Day 8: Friday, January 25, 2008

Posted February 15, 2008 in know that feeling when you haven't slept well in days, but you finally get in bed, sink into the mattress, pass out in under a minute, and remain lifeless for at least 10 hours? That's what life's all about.

I woke up with just enough time to piss and put on my shoes, and I did both at the same's a family secret. I quickly made haste to the Holiday Theatres.

Title: Secrecy

Directors: Peter Galison & Robb Moss

Venue: Holiday Theatres

Rating: 3 out of 5 shredded documents

Does the government's practice of concealing classified information from the general public ultimately help or harm our nation's interest? This is the question Peter Galison and Robb Moss present the audience with in their documentary, Secrecy. Before attending the screening, I had thought this film would reveal the answers to various secrets that have baffled this country for generations. Who shot J.F.K.? Are there UFOs? Who stole my wallet in 2001? Important shit! I was wrong.

Not that the documentary was awful, it wasn't. It just seemed to answer it's own question within the first twenty-five minutes, and continued for another hour. Ultimately, secrecy can be beneficial in the since that we don't broadcast to the world that we have Osama bin Laden's phone tapped, but can be hurtful when outside assistance can be helpful. For example, the F.B.I. unsuccessfully hunted the Unabomber for years, but once the New York Times published his affidavit, Ted Kaczynski's brother recognized the proclamations, made a call to the police, and the hunt was over within days. It works both ways.

Intertwined with interviews with former C.I.A. personnel, journalists, analysts, and individuals directly affected by the government's policies on secrecy, the film explores the history of our nation's political views toward confidentiality, and what could be the effects for the future. Now, about that wallet...

As soon as the credits appeared, I jumped out of my seat and was running once again. I better lose some weight. I ran across the parking lot to what I've called home for the past eight days, the Yarrow Hotel.

Title: Good Dick

Director: Marianna Palka

Venue: Yarrow Hotel Press Screening

Rating: 4 out of 5 Zen Pussy Porno Tapes

Good Dick is an off-off-beat romantic dramedy that revolves around the lives of Anna (Marianna Palka), a mentally unstable, anti-social, sexually damaged woman (quite the catch), and the ex-drug addict video store clerk (Jason Ritter) who attempts to break her barriers and heal her wounds.

Filled with awkward yet humorous porn viewing "dates" which continue to escalate their "relationship", until one-step too far creates another partition, and witty video store banter between Ritter's fellow video store employees (Martin Star continues to make me smile, especially as he continues to sport his Unabomber beard via Knocked Up), Good Dick is what the Sundance Film Festival is all about. For eleven days, we have the opportunity to watch small independent movies testing the limits and striving to capture something other than large explosions and car chases. Palka's gloomy yet droll writing and Ritter's soft however prevailing performance is a stunning harmony.

Look for tomorrow's coverage of the 2008 Sundance Film Festival's Award Ceremony.