Every Sundance festival you have to re-learn the same lesson — you can’t see three or four films per day plus file about them with any clarity much less eloquence if you’re also going to attend a late-evening party or freebie lunch or dinner and/or socialize and…well, not exactly chase skirt but do the dance of that. It really doesn’t work, and the tension between the usual filing requirements (which I have no trouble handling when I’m home) and the transporting ether of constant smiles and attention (particularly from devastating blondes, the company of whom I never keep in New York or Los Angeles) can really drive you nuts.

The films and the reviews are paramount, of course, but the Sundance aura can feel like a truly perfect weekend in high school with your parents away. The lah-lah must be resisted, of course. I will not allow my ship to crash on the rocks. You have to be hard and strong and face once again who you are and the degree of commitment required to do the damn job…yikes. This gig is hard enough without the siren call.

“C’mon, Wells — we’re not paying you to party and sleep,” a reader wrote last night. “Write some reviews.” Well, I’m trying to do that right now as I sit in the Yarrow Hotel lobby, dealing with the arctic blasts of air that surge in every time the automatic glass door opens. It’s 10:40 am and I’m realizing now that I’m going to have to blow off Smash His Camera, Leon Gast‘s doc about legendary paparazzo Ron Gallela, which press-screens at 11 am. I’m going to try and catch Mark Ruffalo;s Sympathy for Delicious at 12 noon, followed by Animal Kingdom at 2:30, Welcome to the Rileys at 5:30, The Runaways at the Eccles at 6:30 and 3 Backyards at 8 pm.