Notes From Sundance, Take 5: Some Disappointments, But More Sightings!

Here are the top three reasons I stopped trying to get into see a screening of “The Runaways” at the Sundance Film Festival, this year:

1. The film is already guaranteed pretty wide distribution. Which means that after I make it back to my tranquil Brooklyn digs, I’ll get a chance to pay ten bucks and wait in a much shorter line to see Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart play Cherie Curry and Joan Jett, respectively.2. The film is playing at insane hours here. After the premiere, the following screening was during the dinner hour, which doesn’t sound that unreasonable, but since I would have had to skip two cocktail parties before dinner for the wait list line, I pinned my hopes on the following day’s screening. “It’s at 8:30 in the morning,” thought every single person at Sundance. “Surely I’ll have no problem getting a seat to that showing!”

3. The mood is getting ugly. Arriving at the wait list line at 7 a.m., I found 100 people in line, glaring back at me. Then, as hardworking volunteers announced that the line could begin moving forward to receive our wait list numbers, a pretty girl (slender as K-Stew, even with her winter coat on) suddenly passed out in the line, and did a face-plant on the floor. A dozen people rushed to her. As many pulled out phones and dialed 911. And the rest—stepped over and around her, to get their wait list numbers—even before we were redirected around, to give her air and make room for an ambulance. I numbly obeyed them, and kept moving with the crowd, until a guy tapped me on the shoulder and told me he had stopped to check on the passed-out girl, and now he wanted his place in line, ahead of me, back. I gave him my wait list number, and left. My friends and I went to see Michael Winterbottom’s “The Killer Inside Me,” which—just don’t go see that one if you’re trying to cheer yourself up.

I saw the girl regaining consciousness—she was attended to by a doctor, who gave up his place in line, as we left. I’m pretty sure she’s going to be OK. I’ve seen that sort of thing happen before—at Mardi Gras in New Orleans, or the time I lived in Amsterdam. When kids party too much, they forget to eat or to drink anything that isn’t alcoholic, and their bodies give out suddenly. Usually, some juice, rest, and a good meal will fix them. But people, if you’re out here, please take care of yourselves.

Oh, but finally! A sighting of a hot celebrity who didn’t feel the need to grow a beard just because he’s at Sundance. So far, Adrian Grenier, James Franco, Ryan Reynolds and LeVar Burton are rocking at least five days of facial hair, and Ben Affleck obviously stopped shaving the minute he stepped off the plane in Salt Lake City. Samuel L. Jackson, though, looked completely shaved, except for a thin salt n’ pepper mustache, when I saw him step out of the Sky Lodge, just off Main Street. His hat was hitched up so much, I was pretty sure his head’s shaved too. Thanks for setting a good grooming example for the youngstahs, Samuel.