Vincenzo Natali's Sundance Diary: January 22, 2010

Todd Brown, Founder and Editor
The quiet has ended. Sundance is running on all cylinders. I sit shotgun while Cynthia Amsden, Splice's courageous publicist, tears up Park City streets in her sporty Kia rental. The GPS spits out directions with the mellifluous voice pattern of a James Bond villain as we weave between snowdrifts and beefy Hummers.  First destination is to pick up Sarah Polley. Next, to a series of television interviews.

Sarah is radiant and brilliant. This is Sundance number seven for her and she wears it well. She carries the interviews with a relaxed intelligence and good humor that reminds me of how pleasurable it was to work with her on the set. Her best quip yet, "Splice is a film that is morally indefensible."  She says it with pride. Who would have thought that this sterling icon of Canadian cinema is so damn twisted?   It fills me with a rare jolt of patriotism.

I've had my share of interviews as well. It feels good. Probably not dissimilar to a healthy purging session with a therapist. I've been sequestered in my hermetic Spliceworld for a long time. And now to finally share it with strangers is like coming out of the closet. "Yes, I made Adrien Brody have relations with an animal-human-hybrid. And I enjoyed it." It's a cathartic thing to say. 

There is a bit of a snowbound Dolce Vita vibe going on here.  We are ushered into the Entertainment Weekly building. Someone that looks a lot like Jessica Simpson (there are quite a few of them around here) is being plucked and fluffed. Food and drink is liberally distributed and Sarah and I are photographed. The photographer insists that I put my hoody up, making me look a like an oversized Jawa. Thankfully, I abandoned basic human dignity long ago on this project.

While all of this goes on the anticipation of the impending midnight screening tugs at the back of my mind. As does the list of people that I must thank, the myriad of potential 'witty' opening lines to my speech, and eclipsing it all is the growing dread that tomorrow I will receive my first ski lesson. Yes, I have never skied before, which as a Canadian stands as a vaguely humiliating admission.

Under normal circumstances I would never have agreed to ski, but Bob Munroe, Splice's (and all my other films') visual effects supervisor, has been hounding me for years to do it. The time has at last come. I can't help but wonder if this isn't some kind of carefully plotted act of revenge for all the torment that Bob has endured working with me.

For the moment, however, I am safely tucked away in the condo.  The outside madness is gently muted by an artificial fire and assorted Native knick-knacks that lend an air of peace to the room.  Coming up is a prescreening dinner with Team Splice and then the moment of truth.

The results tomorrow.
V

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