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Sundance Film Festival
Tribune Staff
The staff of The Salt Lake Tribune covers the Sundance Film Festival, on the streets of Utah and beyond.

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A Little Giamatti Goes a Long Way

I got stuck in the waiting list line for the midnight premiere "John Dies at the End." It promised to be a great midnight movie and I couldn't get a press ticket.

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It's a pain in the butt, of course, to stand in line, twice, in the concrete bunker under the Egyptian Theater in hopes of getting in.

It wasn't too terrible. I met avid film buffs from New York, Boston and Houston, and joined in an impromtu confab on Philip K. Dick, "The Shining" and scary movies in general. (We were also outraged to learn that the Sundance overlords had inadvertently handed out 30 waitlist numbers ahead of the official time--pretty much ensuring that those of us who played by the rules wouldn't get in. Thanks, Bob.)

But then something wonderful happened.

The cast and crew of "John Dies" came down to greet us in the cold, narrow hallway. Including a scruffy, bearded hobo, who turned out to be Paul Giamatti.

"We love you guys in the waiting line," said a cute actress. "We know you really want to see this movie."

Then they gave us hats with cool skull logos and Giamatti posed for pictures with us waiting-line losers.

In the end, we still didn't get in, but nobody, not even the cult followers of author David Wong--who, by the way, made the hallway look like a casting call for Lord of the Rings--seemed to feel screwed.

-- Glen Warchol

Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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