Sundance blog: Our final day in Utah - Omaha.com
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Dan Mirvish directs Joel Michaely ("Pimp") and Eddie Daniels ("Ho") on the set of "Open House," a muscial comedy about real estate, in November 2008.(Barry Hennessey)


LIVE FROM SUNDANCE

Sundance blog: Our final day in Utah
By Bill Blizek
WORLD-HERALD GUEST WRITER


Bill Blizek is a professor of philosophy and religion at the University of Nebraska at Omaha and the founding editor of the “Journal of Religion & Film.” He can be reached at wblizek@unomaha.edu.

We packed enough thermal underwear for the trip to keep Washington's Army warm at Valley Forge. But fortunately the weather has been mild all week, and we've had to wash out some lighter clothes just to get by. Our first snow came on Thursday morning. It was too warm to stay on the ground, but it is always wonderful to see the big flakes coming down here in Park City.

Back to the films: Yesterday, we went to see "Ghost Team One," thinking that it might have to do with the supernatural or the spiritual. Unfortunately, it turned out to be a soft porn comedy. It wasn't clear to us why the Slamdance, a Sundance alternative, programmers selected it. We now have to view "Where I Am," "To The Bone," "Resurrection Slope" and "Jug Face." "Jug Face" is a horror film, but director Chad Kinkle convinced me that it had important religious significance.Since the horror genre often has religious significance, I thought we'd give it a try. We'll see these on-screen or on the computer.

We were particularly excited on this visit with the number of Omaha/Nebraska connections to Sundance and Slamdance. Dan Mirvish, of "Omaha (The Movie)," of course, has been a regular figure at Slamdance since he co-founded the festival 19 years ago. This was Lizzy Latenser's second year as co-director of the SFF press office. Katie Warzak with "Bible Quiz" was a surprise. We look forward to seeing her next film -- hopefully, this will be a film that she has written. Jim Duff was also a surprise. It was wonderful to see an Omaha kid writing and directing such an excellent film like "Hank and Asha". It was a pleasure to meet Jim and his co-writer, wife Julia Morrison.

Finally, we had dinner on Thursday night with Kerry and Giles Monif of Bellevue at the famous Grub Steak Restaurant. Kerry surprised Giles with a trip to the Sundance Film Festival for his birthday, and they have been seeing movies and touring Park City for the past couple of days. It was nice to meet up a ways away with someone from home for a nice dinner together.

We are now headed to the airport in Salt Lake City. It will be nice to get back to a normal routine, and it also will be nice to get back to air that has some oxygen in it.


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