Thursday, January 22, 2009

Third Rock from the Sundance

Monday night I had off and since The Kid had been liberated from school on both Monday and Tuesday, we decided to take in a couple of Sundance films. But first we went to dinner.

Benihana had been the gold standard in teppanyaki style restaurants for years. There's one in the heart of downtown and although in the past I have recommended it to tourists, I will never send anyone there again.

Before Monday night's horribly dry, tasteless and overcooked meal, we had dined there about 5 years ago after first moving to Utah. I was kind of disappointed in the service and the quality of the food back then but one can always chalk stuff like that up to an off night. Since then we have found much better, closer restaurants that give us our fix for this type of food. The only reason The Kid and I went there was because I had a gift certificate. Still, the meal cost me $45 bucks, and it was really nasty. I know, I know; when it comes to food I'm a snob, but yucky is yucky, any way you cut it. And it aggravates me to pay a lot for yucky food.

Okay, enough of that. So we were able to get into both of the films playing at The Rose Wagner. The first was "Brooklyn's Finest" with Don Cheadle (I loved him in Hotel Rwanda) Ethan Hawke (not such a big fan) and everyone's favorite Buddhist, Richard Gere. Directed by Antoine Fuqua.

It was really long, and depressing. The Kid said, "A two hour movie about the last 15 minutes." So…only if you have free rental somewhere or maybe you lose a bet.

The second was a documentary that I have wanted to see ever since they announced it was to be shown at a volunteer screening that I ended up not going to because I was tired, my hip ached, and the steep incline of Park City is no place for wimps.

This one is called "Prom Night in Mississippi" and it is an excellent exposition of racism in America.

Can you believe that up until 2008 there is a town in Mississippi that was still holding segregated proms? I wanted The Kid to watch this. Why? You ask. Because I feel that it's important to show besides tell. I can tell my kid untill I'm blue in the face, and all she hears is "Blah, blah, blah." But if I show her, or have other people (film makers) show her, then it's no longer her mother crabbing at her about social injustice. And maybe she will think I am not so weird and stupid after all. Maybe.

Tuesday night I had to work. The first movie we were to screen was "500 Days of Summer." I arrived very early, hell bend on walking the block and a half to the Social security office. I parked in front of my venue, garnering a primo parking spot and plopping $2 into the meter. Upon reaching the social security office I found a note on the door saying that they had moved five blocks east. Knowing that walking the five blocks, sitting in the waiting room, and returning would take me way longer than two hours (the maximum amount of time I can get on a downtown meter) I bagged it, got a chicken wrap at Squatters, and hung out in the Rose Wagner lobby, watching Sundance shorts on my iTouch (10 are available free from iTunes). I had, after all, already paid for my parking spot. Remember it's me, and I'm cheap.

So, back story; Almost every night there is someone who approaches us with their tale of woe. Most of the time it is because they failed to listen/read how or where to pick up their tickets. We do not have "Will-Call" at our venue. All tickets are either mailed or need to be picked up at the main box offices in Park City or Trolley Square, so we do a lot of explaining of that to patrons. Tuesday a nice lady dragging her luggage approached me and said that her son was in the film, and the tickets they had never made it from Park City to Salt Lake, and she was advised to ask for "A" or "C" (the theater managers) and was assured that they would be given tickets.

When "A" arrived I advised her of the situation. She checked the official Sundance/Rose Wagner cell phone, and much to our surprise, there was a voicemail confirming the woman's story.

Wow. That almost never happens.

Anyway, we were able to get her party of five their tickets, stored their luggage in the volunteer lounge, and even arranged for a cab to drive them up to Park City when it was over. They were all very nice, appreciated what we did for them, had a great sense of humor, and never tossed around the name of their actor relative as leverage, which was refreshing. (You would not believe the amount of people who do that to impress/scare us. Which, by the way, doesn't work anyway. None of us work in the "industry".)

And their relative's name? Joseph Gordon-Levitt.


Anonymous said...

Wow. As my mother always said, it never hurts to be polite.

Okay, that's not what my actual mother said. That's a quote from a book.

I'm confused, though. Are you going all the way back to SLC every night? Or is the bad restaurant in Park Cities? Or should I go back to the drugstore for a stronger pair of readers?

I think Joseph's mother used to be a politician. That was during my Peace, Love & Rock'n'Roll period. His mom & dad were both personalities in town.

Excellent report!
bletion: why do I get all the medical terms?

ALLY2HisHeart said...

Hahahaha--great blog title!!! That was a fun night. They were all very nice...which is a good change from your first two sucky Sundance days. :)