Today I finally felt like I was hitting my stride.
I found a parking place on the street this early Sunday morning and made my 8:30am screening of What They Don't Talk About When They Talk About Love which takes place in a special school for the mute, deaf and blind in Indonesia. A series of love stories told with a gentleness most easily summarized by one of its characters, Boys love what they see and girls love what they hear. The film is a sweet look — not always innocent — at love inside this special school, told with a narrative style and rhythm dictated by its actors being mostly blind, deaf or mute.
Kiril Razlogov, Artistic Director of the Moscow Film Festival, and I had a great long talk about Russia, the new Ministry of Culture and how film fits into its political system and what is happening today with Russian films as we walked to the GLBT annual brunch at the Grub Steak (I can no longer recall who sponsors this I have been going to it for such a long time) I had thought it started at 10am but at 10:30am the line to get in was down the block and no one was going in until 11am, so we made our own party greeting those in line whom we knew. It was great to see Marie from Wolfe Releasing along with her colleague and to hear about the great response they have been getting internationally to their online movies. Kiril and she discussed Russian films and digital delivery. She is still deciding whether to go to Berlin as she is so busy at the home office. I looked for Jenny Olsen whom I always see there if no where else but she was not there yet. We visited with a few other friends and acquaintances and then Kiril and I parted ways as he went to see a film (he's concentrating on seeing the U.S. Films and I'm concentrating on international and particularly Latino and Eastern European films).
I went to interview director Sebastian Silva whose Old Cats was in Sundance 2009 and The Maid which won the Dramatic Jury Award here in 2011 and whose film Crystal Fairy so impressed me this year. I will write about this wonderful interview after I have seen the second film he has here, Magic Magic, produced by Frida Torresblanco and Christine Vachon. My discussion after the interview with producer rep and publicist, Stephen Raphael of Required Viewing, who also happens to have been born in Chile, about the film's producers, Fabula, the company of Pablo and Claude Lorrain (No, Tony Manero) and the line producer who also line produced Il Futuro, the Chile-Italian coproduction film I also saw today verged on the weird for the number of coincidences and inter-relationships. The oddest coincidence was that while Stephen was awaiting his two Chilean clients to arrive at Sundance from Santiago, his luggage was lost and they discovered it had been sent mistakenly to Santiago!
Between films I went to parties: UCLA / The Wrap party where I did not see Teri Schwartz, Dean of the UCLA film school or Sharon Waxman of The Wrap, Texas Party, but I was unable to squeeze in the IDA cocktail to which Laurie Ann Schag of Netflix and the the IDA Treasurer invited me as I had to run back to the Holiday Village to see The World According to Dick Cheney, a 110 minute life saga of this man who ran our government into the ground as told by himself, a man unable to think of a single fault in his own character when asked the question along with other questions about himself, all of which he could answer with a flawless alacrity – except for that one. He could only conclude that his only fault was not being able to name one. I went to see the Serbian film Circles at the urging of my friend Geno Lechner who played the wife of the protagonist. The fault of this film was in identifying characters 12 years after a horrible incident that took place among the characters which determined the story. I still do not know who was who and yet I understood the relevance of the story very much, especially because I was just in Sarajevo for the Festival and Talent Campus this summer and loved it so very much. This played out the tragedy of a man whose good deed in saving a Muslim cigarette vendor in Croatia during the Serbian Croatia War created circles of greater import like a stone which is dropped in the water.
Finally, I changed my mind from seeing Wajma to going with the flow and seeing Escape from Tomorrow which is receiving lots of press because of possible copyright infringement of Walt Disney's IP. This surreal comedy of a man going insane at Disneyland or Disney World left me feeling dizzy and surreal myself. I think it is good as a work of art but without any commercial potential. I think, like the Barbie Doll enactment of the Karen Carpenter Story so many years ago, Sundance may be the only chance for anyone to see this film.
With that as my finale for the evening, I drove home feeling disoriented to meet a depressed Harlan who had been unable to procure any tickets for the evening screenings. For having done a full day's work without a flaw, the evening's films and lack thereof left the two of us out of sorts. Oh well, there's always tomorrow, but I'm already undecided about whether to attend ACME PR's inaugural breakfast or go to see The Lifeguard. I've had enough docs on political issues and so will skip 99% The Occupy Wall Street Collaborative Film. There is always so much to do that no matter what you choose, you wonder if you should be somewhere else; that is the dilemma of these festivals with so many choices!
See you tomorrow!