Sundance 2012

I’ve only been to the Sundance Film Festival once before, when Shawn’s film IGNITE played. That year, everything was overwhelming and new. This year, I came with a plan and everything was exciting. I didn’t get to see all the films I wanted to (Room 237 for instance, and V/H/S) but I was really please with what I did see. That’s not to say I loved every film I saw either, but I thought I’d share a few of my thoughts.

I have to say this was my personal favorite of what I saw at the festival. Written and directed by Marialy Rivas, Young and Wild is fun and racy while also being surprisingly serious. It is the story of a 17-year-old Chilean girl with an unrestrained sexual appetite, a devout evangelical family and a blog to talk about it. Go figure I’d like a film about a blogger. It was entertaining and touched on more than just the obvious; really a story about family, love and finding your way. It had a realistic, honest tone, but was laced with the playful writing of youth. I hope this film finds a larger audience and hopefully winning the World Cinema Screenwriting award will help make that happen.

This film, starring and directed by Mark Webber, is a sentimental portrait of a man struggling to raise his young son on his own after the death of his child’s mother. For the most part, this film has staggeringly authentic scenes that make you feel as if you’re watching an expertly shot and well edited home video. This is due in part to the fact that Webber’s real life son, at 2 and a half, is not really acting but rather being filmed in situation. And let me tell you, that kid is a charmer. The overall emotional tone is touching as you see Webber’s struggle to keep his life together. The End of Love manages to capture something rare and true in the depiction of this father and son, something that draws you into the story. I wish more films could be in touch with this sort of realism.

An absurd look at a fantasy life in Los Angeles, Wrong, gives you a glimpse into the strange world of Dolph after his dog is stolen. The film is much like a bizarre dream, with oddball characters and nonsensical settings (an office that rains indoors, a man that repaints random cars for no reason). It is for sure an amusing trip and is at the same time unremarkable. I definitely enjoyed the curiosity of it all. As a side note, I would recommend checking out this fun short by the director Quentin Dupieux’s (aka Mr. Oizo).

Already there is controversy around this film as it spawned a handful of hecklers at various screenings, including ours. To be honest, I am almost tempted to not mention it at all just to not give it any more press, but my blog doesn’t really count as press so I shall continue. Also, I’m going to include a spoiler so you can just skip this if you want. The big complaint about Compliance is that this film uses rape as entertainment and is thus exploitation. Personally, this isn’t even my problem with the movie Even though as a feminist I oppose the concept, I think it was shot and edited in a way that at least attempted to avoid this. My problem with the film is that it is boring. It’s boring and predictable and not worth the time it took to watch. It defends itself by the fact that it is based on true events and attempts to be a study of the individuals involved. Unfortunately, it never fully captures the motives or intentions of any of the characters and has the emotional depth of a bad tv movie. Instead of watching this film, I propose you instead read about the true events it is based on and you’ll get the full horrific effect. Some things don’t require artistic reinterpretation. That being said, Shawn thought it was compelling and interesting so there’s that.

p.s. These photos have nothing to do with these film, except that I took them in Utah.

Sunday Breakfast

Happy Sunday everyone. It’s the first full weekend at home I’ve had in awhile with all the adventures, events and celebrations of the last few months. It’s been so nice to actually get a few things done around the house (I did SO MUCH laundry yesterday) and focus on the things I care about.

For one, that means more home-cooked meals. I’ve been feeling a little bit like a scavenger in my own kitchen recently, but that changes this week. I’ve made a plan for a few healthful and tasty meals over the next week and bought supplies and ingredients. A little bit of planning in advance goes a long way.

This morning we had my favorite pancakes. I’m more of a waffle girl than a pancake girl but these are just so good; they have exactly the right amount of sweetness and fluffiness. Full disclosure, I had these for dinner earlier in the week too. Oops.

I also made a broccoli quiche for dinner last night. Despite making the world’s worst pie crust, it was really satisfying. Even for dinner. I think the secret is extra broccoli and fresh herbs.

Just a little announcement, Cute and Delicious is now on Facebook, so you can like it HERE and keep up with new posts and other discussion. Yay!

What are you making for dinner this week?

winter time

It was a real treat to visit Park City and experience some real winter. It was snowy and cold and beautiful. We didn’t make any snowmen or throw snowballs but we did walk around as snowflakes wafted gracefully down on us. It left me dreaming of snuggling up in a cozy cabin, shutting out the rest of the world.

We also dug my car out of the snow (twice!) and had one of the scariest drives ever down from Park City to Salt Lake on an icy road, so I guess it wasn’t all magic. I suppose it’s easy to be romantic about winter when it’s 80 degrees here in Los Angeles. What do you think, do you love snow?

Goodbye AltSummit

At the moment Shawn and I are driving down the I-15 South heading back to Los Angeles. (Don’t worry, I’m not driving.) Nearly this whole drive I’ve been thinking about what I would say about my experience at AltSummit. It would be easy to simply say it was life changing but the fact is that it was a big part of changes that have been in motion for quite some time now. It wasn’t so much that it gave me a new path but instead it gave my path a direction.

I’ve had this blog for a long time now and it’s been many things: a place for recipes, a place for wedding planning, a place to share photos and a place to connect with people out there in the world. It’s never had a specific thing it’s supposed to be, it just is whatever I want it to be at the time, which is fine. I’ve love this blog and it’s so important to me and all the things I learned at AltSummit really clarified for me what I want this space to be.

I’m not going to tell you all my plans all at once, but I will share that Cute and Delicious will be very much the same, just with more awesome. A new look is even on the way.

Besides all the thoughtful talks I heard and things I learned, by far the best part was meeting so many amazing, warm, eager, open-hearted and inspiring women. It’s one thing to connect with people through the web but being able to meet people in person to solidify relationships and make new friends in real life really just meant more to me than I can say. Everyone’s enthusiasm sparked something inside me and filled me with such happiness.

I’ll share a little more in detail what I learned this week. Then I need to get to the other half of our amazing weekend: Sundance! Fun things. For now, here are a few photos from Alt!

off to alt

In approximately 4.5 hours I’ll be getting up to drive to Salt Lake City to go to Alt Summit and then to Sundance. At this moment, I’m nervous and a tiny bit stressed with what needs to happen before we hit the road. At the same time, I’m really excited beyond belief to meet people whose blogs I’ve admired from afar or those who I chat with on twitter. This weekend is going to be filled with two of my favorite things, blogging and films. Pretty much it’s a dream come true. I have a feeling this may be one of those life altering moments.

Anyway, not much to say as I have to get back to packing but I just wanted to say, if you’re going to be at Alt or Sundance this weekend and you see me, please say hi. I’d love to meet you.