2011 Sundance Exclusive as witnessed by MP&MY
Saturday, January 22nd
How can an innocent stroll on Main turn into an exercise in debauchery? With Day and Night at Cisero’s! Challenging assumptions of broad daylight we are seduced by nearly-naked vixens with Jackie-O shades. We are forced (totally against our will, of course) into a sweaty two-hour drill of table dancing and Champagne rain to thumping house hits. We try to resist, to fight, reestablish some sense of moral sanity at 4:25pm. Useless. Like a Shvits at a bathhouse…It hurt so friggin good! Iconic event organizer Randy brought the NYC flavor; and midst the bacchanal, Thor was quietly enjoying his dinner.
“Thus, he journeys into the heart of darkness that is branding…” reads one review for Spurlock’s Greatest Movie Ever Sold. And thus, the two of us chug down the hill, White Russians swishing in our bellies. Hunger has taken over and at such altitudes makes us feel like giddy schoolgirls. We strike gold at Carrera where
sushi chefs are slicing custom rolls and POM gals push rum-spiked beverages. Leaving with pocketfulls of cigars and Bustelo cappucinos…genial and expansive.
We stumble into Moving Pictures at The Studio for some facetime with the publisher, Peter Trimarco. Moving Pic’s show is on our network, SirkTV, and his graciousness is only complimented by Kelly who gives us a tour of the upstairs where forever-divine Andie Macdowell and her daughter Rainey are in the middle of a photo shoot. Patron shots are in order and we will not soon be forgotten as there lives a bartender in Utah who now knows how to crack a Stella with a lighter. Base to the thumb… Base to the thumb!
Hours later we scratch our itch at Bing Bar where head Bubblefish, Veronica Welch, from SundLAnce, introduces us to her school of tiger barbs. The door is a Fort Knox of police men and there might as well be a sign out front “99%Rejection Rate Guaranteed.” A scruffy townie flips off one of the men in midnight blue. “Bing this!” As if by osmosis we are whisked inside to a sea of partiers and gulp down Jack and ginger as if air. Veronica has on the coolest conundrum of a T-shirt by Future Heretics. It reads Compton Yacht Club. How awesome! Her Rubber Duck booties are nothing to sneeze at as well. Trek Jogger, she points out. And I want a pair in black for men. Bubblefish was handling The Nivea for Men House presented by FLAUNT magazine in a gorgeous private home nestled in the mountainous landscape. The place had cast dinners, premier parties, and some serious swag from Diesel, Ben Sherman, and MCM bags. Trent Magnano’s Midas touch was turning anyone into a celebrity. The Proper Barber’s cut is truth.
Half past one Bing is to the gills and Veronica leads us to her after hours. At this cockeyed point MP and I find it best to each shut one eye not to see quadruple. I the right, he the left. Our two-headed Sundance monster walks best this way. In a dark subterrane we are told to strap on Ion Time Sports Watches made of the natural mineral Tourmaline, used as a semi-precious gemstone and responsible for many health benefits. A meditative state takes over. We are focused and alive, concentrating very heavily…is it
the watch? Or the bartenders and waitresses in revealing bunny outfits at The Playboy Lounge? Dear Lord I can’t feel my face. MP smiles at me. His lips are red. Did I do that? His wife will chop mine off for sure! More importantly, an executive decision is made on the fly. To pound shots of Tequila Fortaleza with Katerina The Bald Beauty. This is one beautiful, hand-crafted… tequila! Feeling like Mexican outlaws in a Richard Rodriguez film we plunk down $120 and repeatedly demand the rabbit ears off a bartender’s head and directions to the grotto. G-d help us had we had a Bowie knife…
4am. Sans rabbit ears. The two of us have taken down a large cheese pie, two chicken sandwiches, a bowl of fries, a mesclun salad, various deserts, two sodas, and small child in a stroller, accidently. What business does he have that late at a pizza place anyway?! We tip our waitress $100 (Karmatically making up for the fallen infant) and she weeps with joy in our arms.
