Sunday, January 24, 2010

An Evening at Sundance

On Friday I had the opportunity to attend a Sundance gala and film courtesy of work (I was the RSVP contact for a Sundance business event and so I got free tickets to the film and the reception).

I had never been to a gala before, but I figured it was, like most galas I've read about, just an excuse to drink alcohol (and I probably would have enjoyed it more if I had), eat tiny food off of toothpicks that caterers in black bring you, and scan the crowd, looking for interesting/important people that would probably not give you the time of day unless you're also interesting or important (I am neither).

Yep. That's pretty much how the gala was, only we arrived on time and so there was hardly anyone there (definitely no one interesting or important) and it was held at O.C. Tanner, where we could look at incredibly expensive jewelry that was certainly not meant to target people like me who were there because they'd scored a free ticket from work.

I don't care if I ever go to another gala again.

Getting to the film proved to be more exciting than the gala, but not necessarily in a good way. When we got to the Rose Wagner Theatre where the film was being shown, we had to wait to enter the auditorium even though throngs of people were passing us to go into the auditorium. This wouldn't have been such a big deal (because I am not naive and I understand that, like boarding an airplane, some people get to go first) except that these people who were going in did not have a different ticket than I did. Their Gap jeans weren't very different from my Gap jeans and I didn't see anything that suggested they were VIP. But they shuffled in while we waited. And every time I moved to try and find out what was going on, I got yelled at by a grey-haired Sundance volunteer who looked like maybe she needed a Valium. Or I needed one.

Whatever. After we learned we'd gone in the wrong door and that was why we had to wait, they finally let us through. Luckily there were still seats available (they give out more tickets than they have room for) and so we settled in.

The film, Get Low, was just was I needed to destress. Starring Robert Duvall, Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek, the film was original, funny, charming, moving, and thought-provoking. Definitely worthwhile and I was reminded of why I love the indie film scene so much. We all thoroughly enjoyed it and I decided that, even though I think Utah is a boring state to live in 98% of the time (unless you are into the outdoorsy stuff), Sundance redeemed it a little for me.

I was hoping to see Bill Murray, but alas, he was probably busy eating tiny food and buying a diamond-encrusted Rolex at the gala.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Read Me, Seymour (A Book Review)

Last Friday, after what seemed like an eternal and what was an exhausting week at work, I came home ready to collapse on my bed and not move again until Saturday morning. To my surprise, there was a book on my bed with a note from my roommate who had just finished the book and thought I might like it.

Extraordinarily pleased, I opened it right away and began reading. From the first page, I was hooked. I was halfway through the book when this same roommate suggested we watch a movie. After the movie was finished, I stayed up until 12:30 because I just had to read the rest of the book. Yes, it was that good.

The New York Regional Mormon Singles Halloween Dance is a memoir told by 27-year-old Elna Baker, a young single adult who's forever trying to reconcile her doubt and her faith as she struggles to find her identity in the bustling streets of New York City.

It's charming. It's witty. It's laugh-out-loud funny. It's thought-provoking and moving. It's also edgy and irreverent at times. Sometimes it was painful. But I loved it because it is refreshingly honest and real. And I do not use the term refreshing lightly; think of an oasis in the middle of the Sahara.

She dares to say what probably many LDS young single adults think but few will admit. After all, it's not often kosher in LDS culture to be candid about sex, doubt or the desire to live in the world when not being of the world disappoints.

There were poignant moments when, even though it was her story, it seemed like mine. To me, that is great writing.

It's not a book that will ever grace the shelves of Deseret Book. In fact, most reviews I've read are polarized; people either love it because they can relate or they hate it because her honesty is too blatant, too edgy.

I was delighted. What a lovely way to spend a Friday night. Thank you, blessed roomie (you know who you are) for that little gem.