Day 2: Saturday, January 19, 2008

Posted January 20, 2008 in
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Day three, I still haven't seen a single film. Missed a few important events today, including the Slamdance Sledding Party and the Outfest Brunch. Turns out that Friday night's fun ruined my ability to function for most of Saturday. However, by the time I did make it up to Park City at 6p.m., the various lounges were in full swing, and coaxed me back into the festival spirit with an array of beverages and other party accessories. First up was Delta 360 lounge, a private party for the film, Linguistics, a documentary focused on two Scientists intent to capture dying languages and dialects before they go into extinction. Sounds pretty cool, in a nerdy academic kinda way.

Following this, SLUG Writer Jimmy Martin, Editor Angela Brown and I were lucky enough to catch Providence, Rhode Island's phenomenal art trifecta, Paper Rad. The unique combination of live music and video art is nothing short of groundbreaking. For those unfamiliar with Paper Rad, and their alter-ego, Extreme Animals, imagine apoplectic amounts of neon clip-art piled on top of angular electro-rock, bringing back memories of all of your favorite kid shows without directly referencing any of them. A bit mind-boggling, but also refreshing to see genuine new art that is not afraid to be comedic - minus the satire, cynicism, and bullshit attitude that accompanies the oft pretentious art world.

Cory Archangel MC'd the event from his bed, via iChat. His performance was nothing short of hilarious as he took us through a virtual tour of his living quarters; showing us what was inside his fridge, playing his favorite new song on his record player and culminating with the experiment—"Can a grown man cry to the emotional climax of the film, The Story of Seabiscuit?" As the Sundance audience all witnessed, the answer to this question is, of course, "Yes."

These performances were part of a feature called New Frontiers, in which Sundance brings visual, performance, and interactive art that is decidedly new into Park City. Ironically, The New Frontiers Lounge is located in the basement of Main's Street's mall, whose vendors are nothing but art galleries showcasing the worst art. The contrast between the art show in the Lounge and the art displayed outside of the lounge (shitty antler coat racks, petrified wood lamps, and FIBI (for Indians, by Indians)) punctuated the exhibit to levels of hilarity unseen since Gallager.

(Photo Caption: This bad art only lives in the Main Street Mall)

Next up, we swung over to the Queer Lounge to catch The Donnas while Angela peaced-out to catch a Slamdance documentary on Wesley Willis. It was very cool to see The Donnas play in such an intimate environment - the venue was the size of a large living room. However, as the majority of the Donnas' fans stood outside in the cold; I was reminded of the how much this festival has outgrown the venues of Main Street Park City. However, the band put on a great show, and the Queer Lounge is a great reminder that Sundance continues to be a pillar for gay cinema. Festivals posters from past years such as The Living End and Party Monster reminded us all of this fact.

(Photo Caption: SLUG Writers Jimmy Martin & Ryan Powers Queer at Queer the Lounge)

Tomorrow - More updates, and hopefully a film review ... (but no promises).

—Ryan Powers