Thursday, January 27, 2005

Blogging Sundance

Damn, I wish I attended the Inside Deep Throat party, the World's of Wonder guys know how to throw down and Par-tay, but I'm here in New York hording all the data here. Meanwhile, Defamer goes in search of the dirtiest, filthiest joke in the world. Sundance -- from out here in New York sifting through the tabloids -- looks like Dante's inferno, what with all that blue state filth and porny liberalism going on. But when God smites them, we'll be safe. Ori2006 blogs:

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"'Grizzly Man' - Famed director Werner Herzog combines footage shot by Tim Treadwell, the man who spent 12 summers living with grizzlies in Alaska, with his own interviews. In Treadwell's 13th summer, however, he ended up being eaten by one of the bears, so this film is a study of a number of things - was Treadwell crazy for thinking he could 'become' a bear? Should people even try to do stuff like this? In addition, it's a study of Treadwell the filmmaker, and how he saw himself in the world. Fascinating film, with some amazing wildlife footage. B+"

Jason writes of the film:

"In my review of Grizzly Man yesterday I speculated that someone would make Timothy Treadwells story into a drama, but that there is no way it would be as good as the real life footage in the Sundance 2005 doc.Well, after a little online research it seems that Leonardo DiCaprios production company Appian Way has bought the rights to Ned Zemans Vanity Fair article on Treadwell, and Leo himself is considering the role. I?m interested to see how Leo chooses to plays Treadwell: as a mentally unstable suicide victim, an egomaniacal fail actor, or as a spiritual guru who saw something the rest of us missed. I suppose Treadwell had a little bit of each of those qualities."

Indiewire on the Sundance scene:

"Outside Main St.'s Zoom restaurant on Sunday night, a large crowd began lining up nearly a half hour before the start of the Cinetic Media party. A sizable number of the invited industry guests (who were forced to go to a local condo to pick up a laminated invite guaranteeing admittance), even those who arrived 15 minutes early, braved the cold outside for nearly an hour waiting to get into the small restaurant. While a few were insulted by the Studio 54 scene that played out on the sidewalk and headed off to another party, many endured being yelled at by hired party staff to get into what has become one of the festival's hottest insider parties. The battle to get into Sunday's party is proof enough of how important Cinetic has become at Sundance.

"About 36 hours later, with some party attendees still griping about the fiasco outside the Zoom party, Cinetic head John Sloss became an even hotter topic at Sundance. While last year at parties and in movie lines, festival attendees buzzed about Peter Biskind's 'Down and Dirty Pictures,' this year a front page story about Sloss published in Tuesday's New York Times has become as much of a must-read as the Biskind book (which was given away in a swag bag at last year's Cinetic party).

"In an article entitled 'At the Sundance Festival, a Power Broker Is Born,' Times writer Randy Kennedy profiled Cinetic's Sloss and his increasingly important role at the core of the annual film market that has become the heart of the modern Sundance Film Festival. While the headline heralds an article that is certainly a few years late, the high-profile piece has cast even more attention on the festival's loosely-shaped market side and offers a reminder of how the business of independent film has changed over the years."

From Ruthe Stein's Sundance Diary:

"The unusually high turnout of movie stars at the Sundance Film Festival is a sign of how cool it's become to appear in independent films. The coolest thing is to take a small role to help an indie get financed, which is what Mr. Cool himself, Keanu Reeves, did on "Thumbsucker." He appears as a caring dentist concerned about a teenage patient's inability to keep the widest digit on his hand out of his mouth.

"... Pam spotting: Every year, it seems some celebrity comes to Sundance for reasons that aren't immediately apparent. Last time, it was Paris Hilton, the time before, Jennifer Lopez, who caused a traffic jam on Main Street with drivers craning to catch a glimpse of her.
Pamela Anderson was this festival's mystery guest. She showed up at a party over the weekend for 'Rize,' an inside look at krumping, the latest dance craze to sweep the streets of South Central Los Angeles. Anderson wasn't shy about telling party guests that she gives financial support to these dancers. Who knew?"

Jason tackles Hustle and Flow in Blogging Sundance:

"The New York Times film critic Manohla Dargis says what many of the old school folks at Sundance have been saying for the past couple of days: Hustle & Flow is garbage.

"Frankly, I thought the movie was as entertaining as many Hollywood formula movies tend to be. However, after you leave the theater you feel like you just ate a big bucket of whipped cream it tasted good but youre empty.

"Most Sundance films dont taste so good going down, but leave you filled for days.What do you think? Is Hustle & Flow rubbish or not? Should Hustle & Flow have been let into Sundance?"

There are alot of great Sundance sites, in this one, Netflix film reviewer James Rocchi of the Therocchireport (link via Jason) interviews Austin, TX indie auteurs Mark Duplass and Katie Aselton of "The Puffy Chair" (screening today), asking a really good question:

"James Rocci: You're each given 80 million to make a film, but the catch is it's gotta be a remake: What do you go back to, and who's the dream cast?

"Katie Aselton: ET. With myself in the title role, of course.

"Mark Duplass: Id remake 'The Breakfast Club.' same cast, played totally straight without a hint of irony. think about anthony michael hall playing the hapless high school geek as the late 30?s 200 pound stud he is now. could be good. maybe not."

Virginia Hefferman takes on Sundance Channel's "Festival Dailies":

"The producers seem to have doubted that they could count on live material, and thus nothing in 'Festival Dailies' belongs to the day on which it appears.

"Instead we get only taped blather about how great each film at the festival is, supplemented by taped interviews with directors and actors jabbering about how great their films are.

"The films probably are good. This is Sundance, after all. Alan Cumming does a decent job as the host of a nightly convocation of people associated with a film in the festival; he asks the group to talk about working together, and, junket-style, they offer each other fulsome praise. Tuesday night's session, which included Jennifer Jason Leigh and Adrien Brody, who star in a movie called 'The Jacket,' had some charm. With his mischievous manner and amusing Scottish accent, Mr. Cumming nearly saves these segments from 'Entertainment Tonight'-style monotony.

"But in all, this show's no good. Producers' reps and buyers swarm around one another, trying to make deals; we don't get to hear any details. In group shots, snow-bunny Hollywood people with their colored passes seem to be having fun.(As the festival's caste system, the passes permit different kinds of access.) But we never get to meet anyone.

"Finally, every now and then, someone like Mr. Redford can be heard giving a speech about how independent film will save our divided world. That may be the worst part."

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