Sunday, January 23rd
To walk into Superdry is to be awakened by a horsewhip on the backflesh. Personal fetishes aside, it’s the one we’ve been waiting for. Superdry USA, a UK fashion brand, hosted a two-day series of events. Superdry was created in 2003 following the owner’s inspirational trip to Tokyo. It’s a brand with a vintage Americana flavor, Japanese-inspired graphics, and a UK edge. Very cool stuff! The Brad Leather Jacket is my favorite.
Tonight, Danny Masterson’s Downstairs is a pumping hub bub of the biting and the beautiful. A sexy crush of actors and celebs moving and shaking with NY and LA’s top party promoters and club owners. Special performances by Adrian Grenier’s Honey Brothers and up-and-comer Adrian Vera are followed by DJ sets by MomJeans (Danny Masterson) and Cisco Adler. Penn Badgley was breaking a few gossipy hearts, Twilighter Chaske Spencer and Cassie Scerbo were hanging with killer Ronnie Vannucci and former gun Matt Sorum, Caribbean pirate Vanessa Branch and pro-shooter Christopher Mcdonald all celebrated with foosball and darts.
Shadow PR repped the event with their standard taste for quality and sharp eye on craftsmanship. Coordinated by the hot pink-clad Kinley Cross from Shadow’s LA office this was one super smooth night and hands down the MOST fun on Main this Sundance 2011.
The Indie Mogul Party in Deer Valley…A true filmmaker party. Rich Kalinsky from Fujifilm had invited us to a distinct lodge with a kaleidoscopic crowd. The popular and the scholarly, the cult and the cliched, old and new. Having just screened Kevin Smith’s Red State, Rich praised the film as Michael Jackson reminded us that Billie Jean wasn’t his love while a few revelers sucked something or other at the Oxygen Bar. MP ended up happy after a well-needed complimentary massage. FujiFilm, Avid, and Raleigh Studios backed a solid mixer.
The coolest cave that is the House of Blues is filled with rock and roll boys and girls that never die! And TicketCake’s Dylan Jorgensen makes us feel like royalty…or rather like inside a plush living room of one of rock’s most decadent and respected. Dylan is the man when it comes to scoring tix to a hot event. Come hither sneers and tight minis up to here and Slash hosting a private event for the release of his Slasher Films. That’s what I’m talking about! Slash’s company will focus on a sub-genre of the horror film which typically involves a psychopathic killer stalking and killing a sequence of victims in a graphically violent manner, often with chainsaw or scythe. The slasher as a genre has it’s own set of characteristics which set it apart from related genres like splatter films.
Slasher has four films currently on their slate. We most anticipate Nothing To Fear which will reportedly be about the real town of Stull, Kansas, which many believe to be the ‘gateway to hell,’ and Theorem, the story of a mathematician who discovers the equation for evil (Aronofsky reverse Pi inspiration? ). What fresh air to bring back character-driven and intelligent horror films with depth like in the 70’s and 80’s! Thanks Slash. And for that girl on the corner of Hebert that squeeked to her girlfriend “Who’s Slash?”…Slash, buddy, can you please base a “final girl” character on her in one of your films? But don’t spare her to tell the story.
Monday, January 24th
Dinner at Chimayo is so exquisite that I can’t even begin to describe it. Nor will I. I’m not a restaurant critic. Hell, it’s my first time writing about parties and events even! A word of advice: Stay away from guys named Dominic from Chicago that bark about “shift changing” the women they are with even before the dessert arrives. Try not to notice them popping a pill in front of the wait staff. And whatever you do definately do not believe them when they say “My friend runs that restaurant we go in through the back the kitchen like Goodfellas tell them Dominic sentchyou you with Dominic.” Because the doorman at the restaurant knows no Dominic and Dominic just kept walking past this restaurant. Getoutaheeya!
