10 Days of Sundance Archive for January, 2011

Sundance Dispatch: It’s a Wrap

Another Sundance Film Festival has wrapped, and I have to say, it was a helluva good year to be in Park City. The logistical nightmare of the P&I line the first five or so days of the fest was a serious pain in the ass, but overall I’d have to say this year’s Sundance programming…

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Sundance Review: The Future

What do you do when you’re paralyzed by fear of failing, of moving forward into the future, of getting older? Of facing the fact that you have a finite amount of time to do everything you ever wanted to do, or thought you would do with your life, but realizing suddenly that you’re nearing the…

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Sundance Review: The Catechism Cataclysm and Septien

The Catechism Cataclysm One of the weirdest — and funniest — films I saw at Sundance was The Catechism Cataclysm. I’m not sure it’s even possible to discuss this film in a way that makes sense, because I’m not sure the film itself even does make sense, but it sure as hell made me laugh…

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Sundance Reviews: Vampire and Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same

Simon’s not a vampire, not really. He’s just a guy who digs the taste of blood, who’s drawn to killing girls in this particular way, and in particular, he’s very invested in the idea that he is not a bad guy, but a good one. He’s helping these girls, not hurting them — even though he knows on the other hand that’s not exactly what you might call “objectively true.”

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Sundance Review: The Lie

Josh Leonard’s adaptation of The Lie, T. Coraghessan Boyle’s 2008 New Yorker short story, is an excellent take on the tale of an idealistic young couple whose lives have veered away from the values they had when they first met, after an unexpected pregnancy forces them to shoulder the responsibility of parenthood.

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Searchlight Lands On Another Earth

Searchlight Lands On Another Earth

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Sundance Dispatch: Homework and Hell and Back Again

We’re officially over the halfway point at Sundance, and already I’m feeling a little glumness trickling in at the thought of this year’s Sundance nearing its end.This morning, of course, were the Oscar noms, and along with most everyone here for Sundance I dragged my bleary-eyed self out of bed at the asscrack of dawn…

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Sundance Review: Pariah

The most gut-wrenching-yet-uplifting film I’ve seen so far at Sundance this year so far is Pariah, which has been getting some mixed buzz. Yes, yes, I know that gut-wrenching-yet-uplifting is practically its own genre here at Sundance, but like many cliches there’s some truth in the stereotype. And Pariah is so moving, so remarkably acted…

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Sundance Dispatch: Rants and Raves

It’s officially Day Four for me here at the Sundance Film Festival, and so far I have yet to see a film I actively dislike at the fest — which, if you’ve ever been to Sundance, you know is a bit of a minor miracle. Granted, I’ve been cherry-picking those films that I think have…

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Sundance Review: POM Wonderful Presents: The Greatest Movie Ever Sold

I’ll say this about Morgan Spurlock: there’s no one quite like him. Especially when he’s wearing comfy Merrell shoes (hey, they have great arch support) while feeling Ban fresh!, and driving a stylish Mini-Cooper plastered with ads while sipping some refreshing POM Pomegranate juice on his way to catch a fight on JetBlue Airlines.

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Sundance Review: Martha Marcy May Marlene

Martha Marcy May Marlene explores the aftermath of a young girl’s involvement with a cult living on an isolated farm in the Catskills. The thoughtful script by writer/director Sean Durkin is a character study crafted as a deliberately paced psychological thriller, with Elizabeth Olsen (younger sister of Mary-Kate and Ashley, and an accomplished theatrical actress…

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Sundance Review: Project Nim

With Man on Wire, director James Marsh took a story that necessitated being pieced together with reflective interviews and archival footage of past events and wove it all together into a cohesive whole that resonated powerfully as it told the history of Phillipe Petit, a daredevil who pulled off a number of dangerous and unbelievable…

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Sundance Review: Kaboom

I’ll say this up front: Gregg Araki’s Kaboom is not for everyone. If, however, you enjoy completely crazy, immensely creative tales (and I mean crazy in the best Donnie Darko sense), and you’re neither homophobic nor averse to graphic sexual scenes (both hetero and homo), and you’re willing to forgive a few plot twists that,…

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Sundance Review: Silent House

I admit to being a bit paranoid about big spooky houses and things that go bump in the night. I can’t imagine that I would ever choose to live in a big, rambling old house so isolated from civilization that my cell phone wouldn’t work in an emergency. That’s just asking for trouble. And if…

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Sundance Dispatch: Good News, Bad News

The good news was, I flew Southwest, where Bags Fly Free!(tm) So I was able to bring two bags. Major bonus, because that meant I could bring more boots! And a stash of food cheaper than it would cost me at The Market Formerly Known As Albertsons. The bad news was, my flight was delayed…

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Quote Unquotesee all »

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?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon