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David Poland

By David Poland

Sundance Interesting?

So, competition was announced yesterday and more today
Anyone excited?

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26 Responses to “Sundance Interesting?”

  1. MarkVH says:

    Had a few too many rum punches there in Bermuda, Dave?

  2. anghus says:

    The “Untold Dakota Fanning Project” that got in is the infamous Hounddog film that has been investigated for child endangerment here in North Carolina.
    There is a lot of hate for that film. It’s a cautionary tale among the crew base here (they shut down twice due to lack of funds), and has the conservatives in the area freaking out over multiple scenes of sexuality shot with minors. Here’s some info:
    “Dakota Fanning, 12, pretends to be a 9 year old whose precocious behavior leads her into a series of sexual episodes, one of which is her rape by an adult. The indie drama, second one to deal with child rape by writer and director, Deborah Kampmeier.
    According to the script, obtained by the Blue Line back in June, the film opens with the young actress pleading with a young male actor, with the promise of a kiss, to show her his penis. The movie’s climax is a rape scene. The actress strips for a man and does an Elvis style dance in return for tickets to see Elvis in concert. The man (played by actor Chistoph Sanders) refuses to deliver the tickets and rapes her instead. According to sources on set, the filming was frontally lit and Dakota was clearly visible as she was groped, licked, pawed and humped by an actor take, after take, after take, all the while Dakota’s mom watched from a nearby monitor.”
    Here’s the link to the whole story, about halfway down the page:
    There’s links in there to script excerpts.
    these guys have a radio show and have spent at least 2 months on the air pushing the authorities to press charges regarding the incidents and have been verbally abusing the local film commission for allowing the film to come in.
    having read the script, i’m actually amazed it got in, though the producers claimed from day one that the film was “a lock for Sundance” when they were getting money together for it. That kind of foresight is impressive.

  3. Wrecktum says:

    “Set in late 1950s Alabama , a precocious, troubled girl finds her angel in the Blues.” Sounds like a different film.

  4. mutinyco says:

    Perhaps I’d be more excited if I knew, exactly, what a “comprition” was?…

  5. anghus says:

    Yeah, the description confused me. The story i read had the whole story revolving around Elvis, which is why it was called Hounddog. But then someone told me they never got permission from his estate, which is why it now says “The Blues” and not “Elvis”.
    Whether the film is good or bad, i do know that this thing is going to stir up a lot of controversy. Personally, it’s not something i’d want to see. I can appreciate sexuality in a film like Shortbus. But when it involves little kids and sex, it just makes me wonder what the hell the point is. After reading the script, it feels dark for the sake of dark, and will probably be the feel good film of the year if you’re a pedophile.

  6. Wrecktum says:

    I checked out that website. It’s very creepy. It takes the missing-white-woman and pedophile-under-every-rock cliches and ratchets them up to ludicrous levels.

  7. anghus says:

    oh yeah. the guys who run the site are fucking nuts. good ol’ boys who embody every bad southern redneck cliche there is. they start almost every sentence with the following phrase
    “You know, i’m not a racist, but…” and then start twenty minute rants of veiled racism and bigotry that would be make Strom Thurmond blush.
    i’m not saying they’re right, just that there’s an uproar about the movie. usually i would wait to see the movie to make any personal judgment, but i read the script, and as i said, i’m not a fan of this kind of material.

  8. PetalumaFilms says:

    This will be the first Sundance fest I won’t be at in TEN YEARS! Good lineup too, figures.

  9. The Carpetmuncher says:

    I read HOUNDDOG a year or two ago, it wasn’t a bad script, but definitely dealt with very difficult subject matter. The only thing commercial about it was having Dakota Fanning sing Elivs/Blues songs a lot. I’ve also seen the director’s previous film – she’s not untalented, but is very arty/farty. Hopefully HOUNDDOG was made with a lot more humor than was in the script. Excited to see it.
    But let’s not have a bunch of hillbillies start telling Dakota Fanning what she can and cannot act in. That girl knows exactly what she’s doing, she’s smart and talented, and is probably as savvy as just about any other actress in HW. She deserves to make her own choices, not be chastized by radio jocks.
    Also, while the subject matter isn’t what I’d say appetizing, this isn’t a Larry Clark film out to glorfiy naked teen agers, it’s a serious film about child abuse.

