MCN Blogs
Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar

Sundance Dispatch: From Snowpocalypse to Sundance

It was looking for a while there like I might end up missing a chunk of Sundance this year due to Snowpocalypse 2012 nailing Seattle. Usually when our weather men predict a Major! Winter! Storm! you can assume that in all likelihood, there might be a few wayward flakes, but a couple times a year we actually do tend to get a pretty good snow move in. Now I totally appreciate the stalwart nature of my East Coast friends, especially those in upstate New York, where we used to live, who scoff at what they see as Seattle’s overblown reaction to a little snow. I hear you. When we lived in Rochester, anything less than six inches of snow was a mere “dusting,” and it would take a serious blizzard to close schools.

But this is Seattle, which is built not just on one hill, but many hills. We have maybe two snow plows for the entire city, and one of those is some guy with a four-wheel drive pickup with a couple snow shovels duct-taped to the front. It’s dangerous to drive in Seattle when there’s snow, especially a lot of it, and even more dangerous when there’s ice. So when it looked likely that there actually might be a “snow event” moving in on Wednesday, I prudently decided to rebook my flight to Salt Lake City to Thursday, when the weather forecasters were predicting a warm-up to the low 40s and rain to melt all the snow away. Hah.

I woke up Thursday morning at 7AM to freezing rain. A lot of it. Buckets. Checked the weather report, it was supposed to be clear by noon. Noon came, and we were getting pelted so hard with a mix of freezing rain and snow I could barely see out my window. They changed the forecast — now it wasn’t going to clear until 3PM — right about when I needed to leave for the airport. Also, Sea-Tac was pretty much screwed, with the entire airport shut down for part of the morning until they could clear the ice that had fallen overnight from the runways. I anxiously tracked flights all morning: Delayed. Cancelled. Cancelled. Cancelled. Crap.

But, the one airline that seemed to be getting flights out was Southwest, which I happened to be traveling on. I had a gut feeling it might be okay, and that if we could just make it up the hill out of our neighborhood to the highway, it would probably be okay. My husband Mike volunteered to drive me, and so we left, just as the snow was really picking up. I just about had an anxiety attack on the hill. I was freaking out, telling Mike, forget it, forget it. Take me home, I’ll rebook my flight for whenever I can get on. We’re going to get killed. No, we aren’t, he calmly said. I got this.

And he did. We got up that hill, and the highway was (unsurprisingly) quite barren of traffic, save a few other idiots like us, mostly heading to the airport. The highway had been well-sanded, and the layer of snow coming down covered the layer of ice, and we made it, actually, in no more time than the trip normally takes in heavy Seattle traffic. I was prepared to sleep at the airport if my flight got cancelled, but miracle of miracles, it did not. We were delayed a bit to de-ice the plane, but we got in the air, landed with a bit of a bump 90 minutes later, and by midnight I was at our house in Park City. By 2AM I was settled in and watching a screener.

So far today, I picked up my press badge, put in ticket requests for public screenings, schlepped over to the Park City NPR affiliate to do a segment of The Daily Buzz with Film Society Lincoln Center’s Eugene Hernandez and Indiewire’s Dana Harris and Eric Kohn, schlepped back to the press office to pick tickets up, and caught three solid films so far: Elena, The Queen of Versailles, and Where Do We Go Now. Back at the MCN house for a quick bowl of soup and a sandwich and lovely cup of tea and then I’m heading off to Main Street to catch the midnight screening of The Pact.

I’ll be writing films up as I can in my downtime, but as at this past Toronto, I’m spending most of my energy these first few days of the fest into seeing as many films as I can, not into being the First! to write them up.

Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.

Quote Unquotesee all »

It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon