The best performance I saw all day Friday at the 2010 Sundance Film Festival?
That would have to be the Park City shuttle bus driver who, in the midst of a heavy snowstorm and heavier 4:30 p.m. traffic, went from a bus stop at the curb across two lanes of bumper-to-bumper traffic to make a left turn at a stoplight less than a block away. Now THAT deserved a standing ovation.
It's not surprising that it snows in Park City during Sundance. After all, it's the mountains, it's a ski area, it's winter.
But braving the elements on Friday at Sundance - an unrelenting downfall of snow that seemed to never want to stop - was a little like combining a film festival with the Iditarod. You could get from one end of the day to the other if you persevered, but not without getting a solid blast of winter weather and, probably, a set of wet feet (thanks to the treacherous slush puddles that seemed to lurk innocuously at many curbsides).
Still, if you chose your films wisely, the struggle was worth the effort. My day began early and, before the day was out, encompassed five fascinating films and an interview. I'll have more about the interview - with actress-director Katie Aselton of The Freebie - tomorrow.
One of the most unique films is the one I'll say the least about right now: Adrian Grenier's Teenage Paparazzo, a documentary in which the Entourage star (who directed the extremely moving personal doc, Shot in the Dark, in 2002) explores the world of modern paparazzi through the experiences of a 14-year-old pap he met and befriended. I'm talking to Grenier on Sunday, the same day I'm seeing Smash His Camera, a documentary about another legendary sidewalk celeb snapper, Ron Galella. I'll say more about both films after that.
It was actually a day of film highlights, led by the most surprising film of the festival for me, Catfish. Here's the beauty of a festival like this: You can walk into a movie knowing virtually nothing about it - and come away with a startling and unexpected experience like Catfish that you just want to rave about.