The first night of Sundance was a bit rough. Aside from missing out on Howl AND the Spike Jonze Series of Dramatic Shorts which I really wanted to see, I watched a screener of another film and learned an extremely valuable lesson while on the shuttle ride home — keep your mouth shut if you don’t like a movie.
A few of us who didn’t get into any of the opening night films sat down with some screeners so we could at least watch something from the festival. We decided to view Daddy Longlegs, a film that sounded like it had quite a bit of promise. About 30 minutes into it, it was hard not to yell at the screen because of the ridiculousness taking place in front of us…
Aside from sound issues, there was a lead character who was not only unlikeable but whose actions made absolutely no sense and had no consequences. Also, there was an over the top shaky camera which only showed how little they actually had going on in the shot. Simply put, the film was not good.
Immediately after watching it, I went to find a shuttle to take me back to Main Street. After freezing my ass off in the cold, I finally got on one, but it went the wrong way. After a few stops, a few friends jumped on board after seeing Howl and asked me what I had just done. I sighed heavily and said that I just saw Daddy Longlegs and hated it. I believe I said something like “there was just no reason behind it, it was pointless” or something along those lines. I probably would have continued on if the the director and producer of the film, Ben Safdie and Josh Safdie, who were both sitting directly behind me, hadn’t popped in with “we made that film.” Shit.
I didn’t even look behind me. Everyone chuckled at me, as the director started to ask me questions like “how did you see it?” I told him a screener. I then began to try to say something nice about it, but they said “it’s a polarizing film” to which I agreed (although I have yet to meet anyone who’s felt differently than myself – check out Neil’s review on FilmSchoolRejects.) A few of the others tried to be nice and ask about the film, and the filmmakers gave a description that sounded great and I tried to nod in agreement.
David Chen from /Film was quick to jump up and do a flip cam interview with the makers of the movie, and they posted it and left me unnamed, so I guess this is me calling myself out.
To add to my mishap, the next morning at 7:30am, both myself and the filmmakers were on the same shuttle again and as I am writing this, they are standing behind me. I think they’re seeking their revenge by continuously reminding me of my stupid slip up. Sorry dudes!
At least you should know that I will never, EVER insult a movie on a shuttle again and you never know, people may be able to see something in a film that you didn’t. Good luck!