The Best Complimentary Liquor Award (if we’d have one…and I will bring up at next meeting) goes to a yet-officially-unofficially opened Silver. As Ole Blue Eyes would peg “a classy joint.” Salvation Boulevard had their film bash and Vegas Cosmopolitan hotel was onboard. This David Rockwell designed, sleek spot introduced us to a new rye vodka. The stealth Belvedere bottles, labeled Belvedere Intense, were poured beside original Belvie and for two guys that swore not to go out tonight it all blended into one beautiful flight change. The drink to be had for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is the 508. Hendrick’s gin, simple syrup, basil, thyme, chili flakes, and of course Belvedere…nectar of the gods.
Tuesday, January 24th
The slab of exotic land with running water is the coolest centerpiece we have ever seen. Hands down the most grass in a room that we wouldn’t dare smoke. As everyone picked at crispy dumplings and chicken skewers, The INAUGURAL SUNDANCE INSTITUTE | MAHINDRA GLOBAL FILMMAKING AWARD recipients were announced. Emerging artists from Romania, Mexico, Malaysia and Israel selected for their visionary projects, were awarded each $10,000, attendance at the Sundance Film Festival for targeted industry and creative meetings, year-round mentoring from Institute staff and creative advisors, participation in a Feature Film Program Lab, and ongoing creative and strategic support. That is quite a lot support seeing that most aspiring filmmakers usually must max out their folk’s credit cards and run around in circles memorizing The Guerilla Bible of Filmmaking before the rejection letters from festivals start landing in their mailboxes…
Nevertheless, the Winners of the 2011 Sundance Institute Global Filmmaking Award are:
Bogdan Mustata / WOLF (Romania) In this surreal tale, a 16 year-old boy’s dearest wish is realized when his absent father is quite literally reborn and joins the family once again, with complicated consequences.
Ernesto Contreras / I DREAM IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE written by Carlos Contreras (Mexico). A rare indigenous language already on the verge of extinction faces its final threat when its last two speakers, very old friends, have a fight and refuse to speak to one another.
Seng Tat Liew / IN WHAT CITY DOES IT LIVE? (Malaysia). The unexpected presence of an African immigrant hiding in a small Malaysian village arouses the superstitions of the local residents, calling into question whether home is defined by the place you live or by the people who surround you.
Talya Lavie / ZERO MOTIVATION (Israel). A sometimes comic, often dramatic look at the power struggles of three female clerks over one year in an administrative office at a remote army base in the Israeli desert.
Buy the ticket…take the ride.
We RSVP’d with Steve Wilson from BWR PR and are happy that we were able to experience this ceremony. The event directors / organizers are genuine people that have a self-less interest in the cause while securing a foundation and nurturing aspiring filmmakers. We watched these four filmmakers accept their awards with admiration. Their’s now is a mysterious unknown. We pray their hopes not decimate in life’s travails…somehow we think these beautiful dreamers will be alright. Reach for the stars…you’ll hit the moon.
Oh! And we saw some movies. People, this is a film festival after all.
And if you have gotten this far down please check out our interviews from the festival on this site and broadcasting on our national college television network SirkTV.
Thanks and see you all soon…
by Max Yampolsky
SEVERE CLEAR Director Kristian Fraga talks about the original design of the film and its viseral nature. This video includes 2 scenes from the film. SEVERE CLEAR is an uncensored first person account of combat. Uncertainty, Chaos, Disorder…This is WAR.
Here is a selected track entitled “Toughest Day” from the original score for the film SEVERE CLEAR, composed by Cliff Martinez (Traffic, Narc, Solaris). Severe Clear is the award winning film based on the memoir by First Lieutenant Mike Scotti as well as video footage shot by him and other members of 1st Battalion, 4th Marines on the outset of the 2003 invasion of Iraq. SEVERE CLEAR is an uncensored first person account of combat. Uncertainty, Chaos, Disorder…This is WAR. Coming to Theaters March 12th from Sirk Productions.