Mississippi Does Sundance (by way of New York) Part 2 (Part 1) | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Mississippi Does Sundance (by way of New York) Part 2 (Part 1)

First off: Note to the lady on the 10AM All Resort Shuttle from Salt Lake to Park City. You may be blonde and willowy, but must you conduct Blackberry-fueled business meetings the entire 60 minute trip? Your chatter about "mock-ups" is not fooling anyone. If your time were so precious, you would NOT to be sitting next to me on an econo-minibus. Moving on…

A few minutes after landing in Denver, the same US Airways Airbus that I USED to take to Jackson, by way of Charlotte, also landed—in the Hudson, as I'm sure you've heard. It's always exciting when some catastrophic airplane-thing happens on a day that you're flying, right? And, in what ultimately amounted to extremely faulty planning on my part, I found myself in Utah a day before my condo-mates. I'm like a turtle, home in my backpack (sleeping bag nestled in the bottom), but then Boingo internet connect failed, so all plans to spend the night at the SLC airport were thwarted. The only good thing about blowing $100 I didn't budget on the airport La Quinta was the opportunity to watch Grey's Anatomy on a TV rather than a laptop.

When I finally made it to downtown Park City, it was like, "Where is everybody?" Compared to last year, Park City's a ghostown. There are hardly any camera crews, and nobody's passing out free stuff. And everyone seems to have some sort of badge. Where are the normal people, the merry festival-goers? But if the streets are as bare as Soviet grocery shelves, the main box office took little note of the recession. On the second morning of Sundance, practically every first week screening was sold out.

I grew pretty grumpy (and hungry—I was totally counting on those granola bars!) fast, rattling around the streets of Park City, aimlessly and friendlessly. Last year I rode Ballast's glory, sporting an (unwarranted) Sundance Crew badge for most of the week. The hard facts were sinking in—this year, there will be no VIP lounges.

(Part 2 to come…but I've gotta go interview the filmmaker for Prom Night in Mississippi right now…)

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