Monday, February 7, 2011

Spiderman, Organ Failure, and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police

I know, it makes no sense. Allow me to explain:

The Sundance Film Festival arrived and departed Utah last month. As usual the festival was accompanied by a plethora of fun filled and feckless moments;

Tina, Dena and Slave Driver stood first in line for the Awards party, trying to get in early by using lines like, "We're with the band," and "We're Elmo's stylists…" And while none of the falsehoods worked, we did enjoy making the uber-trendy fellow behind us mutter, "They're sucking out all of my energy," accompanied by an eye roll and a heavy sigh. Which just goes to show you that many moms consider themselves successful if they can not only embarrass/annoy their own child, but can accomplish the same feat with someone else's offspring. Truly, it separates the amateurs from the professionals.

There were some wonderful films. At least that's what I heard. I only saw three, (Being Elmo; Submarine; Buck) one of which I was not a fan (Note to the distributers of "Submarine": while I'm sure based on the fact that the Joe Dunthorne book was popular it seemed like a good idea to turn it into a movie, may I suggest avoiding marketing this film to parents. "Why?" ask the savvy Free Marketeers. "Because," responds Slave Driver, "as the parent of a teenager, I can get all the drama and angst I want at home. For free."

And while I loved both "Being Elmo" and "Buck", many times for me the "real" entertainment is out in the lobby of the theater, not inside where the screen is.

For example, the first Sunday of the evening tends to be pretty tame at our humble Salt Lake venue. After all, most of the beautiful people are in Park City attending premiers, parties, and collecting as much swag as they can pile onto their publicists. Several of us were standing around, waiting for Alexi to introduce our last show of the evening, when in through the doors walked three scruffy looking young guys. After tilting my head and squinting real hard, I realized one of them was Tobey McGuire. They asked if they could still get into the film, Like Crazy, (which eventually won an award.) Luckily for them, it was Sunday night in Salt Lake, the film had not generated a ton of buzz yet, and the house had not achieved critical mass. Miguel grabbed some tickets for them while I escorted the trio to available seats and Alexi made her way to the stage and introduced the film. It was fun having a "name" in the house, and without any of the hoopla and posturing normally associated with arriving celebrity.

On the other hand, the closer we get to the end of the festival, the more intense and downright crazy-ass people become. For example, on the following Sunday, while the theaters in Park City play a lot of the award winners along with a few random screenings of festival fare, the Rose Wagner is the only other venue still showing films in the valley, besides the Sundance Resort, which is way the heck up in Provo Canyon. So where do you think all the local pass holders go? Yeah, that's right, they come to the Rose. Which is great. I mean, we love our regular, loyal, treat them like family, local pass holders. And as hard as it is for you to believe, I am actually being sincere. I get hugs from my regulars. However, the sheer number of locals that decide to show up at our theater the last day plays havoc with the ticketing system and throws all the computer generated models out the window. And what that means is:

The theater gets filled really fast and even if you arrive on time and you have a ticket, you still may not get in.

Which makes people really cranky. As you can imagine.

So on this particular day, for a movie called "Win, Win" starring Paul Giamatti, we turned a few folks away. Although unhappy, most of them were very gracious about it, having played the Sundance Shuffle before. Except for one guy. Claiming, loudly, to be a "Film Critic", he insisted that he was to be allowed to see the movie because he was a major asshat and was full of himself had interviewed Paul Giamatti. Alexi spent a long time with him, being very respectful, repeating over and over that since there was no place for him to sit, he would not be allowed into the theater. The gist of his reply was 1) he was a film critic 2) who had interviewed Paul Giamatti 3) from a foreign country 4) so we MUST LET HIM INTO THE THEATER, NOW, to see this film because 5) he had interviewed Paul Giamatti, and we had not. Plus he claimed to know the festival manager, which makes us shrug, because we too know the festival manager, and he does not make us tremble.

While listening to him rant at Alexi, I realized that the foreign country he hailed from was "Douchebagestan."* Knowing the only way to extract her from the situation, short of chewing her arm off and dragging her away, was to advise the Foreign Film Critique/ Paul Giamatti Interviewer point blank, that there was no seat available for him (I had already checked) and Alexi was done wasting spending her time explaining this to him because I needed her elsewhere.

Later, during an exchange in which I attempted to be nice (don’t snicker, I can fake it when I need to) the Film Critic proceeded to tell me that he would make sure that I would never work in the movie industry again (an industry I hadn’t realized I was employed in, being that I volunteer for the festival once a year and drive horse drawn carriage the remained of the time) and, after offering to have the sheriff escort him off the premise if he wished to make trouble, he countered with sending the Royal Canadian Mounted Police my way to arrest me.

I honestly had no idea the RCMP had jurisdiction in Utah. It just goes to prove that you can learn something new every day.

And last but not least, on the same evening, one of the other managers had to turn another patron away for a showing of a different film. Upon being advised that they were unable to attend the film, this patron told the other manager that they were in charge of the organ transplant department at a local university (I'm not telling you which one; it has a medical school, and their mascot's names rhymes with "fruits") and the manager better hope for the rest of his life that he never needed and organ transplant, because he would be denied. ** Hippocratic oath be damned!

Sigh…and eye roll.

So, I'm sure the title of this blog makes sense to you now.
I have to go, I need to hide from the Mounties while I look for a new kidney on eBay. It never hurts to hedge your bets.

*Not a real country. And although he threatened me with the RCMP I know he cannot be Canadian because all the Canadians I know are very nice. With the exception of one. But she doesn't count because I think of her more as a "Bitch" then as a "Canadian."

**Ironically, the manager who was threatened with Organ Transplant Black-Listing works for the medical school at the same university in another department. The entire exchange was witnessed by yet another university employee, and both of them planned on notifying the head of the Ethics department. Of course that doesn’t compare to being on the RCMP "Most Wanted" list…

If you've purchased my short story, "Splitting the Difference," THANK YOU! And please feel free to go back to Amazon and review it.


McB said...

Sounds like a good time was had by all!

FYI, I read Splitting the Difference and loved it. I also did a review, but alas Amazon seems to be holding it in reserve or something.

orangehands said...

Ha ha ha ha.

I know many people from Douchebagestan. And many others from Assholia. Who sometimes like to team up.

Lisa Deon said...

OH, Don't forget Bitchtily and the Fuckland Islands. Know these places exist, I've seen the passport stamps...

Lou said...

**Ironically, the manager who was threatened with Organ Transplant Black-Listing works for the medical school at the same university in another department. The entire exchange was witnessed by yet another university employee, and both of them planned on notifying the head of the Ethics department.**

SNORT - karma rules...