Friday, February 11, 2011

Dreams of Sundance / Going Kaboom

Anyone who has ever met me in real life has probably experienced what I like to call, "The Excitable Ryan." Just like Tinkerbell, I often have the emotional capacity to only feel one emotion at one time. Not with every single feeling, mind you, but when I get excited about something? It's hard to feel anything else. This year, just before Christmas, there was one thing I was so excited about I could hardly think about anything else.

It was the thought of going to the one, the only Sundance Film Festival.

I've been a long and often quiet admirer for many years of Sundance. While working at the Nashua Public Library, I was exposed for the first time to the joys of independent cinema. Going to places like The Wilton Town Hall Theater and later Coolidge Corner in Boston only strengthened this newfound interest. While living in Boston, I had the opportunity to watch the IFC Television Channel, which I'll admit, sadly got kind of obsessed with. I would say about half the films on my Netflix list (when I still had it) were independents; I was clearly hooked.

By crazy random happenstance, I got the chance to go to a film at the Tribeca Film Festival my first year here. I saw a movie called Timer and was within spitting distance of both Emma Caulfield and Michelle Borth, which was... well words can't describe it, that's how awesome it was. I haven't gone to any other films at Tribeca either that or any other subsequent years. Not working in a movie department anymore, it gets harder and harder for me to keep track of what's coming out and when. Plus, in true recession form, I go to the movies a lot less and embrace entertainment sources that are often cost effective i.e. free. It's rare that I would get off my duff and seek out a film that I think has value even when I have heard of it. Pontypool was a rare exception when I found it on DVD, "Nowhere Boy" with Aaron Johnson was one I actually went to see in the theaters. I'm just saying, it needs to be special for me to care.

But Excitable Ryan wanted to go Sundance this year. Not just for the experiencing of going to the film festival (which is mainly why I've wanted to go in the past), but because Gregg Araki has a film called "Kaboom" which admittadly, I've wanted to see FOR THE PAST YEAR. One of Liz's friends told me about this when I saw them at the Boston ALA Midwinter (this was at the top of 2010). I would periodically forget about this movie; I finally had resurged interest in it late last fall when I found out it debuted at Cannes. For fun, I looked to see if it was on the Sundance rooster (Araki's films, back when he was making them all the time, often premiered there). I found out it was and, you know, wanted to go. Really bad. Enough to ask Mums & Dads as a bonus Christmas gift (there wasn't really a 'bonus' to nothing, but I digress). Predictably, they said no. I was defeated.

The story doesn't end there.

Despite certain defeat, I was still obsessed. My library search skills not withstanding, I tried to assimilate all the information I possibly could about Kaboom and about Araki. With no official website or firsthand source for information, it was hard to sift through the electronic rubbish you often find on the Internet. But, a random link mentioning Kaboom premiering in NYC led me to discover it's one-night-only showing at the Brooklyn Academy of Music. Those who know me in real life will also know I give the Brooklyn borough no special love, but this Thursday? It's my favorite. It's where I get to see muh movie. But why? How? If it's at Sundance, how can it possibly be in NYC...?

Apparently, BAM shows movies concurrently with the premiere at the festival. That is not only crazy cool, for me it's cost effective. It means I can see the movie without traveling to Utah. Which, you know, is not my first choice. While I would love the opportunity to attend the festival some day, I'm very happy that this particular year? I don't have to. Also, Gregg Araki is going to be there doing a Q&A.

After that? It's also going to be at the IFC Theater downtown. You need to go see it. Obviously.

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