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Sundance memories: The movies and moments that defined the 2013 festival



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What happened » Arrived at the shuttle stop at 11:50 a.m., which I thought was plenty of time to make it to Main Street for a 12:30 p.m. meeting. I waited and waited along with two other Salt Lake City residents — and an overly chatty parking attendant — for a ride. Over the next 30 minutes, three buses headed for other venues — not Main Street — arrived at our stop, picked up no one and left. By then two more people arrived at the stop saying they, too, were headed to Main Street. Finally, at 12:22 p.m., the Main shuttle arrived — followed immediately by another Main Street bus. The first bus was quite full, so the parking attendant suggested the five of us get on the second one, which we did. The first bus pulled away and the second bus remained at the stop until 12:30 p.m. Needless to say, I missed the meeting and got off the bus, wondering how to get my $10 parking fee reimbursed by the newspaper. Next year, I’ll have to download the GPS shuttle app.

At a glance

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Track through reviews from this year’s slate of films at www.sltrib.com/blogs/Sundanceblogs

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When » "A.C.O.D." premiere on Wednesday, Jan. 23

Where » Eccles Theatre

What happened » Amy Poehler, who plays the awful stepmother of her "Parks and Recreation" co-star Adam Scott, expressed appreciation for her character. "I was excited to play such a bitch," she said. "Everyone should be that kind of person once in a while."

When » Throughout the festival

Where » At shuttle stops, on Main Street and in hotel halls

What happened » Near-incessant chatter from film-industry intelligentsia about the need to "chug a coconut water."

– Ben Fulton


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Movie moments

Scene » Closing reel of Sarah Polley’s family documentary "The Stories We Tell,"

What sets it apart » As Polley is interviewing a man she suspects of having had a long-ago affair with her mother, her subject breaks down to admit it: "You probably should know I slept with your mother once." The moment proves it’s possible to make a moving, honest documentary about family life that can be equally humorous and heart-breaking, rather than just deadpan earnest.

Scene » Young U.S. Evangelical missionaries travel through Uganda in Roger Ross Williams’ documentary "God Loves Uganda."

What sets it apart » A young man asks a street vendor if he "speaks in tongues." The young man answers, "Yes, I speak Swahili, French and English," demonstrating the humorous, yet also tragic, way people of different cultures speak past each other.

Scene » In the harrowing documentary "After Tiller," doctor Susan Robinson counsels and comforts a woman who makes the agonizing decision to abort her baby boy, whom she calls Hudson, because he would live a short life of "shunts, surgeries and seizures."

What sets it apart » As heartbreaking a scene you’ll see in any documentary, this moment underscores the idea that few women abort out of sheer whimsy, or because they want to make a feminist statement, but because they’ve often searched their consciences for days before making one of the most difficult decisions of their lives.

Scene » A sequence over the closing credits of "Austenland" shows Keri Russell, Jane Seymour and the rest of the cast singing and dancing to Nelly’s "Hot in Herre."

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