Utah is sure pretty when it wants to be. It wasn't very snowy this year, but when it did snow it was the big, fluffy, picturesque snowflake kind. When it didn't snow it was disgusting, miserable, freezing rain, so I tried to snap a couple pictures of the pretty parts of my daily drive up the canyon. The one above I messed with a little bit in Instagram, but only for the sake of cropping out the ugly highway, not enough to fabricate that gorgeous sunrise. In fact, it was so much more beautiful than that. My love/hate relationship with Utah rages on.Once the Convergence wrapped, I headed to Park City to see my old Dallas film colleagues and check out the Sundance scene. I love Park City and I would have loved more than anything to stay there all week watching movies, but I have yet to make it to Sundance Pass Holder status. Honestly though, I couldn't have asked for a better week with some of my favorite people. Missy and Ryan picked me up from Park City and we headed straight to a Mavs game! Okay, it was a Jazz game, but they were playing the Mavs and we won, and that's all that matters. I'm not really a "sports" person per say but I do like basketball and being the obnoxious fan of the away team, so I had a great time. I will say, Jazz fans are mean. If you don't want to hate Utah, don't go to a sporting event. Between the sore losers and lame G-rated dancers, it was like a bad circus around good basketball.
Missy and I visited our favorite breakfast spot, Eggs in the City, and did some shopping and wedding planning. I hid my camera away for the most part and just enjoyed it. So, now, looking back through my camera roll, I'm slightly amused by the things I did think warranted a photo. A bike stand sweater in Sugarhouse, the biggest, yummiest biscuit I've ever eaten and a snap of our table at the (rightly) legendary Ruby's Diner.
I also got to spend time with my dear friends Katie and Cory and their children, who I've attempted numerous times to adopt as my own. Sweet, calm baby Samantha (and the TV that I would also like to adopt as my own - side note: I sent this picture to Taso with the caption "Two things I want"); thoughtful, lovable Jaren, B's best friend, showing off his 49ers shirt because they beat the Saints (B's favorite team); and my best friend, the wild Lainey Joy. I love these babies so much!
In addition to playing toys, kissing the baby, watching movies and eating cake, I also discovered that there is a Juggalo community in Salt Lake and they ship in Juggalo juice by the crate. Who knew?! Yep, it was a great time with my beloved Harmon family.
I didn't get a chance to go back up to Park City the rest of the time I was in Utah but, thankfully, they have plenty of Sundance screenings in Salt Lake as well. While I was there to see documentaries for the Thin Line Film Festival, I did get to see one feature film, Beasts of the Southern Wild, that completely blew me away. It's about what you might consider swamp people, who live below the levee in New Orleans around the time of Katrina (though that time period is never stated outright, that's the impression given). It was one of those films that tears through you and leaves your knees shaking. The little girl who carries the film -- who is really the soul of the film -- was incredible, brilliant both in her role and her post-screening Q&A appearance. During the Q&A one audience member raised their hand and said this was the best film they'd ever seen. Normally I would scoff at something like that or chalk it up to misunderstanding the wave emotion the work left behind, but I didn't. In fact, my gut reaction was applause and complete agreement. I have a theory that you shouldn't ask someone what their favorite movie of all time is, but what their favorite movie right now is. Not only does it make for interesting discussion, but it gives you a chance to talk about newer films that will never replace the stock favorites. But I digress. Beasts of the Southern Wild is my favorite movie right now at this moment. I'm so happy it ended up winning the Grand Jury Prize. If you ever get a chance to see this, you MUST!
I'm back in Texas recovering now. Missing my friends, going through all my AHC notes and trying not to read too much about all the films I didn't get to see. Maybe next year!