I decided last night to leave Park City a day early. I’m all Sundanced out. I’ve seen 14 or 15 films, hustled tickets, stood in lines, averaged nightly sleep of five or six hours, etc. Except for Velvet Buzzsaw, which I’ll get into by day’s end, I’ve written about several films that deserve special mention. I’ve ignored others out of compassion. Otherwise I feel sufficiently “thinksperienced” about the goodies that I’ve missed. I’ll get around to them in due time.

I had to beg for tickets, remember. Most of the publicists were kind and obliging, but some weren’t.

Sundance is not a competition among journos to see who can jam in as many films as possible each day — it’s a chance to sample fresh crops, absorb new currents, channel fresh energy, walk in the snow, wear my cowboy hat, eat shitty 7-11 food, etc. I did that for eight days. My mind was poked, prodded, expanded and wrestled with to some extent, and that’ll do for now.

I’m sorry about missing Sweetheart, but it’ll happen in due time. I wanted very much to see Jennifer Kent‘s The Nightingale at noon today but at the last minute a promised ticket didn’t materialize. There were three or four others I wanted to see but couldn’t. A bit disappointing, but not the end of the world.

It’s not a rumor — most of the films that annually unspool in Park City aren’t all that great. Most of them fall under the categories of “not bad, interesting, meh, liked some of it, didn’t quite work,” etc. I saw a film yesterday that was so obviously not worth my time that I quit after 20 minutes. If a movie isn’t working I can smell it immediately.

My initial plan was to depart Park City Thursday afternoon, land in Burbank in the early evening, catch a few zees and drive up to the Santa Barbara Film Festival around noon on Friday. Now I’m bumping everything forward by 24 hours — SLC to Burbank today at 6 pm, home late this evening, leave for Santa Barbara by noon or 1 pm tomorrow.

This way I’ll be able to catch the Director’s Panel (Roma‘s Alfonso Cuarón, The Favourite‘s Yorgos Lanthimos. BlacKkKlansman‘s Spike Lee, Vice‘s Adam McKay and Cold War‘s Pawel Pawlikowski) tomorrow night at the Arlington.