So, I went to NYU. My friend—I’ll call him Hans, because that’s his name—went to Columbia. Both our universities’ film schools have had an amazing presence at the Sundance Film Festival this year, with students and alumni all over the prominent entries in the festival. Did I mention that Hans and I can get a little competitive when it comes to our respective alma maters? We’ve been comparing who has more films competing, more stars at their respective festival parties, and eventually who collects more awards. The winner claims James Franco who, I’m told, is attending MFA programs at both schools simultaneously. Mmm, James Franco. But while I was at NYU’s Sundance party, Hans remembered that he was at the fest to watch films and skipped out on the Columbia party. Instead, he saw Bill Murray and Sissy Spacek in “Get Low.” So my victory was hollow.
That said, I did meet some really cool people at the festival, though they might not count as full-fledged “celebrities.” Keep reading »
OK, first of all, who’s sexier than Adrian Grenier? Pretty much nobody. On film, in person, digitally—the guy’s just hot. It’s hard to call a favorite film at Sundance this year, but if I have to recommend a purely fascinating film, go see the absolutely scrumptious Adrian’s “Teenage Paparazzo.” It’s a documentary but, wait, don’t stop reading. This flick has got everything: friendship, suspense, danger, (fake) romance, and personal growth. The cast is composed of a long list of stars, all talking about the invasion of their personal lives by paparazzi—one of whom is 13 years old.
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Here are the top three reasons I stopped trying to get into see a screening of “The Runaways” at the Sundance Film Festival, this year:
1. The film is already guaranteed pretty wide distribution. Which means that after I make it back to my tranquil Brooklyn digs, I’ll get a chance to pay ten bucks and wait in a much shorter line to see Dakota Fanning and Kristen Stewart play Cherie Curry and Joan Jett, respectively. Keep reading »
Adrien Brody is so nice! I saw him stopping last night to talk to the hard-working—and now starstruck!—Sundance volunteer workers. He took his time and answered all their questions, before going on to grace the red carpet for the festival premiere of his new comedy, “High School.” It’s a semi-farce about a student who makes a small mistake (burning one with stoner classmates right before mandatory drug testing is instated), and then tries to cover it up with a huge whammy (getting his whole high school stoned, so that the test is invalidated). Adrien’s character is named Psycho Ed, but I can’t give you more than that because I got frozen out of the wait list ticket line for the third time this festival. Frankly, that’s getting a little old. For the rest of the festival, I’m going to stick with shows that I have tickets for—except “The Runaways,” which I’m even more excited for after hearing that Kristen Stewart and Dakota Fanning actually got on stage with Joan Jett at her show Saturday night to promote it. Gotta catch that flick somehow, even if I do share this goal with everyone else in Park City. So I’m lining up early with the rest of the hopefuls every time the film screens. Wait for me, Dakota and K-Stew. I’ll be there as soon as I can! Keep reading »
Four days into Sundance, and I am finally starting to see celebrities places other than on the red carpet. First, I saw Ben Affleck sampling the pub grub at one of the posher restaurants on Park City’s bucolic Main Street. He’s starring in “Company Men”—a flick about a corporation that’s failing despite everything Ben’s character and his coworkers do—but I kinda like Sir Affleck better in cozy mountain gear than in a business suit. Keep reading »
In what I hope isn’t the start of a trend, I was turned away from the wait list when I tried to see the premiere of “Hesher,” at Sundance Film Festival today. Any rejection is disappointing, but standing in line with a hip flask and 200 fellow film freaks is so close to a party, it’s one of those exercises that can be its own reward. I tried to attend because the film is getting almost as much buzz as “Howl” and “The Runaways.” To be frank, though, I wasn’t crushed to miss a film about a greasy van-dweller who takes advantage of a grieving family and who tries to take advantage of a movie star-gorgeous grocery clerk, even if she is played by Natalie Portman. It’s probably very moving, but just not what I was in the mood for. I did, however, peek at a very un-greasy Joseph Gordon-Levitt on the red carpet. The “Third Rock from the Sun” kid has grown the eff up! After this festival, I’m going straight home to rent “500 Days of Summer,” which I clearly shouldn’t have skipped.
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Sundance Film Festival excitement was throbbing way before I hit Utah. As usual, the airline overbooked, and they wanted passengers to relinquish seats in exchange for travel vouchers. As usual, it was a hard sell. None of the passengers I spoke to volunteered. My friends and I resisted the temptation of sweet free travel vouchers so we could all get here together. Half of us headed for the ski lift, but I raced to the wait list line for a chance at a miracle ticket to see the premiere of “Howl.” The film stars a yummy James Franco as seminal beat poet, tasty-in-his-own-time Alan Ginsberg. It’s on my top-three must-see list for Sundance Twenty Ten. This made me different from exactly no one. I didn’t get in. Keep reading »