letters from sundance
diane and luke write in from the road.
This week, NYLON editors Diane Vadino and Luke Crisell went to the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah. Here are the emails they would have sent in real-time to our digital director, Faran Krentcil, if their cell phone reception didn't suck in the mountains..."Dear Faran, This is our favorite short from Sundance. It is an animated film about a very wise whale and a human who is an idiot. It was introduced by its creator, Drew Christie, before it played alongside a feature documentary about the glaciers breaking up, which was hugely depressing and amazingly beautiful, in equal measure.--DIANE VADINO AND LUKE CRISELL.""Dear Faran, Every year the swag suites are more ridiculous than the year before—if you walk up Main Street, you'll recognize them from the sidewalk by the sight of the dudes with clipboards guarding their entrance. Because inside, even better than free drinks, is free stuff, and plenty of celebrities to take it—but not before getting their pictures taken with it, which is, I guess, cost of entry for them. But it's funny to see how successful the marketing is—we heard that Sorel brought 1000 pairs of boots to Park City, and it seems like they must have given every single pair out, because they seem to be required footwear. Convenient given the fact that on Saturday we got approximately 3000 feet of snow. --DV and LC.""Dear Faran, We have set personal-best records in terms of the number of documentary films viewed. The problem, every year, is that the documentaries are almost always amazing—often extremely heartfelt and sincere, in a bad way, but almost always informative or moving or just plain infuriating (see: the corporate tax doc, "We're Not Broke"). This year, we've seen about two dozen, on all kinds of subjects, from nuclear energy (bad) to Chinese artist Ai Wei Wei (good). The most incredible moment—indeed, of the entire festival, for us—came in the middle of "The Artist Is Present," a film about Marina Abramovic's generally incredible MoMA exhibit of the same name, the one where she sat in a room and stared at people for three months, and everyone cried. The film spends a lot of time with Marina and her ex-lover/partner-in-crime Ulay, with whom she made some of her signature work. For the record, because they're crazy artists, they broke up at the end of a performance piece in which they spent four months walking toward each other on the Great Wall of China. (Marina tells us that apparently Ulay impregnated their translator. Bad Ulay!) Many years later, we see their reunion in the documentary, and even more incredibly, Ulay sits across from Marina at her table at MoMA—and the resulting, silent exchange between them is worth, itself, flying out to Park City and being pushed around by all the people from L.A. who don't know how to act on a public bus.--DV and LC""Dear Faran, Filmmaker Nash Edgerton is creating a cottage industry from shorts about schlubby guys who accidentally maim their extremely beautiful girlfriends, and then suffer when the universe gets them back. His short at the festival, "Bear" is a sequel, and almost beat-for-beat reinterpretation of this one, "Spider." It is ridiculous.--DV and LC""Dear Faran, We have decided that the best film of the festival is "Safety Not Guaranteed." It stars Aubrey Plaza, of "Parks + Rec" one-liners such as: "Jerry, why don't you put that murinal in the men's room so people can murinate all over it?" and it involves: a lothario, the forest, a Seattle magazine, federal agents, and time travel. It hasn't sold, but it's going to, and at next year's Sundance, everyone's going to be talking about what a big hit it was. --DV and LC""Dear Faran, We wanted to tell you that Chris Rock is on our JetBlue flight, and he is a little bit shorter than we would have thought. --DV and LC."