  10. waterbucket says:

    Wow, I really don’t think Dakota ever needs to do this movie at all. She’s one of those rare young actresses that people actually say “she’s a good actress” instead of “she’s cute” or etc. There are many ways to say “I’m a serious actress” other than this movie with a horrible premise. Whomever adviced her to do this movie did not think it through.

  11. anghus says:

    maybe we didn’t read the same script.
    its a film about child abuse, but its addressed so heavy handed and with so graphically that it felt more like a shock piece than a film with any kind of insight or artistic merit. Just showing scenes of child sexuality or sexual assault doesn’t make a movie important, relevant, or worthy of exploration.
    As i read the script, i kept wondering where all these graphic scenes were leading me towards. Again, is there a point to the graphic underage sexuality or is it just another example of a film that is controversial for the sake of controversy, using taboo subject matter to get attention?
    I think it will end up being the biggest draw for the film, and the greatest detrement to it creatively. I have a feeling by this time next year, the film will go from “The Untitled Dakota Fanning Project” to “That film where Dakota Fanning gets Raped”.
    And how many films get into festivals without a name?
    I understand a screenplay or working film having that kind of title, but i keep picture the press snippets for the film in my head…
    “Dakota Fanning gives an oscar worthy performance in THE UNTITLED DAKOTA FANNING PROJECT”.
    “There is no drama more compelling than THE UNTITLED DAKOTA FANNING PROJECT”
    “If you see one movie this year, make it THE UNTITLED DAKOTA FANNING PROJECT”
    Is how the screener went out the Sundance people?
    Oh, and this comment made me think:
    “a serious film about child abuse”
    Isn’t that statement kind of redudant?

  12. The Carpetmuncher says:

    The only reason this movie got made was because Dakota Fanning makes her own acting choices and she wanted to do it. She doesn’t have handlers who (can) push her into doing stuff. She’s well-known for doing material she likes. You gotta respect that in any actress, much yet one so young (clearly, I’m smitten, but why not? She’s brilliant).
    Anyway, I’m not saying the film will be great, but rather that it’s a ballsy film that will likely have a powerful performance by Dakota. It might never make any money, but so what?
    Is Robin Wright Penn in it still? She was attached for a long time, was in the directors debut I think, and appears to be a big supporter of the director.
    I’m psyched for Sundance by the way, as I always am. If nothing else, BLACK SNAKE MOAN should be wild….

  13. anghus says:

    Black Snake Moan should be fucking cool.
    Yes, Penn is still in it. She was a Producer on the film.
    I’m really not trying to sound too negative and rag on the film. Not having seen it, it isnt really fair.
    To me, it’s a sad statement about Sundance.
    I am about 99.9% sure that the film, regardless of quality would have gotten into Sudance.
    Dakota Fanning + Graphic Sexual Abuse = Film Festival Gold.
    I’m not sure if that’s a testament to the immensley talented Fanning, or a sad statement about the content deemed worthy for major festivals.

  14. The Carpetmuncher says:

    I do get that the subject matter seems Sundance/cliche…but I believe that Dakota Fanning in any indie film where she’s doing dangerous works is exactly the kind of film Sundance should be playing.
    Speaking of Sundance, how about last year’s darling Ryan Gosling for an Oscar nomination??????
    I believe he deserves it, and even though the film is not perceived as a box office hit in the marketplace, I think the strong buzz will get voters to watch the DVD, giving “the best of his generation” a real shot of getting a seat at the table…especially after a similar routine for Terrence Howard last year…
    I love DP pushing for BORAT to get an acting nod, but really, how could an Academy full of actors go for Baron Cohen over Gosling…that just seems crazy….
    If Peter O’Toole gets nominated, he should cede his spot to Ryan…

  15. T.Holly says:

    Smitten Carpetmuncher, she’s pre-pubescent. Your Dakota love is creepy: “That girl knows exactly what she’s doing, she’s smart and talented,…” big giant leap to John Mark Carr, “I loved her,” “The school girls wanted me to kiss them.” I know I’m being harsh, but there’s about a 50/50 chance she’ll grow up and say, “what the fuck did I do that for?”

