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Sundance Diary Day Two

Sundance07logo_8 On Friday morning, Nicole and I met at the strangely humid "atrium" at the Marriott with Participant Prods.' Ricky Strauss and new CEO Jim Berk, who filled us in on their world, which is a very nice place to be, with lots of $$ to spend on movies on the side of the angels like An Inconvenient Truth, Chicago 10 and The Kite Runnner.

Gregg and I did a short video interview in the Park City Ski resort parking lot to air on local Park City TV and stream at THR online. There wasn't much to say, since we hadn't seen too many films yet. I did some phoners for stories. Then I saw three movies:

7401Snow Angels: from writer-director David Gordon Green (George Washington, Under Tow, All the Real Girls), an interesting case of a supremely talented indie spirit who is finding his way. He's fascinated by real people and real dilemmas. This movie breaks all those old Jeffrey Katzenberg rules: it's set in an old-fashioned town in the snow, nobody's too pretty (except maybe Kate Beckinsale), every body's depressed. I love Gordon's sense of time and place and detail, the rhythms of everyday life. This is my favorite of his films to date; I wept at points, the movie is that sad. He's working from a novel, which gives him structure, he said at the press conference. I think Green realizes that he can't afford to stay tiny and small and indulgent, that he needs to reach an audience. This movie is his bid for accessibility, but that said, it's still dark and sad. It's about families and marriages breaking up and a lack of connection, it's about irreparable depression and loss. Good movie! Typically, the distribs are saying, yes we liked it, but...

Read Kirk Honeycutt's review of "Snow Angels"

Went to the Raquet Club diner where the acquisitions execs hang, including IFC's Arianna Bocco and consultant Bingham Ray, WIP's Paul Federbush, Fox Searchlight's Tony Safford, the LAT's John Horn, and Toronto Fest Director Noah Cowan. The trick is to get your fast chow from the counter in time for the next screening, "like seagulls," said Noah.

TeethTeeth. This is not a glossy, highly-crafted movie—it's a cheap horror comedy along the lines of Attack of the 50 Foot Woman, a female revenge B-flick that explores various sexual mores in a horror context. It will be fascinating to see how its eventual distributor—in all likelihood, ThinkFilm—will handle its inevitable ratings issues. The virginal girl with vagina dentata wrecks havoc on various hapless men who try to explore her inner secrets. It's transgresssive and gross and funny.

Read Kirk Honeycutt's review of "Teeth"

Theten_1The Ten. Last and definitely least, the distribs packed into the Library for the 11:30 PM show of The Ten, lured by such sugar plum omnibus casting as Winona Ryder, Rob Corddry, Jessica Alba and Paul Rudd. It was one of those disconnects where I could tell it was playing as a hip contemporary comedy to the younger folks in the room. I was sober as a judge. I stuck it through and did conjure up some well-acted profane bits that made me chuckle today—it will play well on YouTube.

And then, I blogged. Sigh. Must get some sleep.

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