Park City at Midnight

It's ten PM. Do you know where your children are? If they're in Park City, chances are they're scooting up Main Street in heels, without coats, bare-legged and looking for the next party at the door of every other hopping bar ("Is this the place where Usher is at?"). I wanted to call their mothers. We trudged up Main Street, dodging snowball fights (okay, so maybe we were the ones who started it) and drunk passers-by. We even spotted Joseph Gordon-Levitt slip-sliding along the side streets. People everywhere, though mostly driven inside by the copious amounts of snow.

Late night in Park City is all a-blizzard.

We popped into the party at New Frontier on Main, brushed the stacks of snow off our shoulders and hats, stowed our snow-covered coats in a corner of the room, and made our way to the bar. We mingled with the party-goers amidst the installations, everyone relaxing out of the first big day, shaking off timetables, sharing stories of films they'd seen, swapping notes and experiences. Fellow blogger Mike introduced me to Festival Director John Cooper, who, when asked by naive-little-ol'-me what his least favorite film at the Festival was, couldn't come up with an answer — always a good sign — and programmer Trevor Groth, who bounced with excitement as he told us about the one-for-the-history-books screening and Q&A he'd just been to for Get Low with Bill Murray, Robert Duvall, and Sissy Spasek. He could hardly contain himself.

It's obvious these people love what they're doing so very much, and it's infecting the entire town.

I had to leave the party early to get a seat for my next screening, Splice, across the street at The Egyptian. Before the film started, as director Niccolo Amanzini gave his introduction, I spied a lanky figure sidling up beside me in the aisle. Well hello there, Academy Award-winning actor Adrien Brody. I wondered aloud to Twitter if he might go all Adrien Brody on me. And then I remembered that I wasn't presenting him with an Academy Award so maybe not.

I stifled a little wine-induced yawn and settled into my seat. This is the stuff: a monster movie at midnight, popcorn clutched in one jittery hand on your lap, everyone reacting audibly to every hilarious line, every creepy frame. A particularly vocal gentleman two rows in front of me couldn't get enough of the half-human-half-creature's antics and frequently stomped his feet like he was trying to get away. "Did we laugh at all the right parts?" someone asked in the Q&A.

As the director and actors answered questions, again it was obvious how much fun these people are having, how much they love every minute of it. It's a little bit surreal, we decided later over a late-night sherry back at the condo, seeing all these people whose faces you know from film and magazines, all the names you've read in the credits of so many films, and here they are in front of you, hanging out, enjoying the films, slip-sliding through snow. "Hollywood and New York transplanted to Utah," I heard someone say. A big old blizzard of energy and buzz and fun. And we're barely getting started.

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