Each year at Sundance there’s a quintessentially slimy Hollywood moment, and this year’s has already taken place. During a post screening Q&A session with ”Macarthur Park” director Billy Wirth, one man stood up to ask the first time director a question about the harrowing drug addiction drama. When the man’s cell phone rang mid sentence, not only did he take the call, but he held up his hand to shush Wirth when he began to answer the question. The audience burst into boos, but at least Wirth managed to find his inner Miss Manners, graciously answering the jerk’s question after he finished his call.
The usual complaints about tactless cell phone abusers aren’t the only fest faux pas fraying nerves. At least a few of the volunteers, easy to spot in their electric red quilted jackets from the Gap, are taking their jobs as Redford’s Little Helpers a little too seriously. ”Give people uniforms and they get so bossy,” says British actress Rachel Weisz (”The Mummy,” ”The Mummy 2”), here to promote her new black comedy ”Beautiful Creatures,” in which she stars as a deceptively ditzy blond con artist. ”This 16 year old boy in a red jacket was bossing me around the other day, saying stand here, not there. And I’m like, ‘What? You want me to stand on this paving stone and not that paving stone?’ And as I’m arguing with him, someone walked by and said, ”Welcome to America!”
Fest stress isn’t likely to tick off ”Seinfeld”’s Patrick Warburton, who stars in the gentle Australian comedy ”The Dish.” Already the film, about Aussie satellite dish technicians who broadcast the 1969 moon landing, is getting a far warmer response than Warburton’s last Sundance movie, 1999’s ”The Woman Chaser.” ”It’s nice to be a part of a feel good movie,” Warburton says. ”In ‘The Woman Chaser,’ there was a brutal moment where people actually walked out of the theater, because my character punches his pregnant girlfriend in the stomach. My producers tried to tell me, ‘Oh, they’re leaving because they have a party to go to; it’s not like they were offended.’ Riiiight. So this is very nice.”
One Sundance party worth checking out was the Flaunt magazine shindig for ”Macarthur Park” on Sunday night. The raging house party had a private VIP room for weary celebrities eager to avoid mingling with the hoi polloi — rocker/ film producer Mick Jagger, in town to promote the WWII thriller ”Enigma,” hid there. But other celebs chose to mix and mingle. ”We finally found a good party so we got crazy for hours on the dance floor,” says ”The Green Mile” star Sam Rockwell, who stars in the short film ”bigLove.” ”And man, I needed it!”