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By S.T. VanAirsdale

Wow, this is a first: Someone actually tagged me in a meme. About Sundance, no less, where I felt so exhaustingly at home last week after skipping 2008. I guess it goes like this:

1. We have to post these rules before we give you the facts.
2. Players start with listing their Sundance favorites, separated into eight categories.
3. People who are tagged write their own blog post about their eight favorites and include these rules.
4. At the end of your blog, you need to choose eight people to get tagged and list their names. Don’t forget to leave them a comment telling them they’re tagged and that they should read your blog. (Of course everyone's been tagged by now, I think, but I'll do my best. -- Ed.)

It's all after the jump...

Carey Mulligan in An Education, the flat-out best thing(s) at Sundance '09 (Photo: Endgame)

1. Favorite feature: An Education.

2. Most problematic/interesting/thought-provoking feature: I probably overheated my anticipation of Bronson, which afterward led to a long, pensive walk down the hill from the Egyptian. As a worshipper of Nicholas Winding Refn's Pusher trilogy, I got the megasaturated pop broadside I wanted. But why did I constantly feel like the mute second party in a knock-knock joke? And while he and Tom Hardy amusingly borrowed and borrowed from the correctional canon -- lifting wholesale from Clockwork Orange and Chopper in particular -- why did I never get the sense they had any intention of giving back? To this moment I don't know if Bronson sold me short or vice versa, but the ultimate verdict may lie in the fact that I stopped caring by midweek.

3. Favorite short film: The Blindness of the Woods. Life-size rag-doll porn doesn't get any better.

4. Film most regrettably missed: Push. Sleep won out on Wednesday, alas. And I still got sick.

5. Most fun party: Cinetic, Jan. 19. Always the best cross-section of filmmakers, industry and press pals I wanna run into, even if it got a little crowded. OK, a lot crowded. But ZOMG HARVEY WEINSTEIN AND I WERE IN THE SAME ROOM FOR FIVE MINUTES!! And I survived.

6. Best post-screening Q & A: Probably a tie between The Greatest [1/17], during which Susan Sarandon went flying backwards off the Racquet Club stage while a baffled Pierce Brosnan looked on, and Tyson later than night, where the man himself yammered away in his tux, entrancing the supportive (if palpably nervous) Library crowd.

7. Favorite nonfiction character(s): I only saw two docs that I remember, neither that great, though I guess if I'm actually to take Big River Man at face value, then I'd have a beer or two with Martin Strel.

8. Most memorable moment: Sitting squarely over the festival epicenter for those two hours on Sunday when An Education premiered at the Egyptian. Being in that film's first audience felt like such a privilege when the lights went down; when they came up, it felt like an honor.

The following eight people: Tag, you're it (if I didn't miss you having been tagged already, apologies if so):

· Edward Douglas

· Bilge Ebiri

· Devin Faraci

· Josh Horowitz

· Lou Lumenick

· Noel Murray

· Ray Pride

· Peter Sciretta

Posted at January 30, 2009 6:52 AM

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