Friday, January 29, 2010

Sundance Continues: Reviews, music and wristbands

Story POPped by Jeffrogee -

Hello Geek-a-zoids! JeffroGee here. Again reporting from the Sundance Film Festival which is now entering into its final phase. The week has been slow as predicted with notable moments of interest certainly worth mentioning. Still hot here at the fest is the documentary CATFISH from directors Henry Joost and Ariel Schulmen which focuses on a NYC photographer who finds mysterious romance from myspace. Many have also rushed to the Afghan war doc RESTREPO directed by Sebastian Junger (writer of THE PERFECT STORM) which has gained medium heat from its screenings but yet still seems to be a film on everyone’s must see list. Another doc focusing on the internet gaining some love is LIFE 2.0 directed by Jason Spingarn-Koff which takes aim at a small group of obsessive users of the site My travels sent me to SPLICE starring Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley at the Racquet Club for some early morning horror fun. The film from Vincenzo Natali (CUBE) plays on dark moralities as scientists attempt to splice DNA with animals to create a half human being in a lab. The result is a success and we are hurdled into a twisted Frankenstein tale that I felt was particularly creepy. From there, I raced to the Library Centre Theatre to catch TUCKER AND DALE VERSUS EVIL with Allan Tudyk and Tyler Labine. This hilarious horror romp from director Eli Craig is all about misconceptions as two loveable hillbillies are confused for deep woods murderers and fall into a mishap with trendy college kids. Director Eli Craig is certainly someone to look out for as his short film THE TAO OF PONG has always been one of my favorites. I was also able to see the frustrating doc I’M _____________ PAT TILLMAN which tells the story of how Pat Tillman’s death in Afghanistan was used by the government to gain support for its war efforts. If you are already against the wars being fought, this work will only frustrate you more as it is clearly showcased how very selfish and awful Donald Rumsfeld and the Bush administration was. Many at the fest have jumped right into the coffin with Ryan Reynolds for BURIED and exited with claustrophobic glee.

Of course, Sundance is not the only fest on the mountain as Slamdance has been rocking out on top of Main St. with the kick ass horror flick THE REVENANT by director D. Kerry Pryor. A new take on zombies that has been on many lists within the off-Sundance fest.

Screening at Sundance is a short film worth mentioning titled GONE TO THE DOGS about a dinner party gone wrong due to a canine guest. The short from director Liz Tuccillo has garnered buzz for its fancy free subject and fantastic photography from Quenell Jones.
There are of course things happening here at Sundance that do not involve a movie theatre. The Music Café on Main Street offers great music from up and coming artists like The Rescues and Carney. An art gallery turned on its back to house guests for intimate performances brings a nice break from the flurry of sometimes angry theater goers waitlisting for films.
As I walked to a bus through the popular Main Street Pizza and Noodle I found two dudes with a plastic bag full of every colored wristband known to man. I asked what they were up to and they told me how they bring a bag of wristbands to every fest so they can attend the “hard to break into” parties. I thought this was hilarious and brilliant all at once. They pair then went on to explain how elitist and horrible the NYC Film Party was with its guest list. So for fun, I investigated their statement and definitely found this to be unfortunately true. The system this party had come up with was to send RSVP’ers to pick up a red wristband days before and then walk right in to the party when the wristband was shown. I asked the doorman where the guest list was and he said there was no guest list. I then overheard the rude lady behind the door exclaim to a patron,”This party is only for important people and the red wristband is necessary to keep out people that don’t belong!” I walked away and then laughed as I watched the red wristband sold and exchanged a block away by a fellow happily taking in some extra cash. The NYC film party and its “foolproof” plan had not realized that a red wristband is transferable and a name is not. Their idea to eliminate a guest list was going to result in the opposite of their so called goal.

This may be the trouble with Sundance at times. The elitist parties, the grip of party animals who arrive not to celebrate film but to meet celebs and drink huge amounts of 3.2 percent alcohol. Either way, I am having a great time at what I think is the best fest here in years.

Hope it continues. We are only one day away from the Awards!

JeffroGee out.

1 comment:

  1. Three years ago, just before the 2006 mid-term elections, Kevin Tillman published his eloquent letter, “After Pat’s Birthday” . Kevin had hoped a Democratic Congress would bring accountability to our country. But, just as with warrantless wiretapping and torture, those responsible for the cover-up of his brother’s friendly-fire death have never been held accountable for their actions.

    Both Amir Bar-Lev’s film “The Tillman Story” and Jon Krakauer ‘s book, “Where Men Win Glory,” blamed the Bush administration and the Army for the whitewash of Pat Tillman's death. However, the cover-up was actually a thoroughly bi-partisan affair. In particular, the Democratic Congress and the Obama Presidency have protected General Stanley McChrystal from scrutiny and punishment for his central role in the handling of the aftermath of Pat Tillman's friendly-fire death.

    I’ve posted the following documents at that detail how General McChrystal has been protected by Congressman Henry Waxman, Senator James Webb (along with Senators Carl Levin and John McCain), the New York Times Pentagon Reporter Thom Shanker, and the Center for a New American Security's (CNAS) Andrew Exum:

    “WHERE MEN WIN GLORY” -- Andrew Exum, the Center for a New American Security (CNAS), and the Whitewash of General McChrystal’s Role in the Cover-Up of Pat Tillman’s Fratricide

    “LIES … BORNE OUT BY FACTS, IF NOT THE TRUTH” -- Senator James Webb, Thom Shanker & The New York Times and the Whitewash of General McChrystal’s Role in the Aftermath of Pat Tillman’s Death

    “DID THEY TEACH YOU HOW TO LIE YET? -- Senator James Webb, General Stanley McChrystal, and the Betrayal of Pat Tillman

    "A SENSE OF HONOR -- Pat Tillman & Senator James Webb

    "REMEMBER THE ICONOCLAST, NOT THE ICON -- Pat Tillman 1976 -- 2004"

    "BATTLE FOR THE TRUTH -- Iddo Netanyahu, Kevin Tillman and the Cover-Up of Their Brother's Death"

    (I would suggest starting with “Where Men Win Glory.” The three documents at the beginning of that binder are basically an executive summary and point to more detailed information within the other documents.)

    It’s not surprising that after the initial fratricide cover-up fell apart, Army officers and the Bush administration lied to protect their careers. Reprehensible, but understandable. But the Democratic Congress, after they took control of both Houses in 2006, could have gone after those responsible. Or at least not promoted them!

    Five years ago, Pat Tillman’s family were handed a tarnished Silver Star. It was a travesty of justice that General McChrystal was promoted to the Army’s highest rank, and handed his fourth star.