  16. T.Holly says:

    Sundance 122 or 123? I count 123: 17 Premieres, 24 Spectrum, 6 New Frontier, 8 Midnight, 2 Sundance Collection and 2 Special plus 16/16/16/16 (64) in competition.
    Cold place, hot ticket, terrible title, sounds like a tv show.
    “The Nines”/ USA, Director and Screenwriter: John August. A troubled actor, a television show runner, and an acclaimed videogame designer find their lives intertwining in mysterious and unsettling ways. World Premiere.

  17. Aladdin Sane says:

    Huzzah for Sarah Polley’s Away From Her! Loved the film at VIFF. One of the best films that I’ve seen this year.
    Can’t wait to see Black Snake Moan myself…that being said, I’d probably be more excited for Sundance if I had the money to go to Sundance.

  18. EDouglas says:

    Well, I’m going to be there… but I’m too busy finishing up the ’06 movies to be excited.

  19. Dakota Fanning creeps me out in general, but I don’t wanna see her get raped on camera. That shit is fucked up.
    Good to see Aussie titles Noise and Clubland in there.
    Still, all sounds sorta the same from Sundance. Yawn.
    “”Life Support,” which stars Queen Latifah as a crack-addicted mother who turned her life around to become an AIDS activist.”
    Holy Jesus, wtf?

  20. anghus says:

    what’s funny, is that today on Defamer, they actually reffered to the movie: The Untitled Dakota Fanning Rape Project, as i wrote in my post yesterday.
    Apparently my train of thought is shared by others.

  21. Wrecktum says:

    It’s interesting that no one has mentioned Chapter 27, the Mark David Chapman movie starring Jared Leto. This movie’s been in and out of the news for a while (due primarily to Lindsay Lohan’s involvement and Leto’s physical transformation) but I haven’t seen the film as controversial until I read of Don Murphy’s enraged Sundance boycott. Will Chapter 27 grow in notoriety? Is it “too soon” for a story about the killer of John Lennon?

  22. Apparently it’s also “too soon” for movies about the Civil War, the Spanish Inquisition, the assassination of Lincoln and “Whatever Happened to Beyonce’s New Weave.”
    Some people just wanna be angry about anything, really. BOYCOTT EVERYTHING ON THE PLANET BECAUSE IT EXISTS WHEN THERE ARE PEOPLE DYING IN AFRICA!!!!!!!!

  23. Richard Nash says:

    I dont know if I can actually sit thru Dakota Fanning being raped. I dont care how good the movie is.

  24. As long as cinemas don’t accidentally attach the last reel of The Untitled Dakota Fanning Rape Project onto Charlotte’s Web then I’ll be happy.

  25. Wrecktum says:

    Actually, it would be great it they would!! Wouldn’t that be a scream??

  26. RoyBatty says:

    Don NATURAL BORN KILLERS Murphy just gave me the biggest laugh of my day…
    You know you live in “theater of the absurd” times when the man who is overly proud of the fact he made a film that many critics view as glorifying violence as porn urges everyone to boycott an entire festival because it has decided to screen a film he objects because he ASSUMES it glorifies a murderer.
    A film about a man who gets ass-fucked to death by a horse (it’s a documentary – I shit you not) apparently doesn’t raise his ire.
    Is it any wonder that the best film adaptation of an Alan Moore graphic novel was NOT produce by this self-important clown?

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

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