Not only do independent films compete at Sundance, but so do the after parties. Sometimes I think people are more concerned about getting into the party of choice than screening of choice. These parties get rather crazy --people often end up naked in the snow and it's not uncommon for cops to be called.
One party I attended encompassed two houses as well as its Park City-ubiquitous bus (equipped with a rooftop projector that screened shorts on the semi-snowy hillside). Tiki torches led the way to a long line outside the multi-level condo, converted into a throbbing house party with three separate dance floors (one being a crowded downstairs garage). Inside, a youngish twentysomething crowd grooved to everything from 'Fight For Your Right' to 'The Humpty Dance' to the expected '90s techno tunes. Drinks included the usual assortment of mixed drinks (lots of Coke and Sprite on hand) and a lightweight beverage called Wasatch Ale (limited to 4 percent alcohol). Free-food entrees consisted of frosted strawberries, olives (both kinds -- green and black) and lots and lots of cheese. Dessert came as free goodie bags, packaged like military MREs and each loaded with an ever-pulsing night light, an T-shirt, plenty of decals and the always useful toothbrush.
But the fun didn't last -- the authorities were finally called to shut down the thing due to noise and a long wait line outside.
Across the street, a smaller crowd gathered at another house. This laid-back bunch generated only a limited amount of craziness, allowing party-goers to rock on for another half-hour before the locals shut down that one as well.
Although the mood was subdued (and the star-watching factor low), the avid shorts-watchers still looked satisfied, with plenty of Wasatch in hand.
Drinks were flowing freely at the nearby Cisero's Ristorante & Nightclub, where Film Threat co-sponsored a premiere party for the Slamdance feature, 'What I Like About You.' Turnout was heavy, and Shawn Colvin ('Sunny Came Home') did do a very cool acoustic set, but overall it wasn't too unlike a night out at the local (crowded) bar. There also was a cloying jam by a band called the Agency, which performed the obvious cover of, yes, 'What I Like About You.'
My friend partied on but I turned in for the night at around 3:30 in the morning.