tangerine. Despite me arriving just before 11:00am for an 11:30am screening, I got lucky. Really lucky.

Tangerine was an exhilarating and very funny ride through a Los Angeles Christmas Eve in the company of Sin-Dee and Alexandra, two loud and sharp-tongued transgender sex workers. Much of the film is taken up with Sin-Dee’s search for her cheating pimp of a boyfriend, and this quest is kinetic and accompanied by some great beats. But the quieter moments achieve real poignancy as we see the hardships these women have to face at every moment. There’s a parallel story of an Armenian cab driver with a secret, and it provides breathing space and a different perspective on LA than Sin-Dee and Alexandra’s. Amazingly, the whole thing was shot on one or more iPhone 5S cameraphones. Director Sean Baker (Starlet) succeeds in grabbing the audience by the lapels, shaking us around, and finally tugging at our heartstrings. Did I mention it’s also hysterically funny? Watch out for Tangerine.

I got into the Film Office just around 1:20pm for another long afternoon of not doing much. I can understand why we need to have people there, but there really just isn’t much activity anymore.

At 6:00pm, I headed for dinner at Good Karma, and despite it being rather expensive, their chicken curry was exactly what I was craving. Then home for a refreshing nap, yet another can of Red Bull, and then out to the Native Forum party at a bar cleverly called Downstairs.

The venue for this party was tiny, and it quickly got crowded and loud. I stuck around until about 11:30pm but only talked to a couple of people. I spotted a few of our filmmakers (Una from The Chicken, Pia and William from Abandoned Goods) but really was only able to wave at them. On my way out, I saw that there was a substantial lineup to get in and spotted Kasia and Michalina from the Polish delegation (here with Object and Starting Point). I’d hoped to have a drink with them before we all went home, but it will have to be tomorrow or Saturday night.

Home before midnight, and ready to pack up and move tomorrow morning to the Zermatt Resort in Midway. It’s going to be a bit of a hassle getting back and forth for the next couple of days since I’ll need to coordinate with the Zermatt shuttle connecting to the Park City shuttles.

P.S. I ran into my FOC Kevin again on the shuttle home tonight. He was at Eccles seeing Z for Zachariah. I’ll just mention again how small Park City feels sometimes.

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