Yesterday (Saturday) was a quiet day for me at Sundance. I walked a lot; finding key festival locations and figuring out the best way to get about. I went shopping and took it easy. Things will definitely pick up beginning this evening and tomorrow. Our full “Traces” team will gather in our rented home for dinner tonight (they’re trusting me to make spaghetti) where everyone will be filled in on what will be happening over the following 48 hours. The panel discussion Monday morning, interviews, the premiere of the film and the after-premiere party will keep us hopping in Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
I had the opportunity to take in my first film at Sundance this morning Sunday. I have tickets to see six films other than Traces and if the rest are anywhere near as good as my first, this is going to be an amazing week. Megane (Glasses) is a Japanese film from director Naoko Ogigami. I’ll let you read about it on the Sundance site rather than relate the story here. What interested me was that it sounded serene, contemplative, meditative… and it was. Amidst all the craziness of Sundance Megane was almost two hours of thoughtful bliss. I literally felt myself becoming more relaxed and peaceful along with the main character in the film–a woman wanting to be left alone for a secluded vacation who is instead transformed into a person living in this moment, now. The sand on the beach, the turquoise color of the ocean, the food on the breakfast table, became more alive to me as true characters than I recall feeling in a film ever before. And the shaved ice? It tasted delicious in my mind.
Two lines, which I’m sure I don’t have exactly right, jumped out at me. While driving, two women are concerned that they’ve missed their turn to their destination. They pull out the map that was drawn for them. There is a long line on a piece of paper. Marked on the line is the start, the destination, and a line representing the road they should turn on along with these words: “When you begin to feel lost, keep going a a bit longer, then turn right.”
Later in the film one of the male characters recites a poem. I only recall part of it. “I know what freedom is. Give me strength to be kind; to drop my heavy load.”
It seems to me that we all carry such burdens through life, often unnecessarily. In Megane it felt as though we don’t need to do anything. We need to be. We need to hold both the pain and the joy without much expectation. Perhaps the world would be a more peaceful place if more of us developed the talent to be here…Megane. This is a film I look forward to seeing again. I hope it finds a distributor.