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

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(Kim Raff | The Salt Lake Tribune) Photographs of Norman Seeff hang in the dining room during the dinner prepared by celebrity chef Whitney Miller, winner of Masterchef Season 1, during the kick off to the 10th anniversary of ChefDance, where top chefs from around the country cook for the casts and crews of Sundance Films, in Park City on January 18, 2013.

By The Tribune Features Staff

First published Jan 26 2013 01:01AM
Updated May 5, 2013 11:33PM

Every year, the annual invasion of Hollywood to Park City leaves behind memories of red-carpet moments and eye-popping scenes that make us forget the exhausting schedule, the January weather, and the endless lines. Here’s a collection of memories from the 2013 version of the festival.

Only at Sundance moments

When • Pre-festival interview on Jan. 13

Where • Interview conducted in Tribune newsroom

What happened • Neil Drumming was talking about his Slamdance film "Big Words." "I’ve been to Park City several times, initially as a journalist covering the festivals for Entertainment Weekly and later simply as a fan," he said. "I have fond memories of popping Airbornes, chugging a Red Bull and trying to squeeze six movies into one day. I remember seeing ‘Half Nelson,’ being completely blown away and then having the pleasure of interviewing Ryan Fleck and Anna Boden, two brilliant filmmakers. I remember running into Lee Daniels randomly on Main Street and him urging me to go see his movie, ‘Push’ aka ‘Precious.’ When we finally got into the second screening, it was packed with people who had caught the buzz as well.

David Burger

When • Friday, Jan. 18

Where • ChefDance dining room

What happened • Before the 300 dinner guests arrived, I sat down with co-founders Kenny Griswold and Mimi Kim to talk about the 10th anniversary of ChefDance. After our chat, I was able to get a close-up look at the works of iconic photographer Norman Seeff hung throughout the basement dining room. If you don’t know Seeff’s name, you’ll definitely know his most famous work: the black-and-white photo of Apple co-founder Steve Jobs. Seeff loaned Griswold 20 of his most memorable images for the event, including portraits of Ray Charles, Whitney Houston, John Belushi, Johnny Cash, Cher and Mick Jagger. I know ChefDance is supposed to be about the food — and I really did love the white chocolate bread pudding that night — but these photographs were the night’s biggest treat.

Kathy Stephenson

When • Dave Grohl’s Sound City Players concert on Friday, Jan. 18

Where • Park City Live, 427 Main St., Park City

What happened • This sold-out concert was party to celebrate the Sundance debut of Foo Fighters’ frontman Dave Grohl’s directorial debut "Sound City," with musicians from the film showing up to make the three-hour-plus performance consistently surprising and hair-raising — in the very best way. My favorite moment came when Grohl switched from guitar to drums, and then Krist Novoselic and Pat Smear appeared onstage, along with Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen and Stone Sour and Slipknot singer Corey Taylor. With the surviving members of Nirvana — Grohl, Novoselic and Smear — playing along, Taylor led the all-star band through a rousing rendition of the Cheap Trick anthem "Surrender." Music never sounded more vibrant and celebratory.

David Burger

When • "Linsanity" premiere on Sunday, Jan. 20

Where • The MARC

What happened • Two gentlemen watching the documentary about Jeremy Lin — which noted the racism he has experienced — gasped in all the right places. Before the screening, they discussed business associates and spoke derisively of "the typical Asian behavior" of one of them, oblivious to their own racist stereotypes.

Scott D. Pierce

When • Monday, Jan. 21

Where • Shuttle stop in front of parking Lot G

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.

Scott D. Pierce

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."

Scott D. Pierce

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

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.

Ben Fulton

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.

Ben Fulton

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.

Ben Fulton

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."

What sets it apart • It’s a kicky finish to a delightfully funny movie.

Sean P. Means

Scene • Daniel Radcliffe definitely sheds his "Harry Potter" image in "Kill Your Darlings," but that’s not all he sheds.

What sets it apart • Portraying a young Allen Ginsberg discovering his sexuality during his college days, Radcliffe’s character also sheds all his clothing for some raw gay sex scenes.

Sean P. Means

Scene • The entire opening sequence of writer-director Shane Carruth’s science-fiction meditation "Upstream Color" — in which a woman (Amy Seimetz) is infected with a mind-control-inducing grub and coerced into bizarre behavior.

What sets it apart • The moment definitely sets the tone for this strangely beautiful drama.

Sean P. Means

Scene • Comic Demetri Martin applies his nerdy hesitation delivery perfectly to Lewis, the nice-guy sound-studio operator who has a crush on Lake Bell’s lead character, Carol, in Bell’s "In a World. …"

What sets it apart • Together, Martin and Bell make anxiety cool and sexy.

Sean P. Means

Scene • The triumphant performance of Darlene Love as the longtime backup singer takes the lead on "Lean on Me" in the documentary "Twenty Feet From Stardom."

What sets it apart • Love’s star turn puts a winning coda on the whole idea propelling director Morgan Neville’s documentary.

Sean P. Means

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