Why bother coming to Sundance Film Festival without a festival ticket?
Besides standing on the street looking for recognizable faces in media for photo opportunities, I found plenty to keep me busy all day over the past two days on the streets of Park City during the Sundance Film Festival 2015. There were panel discussions on film and creativity and music performances and plenty of free Stella Artois beer to be found. So many festival attendees are standing around looking for movie stars when the stars of the future are all over the place, approachable and willing to talk to you at length if you take the initiative to strike up a conversation.
Sundance film tickets sold out weeks ago. There is a daily opportunity to buy day of film tickets, but you have to be waiting in line at 8am for that opportunity. I wanted a breakfast buffet instead at the Hyatt Escala Lodge at 8am.
One of my sisters enjoys the arts and I knew she would be disappointed in me if I came to Sundance Film Festival and did not see a film. After breakfast Monday morning, I checked the Sundance Film Festival Schedule and learned I could waitlist for a film.
One of the films that interested me was the description of a film The Tribe.
Ukraine. 2014, 127 min., color sign language.
Set at a Ukrainian boarding school for the deaf, the film’s narrative unfolds purely through sign language without the need for employing subtitles or voiceover, resulting in a unique, never-before-seen cinematic experience that engages the audience on a new level.
DIRECTOR/SCREENWRITER Myroslav Slaboshpytskly.
I read somewhere in one of the papers I picked up around town that this was a unique film with no spoken dialog or music soundtrack. This seemed like the Sundance experience I was looking for as an opportunity to watch a film that would be unlikely to appear on TV.
I waitlisted for the film online. Normally films are $20 for a ticket, but the price is $15 if you get in on a waitlist.
My waitlist number was 140. There were about that many seats remaining for the screening and immediately I received a message stating 36 people had dropped from the waitlist. You have to register and you can only waitlist for one film at a time. You have to be in line at the theater to buy the ticket with cash 30 minutes before the start of the film.
Getting to the MARC theater was the next challenge.
Park City offers free transportation year round in public buses. There are additional festival buses during Sundance making the loop around about ten different theaters. The MARC theater where I needed to go is actually a residential neighborhood Fitness Club that is converted into a theater during the 11 days of Sundance Film Festival. It took two buses and nearly 45 minutes to get five miles from The Canyons area where Hyatt Escale lodge is located to the theater and the deadline had already passed for the e-waitlist when I arrived 15 minutes before the film screening. Fortunately the film was not sold out and tickets were for sale. Before I made it to the ticket booth a woman approached me wanting to sell three tickets. I paid her $15 for one ticket and entered the theater.
I will simply describe The Tribe as a great film production, a riveting story and a film that I would not recommend to anyone without warning. I don’t want to give away any of the story. Suffice to say that there were scenes when I looked around at the audience to see people crying, covering their eyes, gasping, walking out of the theater. I am glad I saw this film at Sundance Film Festival since I don’t think it will be on TV any time soon or ever in the USA. The film won many 2014 film festival awards. My impression is The Tribe is an unforgettable film that you may find yourself wishing you could forget.
And there was no spoken dialog or musical soundtrack. The Tribe is true grit cinema with only the natural sounds of the environment for two hours.
My wife is the only person I could talk to today about the details of the movie. I know it is a film she will never watch.
I have been Sundance experienced. After that film, I am satisfied to take advantage of all the free live music playing on Main Street Park City at places like the HP Sundance House, NY Lounge, ASCAP Music Café and the #takebackSundance Atticus Bookstore Indie Fresh Brew concerts.
Cinema is a powerful force for evoking emotions. I witnessed that today when watching The Tribe. Musical performances are also a powerful force for evoking emotional feeling. The difference is music is generally a much more positive and socially engaging experience. There is an interactive relationship between musicians and the audience.
I was Sundance experienced today in film and music. The music is the aspect of Sundance in Park City I have found more festive and socially engaging in this Park City Sundance Film Festival 2015.
I am off to bed after 12 hours Sundancing today. Tomorrow is my last day for the Sundance 2015 Experience before I head back to California.
Check out my Loyalty Traveler Instagram page for photos of Sundance Film Festival 2015 action.