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David Poland

By David Poland poland@moviecitynews.com

Sundance Is Melting

I always kinda like these last few days when the town empties out a bit and you can eat, go to movies, and think like a human being for a while.
The streets of Park City are literally melting today, after a night of snow and a morning of sun. It really is beautiful. And the locals don’t have that “Don’t fuck with me, muthafucker” look in their eyes.
This is also the part of the festival when good movies that are premiering late simply get forgotten by the buyers. Keep those eyes open, folks. There is gold in them thar’ hills… and it is not as overpriced as most of the other product that’s sold so far. (Beware stories that leave out the limited number of territories that WIP got for $6 million on The Science of Sleep or sure bet predictions on the ability to make a profit on a $10 million and 10% of gross deal on Little Miss Sunshine, which is going to have to be worked carefully to not become the next Happy, Tx. Nancy Utley can make it work, but it is not a downhill slide.)
For a few hours last night, I was actually quite happy here. There have been other fun moments. Jonathan Demme is a great guy and Neil Young is a hoot. But nine days in, it feels a little like actually being somewhere. Nice.

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4 Responses to “Sundance Is Melting”

  1. Mark Ziegler says:

    Neil Young is unreal in concert. The man gets better with age.

  2. joefitz84 says:

    Anything that gets compared to “Happy, Texas” can’t be that good.

  3. Fades To Black says:

    I wish I could see these Sundance movies. But some of the ones I wanted to see last year aren’t even out on video yet.

  4. jeffmcm says:

    Some of them will never be out on video.

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“But okay, I promise you now that if I ever retire again, I’m going to ensure that I can’t walk it back. I’ll post a series of the most disgusting, offensive, outrageous statements you can ever imagine. That way it will be impossible for me to ever be employed again. No one is going to take my calls. No one is going to want to be seen with me. Oh, it will be scorched earth. I will have torched everything. I’m going to flame out in the most legendary fashion.”
~ Steven Soderbergh

I feel strongly connected to young cinephile culture. The thing about filmmaking—and cinephilia—is that you can’t keep hanging out with your own age group as you get older. They drop off, move somewhere. You can’t put together a crew of sixty-somethings. It’s the same for cinephilia: my original set of cinephile friends are watching DVDs at home or delving into 1958 episodes of ‘Gunsmoke,’ something like that. The people who are out there tend to be young, and I happen to be doing the same thing still, so it’s natural that I move in their circles.

In terms of the filmmaking, there was a gear shift: my first movies focused on people around my age, and I followed them for three films. Until The Unspeakable Act, I was using the same actors, not because of an affinity for people at a specific age, but because of my affinity for the actors. I like to work with actors a second time, especially if I don’t feel confident casting a new film. But The Unspeakable Act was a different script, and I had to cast all new people. Even for the older roles, I couldn’t get the people I’d worked with before. But when it was over, the same thing happened: I wanted to work with Tallie again in the worst way, and I started the process all over again.

I think Rohmer did something similar around the time of Perceval and Catherine de HeilbronnHe developed new groups of people that he liked to work with. These gear shifts are natural. Even if you want to follow certain actors to the end of their life (which I kind of do) the variety of ideas that you generate makes it necessary to change. And once you’ve made the change, you’ve got all these new people around.”
~ Dan Sallitt