Wednesday, January 27, 2010


Oh goodness….where to begin. I apologize if my thoughts aren’t coherent and a bit confusing. Its about 1230am here and ive been up since 8 and saw three films today.

So we had our first Windrider Forum “class” this morning. It was ok. Not too terrific. Craig Debtwiler is our prof and he basically took us through a brief history of Sundance and talked about the films that had won awards, got sold, one that where sold but made no money, flops, etc etc. We did have a very short discussion with other students from either Fuller Seminary or BYU in which I probably had the best luck of the day.

There was a film that I REALLY wanted to see called Freedom Riders but iwasnt scheduled for it and amazingly enough a kid at my table didn’t want his so I bought it. Best thing of the day.

Fun fact of the day [and one of the few things I took from the forum today]! A “anknupfunspunkt” is a point of contact between God and your situation whether that’s through film, music, nature etc. yes it is a real word I promise. German I believe.

We then watched another Angelus short film called Joburg. Not too impressive. It was really slow and some of the shot were either too long or weird cuts. The story was ok but not great. Also a very slow: about coincidence that two very opposite people meet and the empathy for each of the main characters.

After that me and a few others headed over to Kick In Iran in single file line. It reminded me of a family back-packing out in the wild where the youngest go in the middle so the bears wont eat them. Anyways, it was the world premier of the documentary and it was pretty good. The story and characters were very interesting. It followed Sara something-or-other [an Iraqi] who made it to the Olympics for Taekwondo in 2008. And it focused on the trials she had getting there and competing as well and her journey/relationship with her coach. Other then the capturing story line that was about all. There were a lot of lengthy shots of nothing too important that could have been better used as establishing shots. Also, about 40% of the film was in soft focus so it distracted me from the characters. Though by watching this documentary it gave me a bit more understanding into the Iraqi culture concerning women. One quote that struck me was this, said by Sara’s coach describing laws towards women: “The less you understand the easier it is to live here.”

After a short Q&A session with Kick In Iran’s director and some crew we headed to find a bite to eat which ended up being Burger King or Starbucks for me. And then off to another film. This one though was phenomenal! Freedom Riders was a documentary about a group of civil rights activists who decided to test the segregation laws by riding the greyhound and trailways bus lines into the deep south only switching where they sat: blacks sitting in the white only sections and whites sitting in the colored sections. It was really quite powerful to see what these people went through and what their example did for he country and the south specifically. It had a great mixture of photos, interviews and never-before-seen footage of the infamous bus burning that happened when they arrived at Birmingham, Alabama. At the end of the screening the audience gave a standing ovation. It was something else. When it came time for Q&A the first guy to ask a question could barely get out it because he was so emotional with gratitude that the film was made and how well it was done. The director, Stanley Nelson, brought along two of the original freedom riders to the Q&A and it was so cool to hear some of their experiences first hand out of their own mouths. I think the thing that hit me the hardest through this doc was the dedication and all seriousness some of the students had for riding the buses. Granted you had to be serious since it could have killed you literally. There was this one particular girl, Diana, and she got a call from a official from the government asking her to stop and not go on the bus [there had been serious attacks on the freedom riders earlier resulting in hospitalization] and he asked her, “Do you know what you are doing?!” and she replied with, “Yes, yes we [the group that was going to ride] do. We just signed our last will and testaments last night.” And then the director challenged us with these: What would you ride for today? Would you have ridden the buses? and What would you get on the bus for?

So then me Julia and Brad headed back to the church hoping to get some sleep in before our last film but it was only averted but yet another film. It was called Dreams and sadly we couldn’t finish it since we had to go to another film. This doc was about three people who are dream interpreters who have a Biblical foundation to their “practice” I guess you could call it. It was so interesting and thought provoking. Do I believe that people can interpret without it being phony? Do dreams really mean anything more then what you ate the night before? Etc. Etc. I cant really explain how I felt towards the film. I was bewildered, stunned, and wanting to know more. I wish I could have finished it but oh well.

Finally we got food – like real food. We went to a Mexican restaurant and got to sit down and have great conversation over ok food. Then we headed….yes you guessed it….to another film.

This one was a first for me in many ways. One because I have never seen a full length film all about cane toads and two because it was in 3D and I have never seen a 3D film before. So it was an all around new experience. It was called Cane Toad: The Conquest and it was set in Australia basically talking about how the cane toad got there to hopefully help the sugar cane crops by eating all the insects that were killing it and how it was an utter failure. It was quite humorous too. I jumped so bad in the very beginning because there was a huge toad on screen and it scuttled really fast towards us and every time after that that there was a big toad on screen I tensed up and got ready for it. Yeah but there were no more jump out parts so I was tense the entire film for no reason. Anyways, we had fun with the 3D glasses a little too much where I said the dumbest sentence in my life and will never live it down. Wanna know it? Too bad. Haha! Anyways – these glasses were crazy, they had a freaking anti-theft shindig in them! So me and Ryan G tried to figure out ways that we could sneak a few out without getting caught but then the director Mike Lewis came up and guilt tripped the entire theatre not to take them. Oh well, it was fun coming up with ways to borrow them forever.

What next you asked? Thankfully not another film and we just headed back to the condo where everyone went straight to bed….except me and Julia who stayed up to blog. =]

No comments: