+ PARK CITY BUZZ: "Chi Girl," "Amerikan Passport" Win Slamdance; Farrell
Chats About "Three Days"; Pickup Rumors; Byck Music Report
Compiled by Eugene Hernandez and Peter Byck
>> "Chi Girl" and "Amerikan Passport" Take Slamdance's "Sparky,"
"Man of the Century" Picks Up Audience Feature Prize; Verow Tops No Dance
"Chi Girl," directed by Heidi Van Lier, won the Grand Jury Award -- the
Sparky -- for Best Feature at the 1999 Slamdance Film Festival, while
Reed Paget's "Amerikan Passport" won the Documentary Award and Don
Hertzfeldt's "Billy's Balloon" won the Grand Jury Award for Best Short.
The award winners were announced last night during the festival's
closing night ceremony at The Underground on Main Street.
Adam Abraham's "Man of the Century" won the Audience Feature award
while, "12 Stops on the Road to Nowhere" took the Audience Short Award.
Christopher Nolan's "Following," which was recently acquired for
distribution by Zeitgeist, won the Ilford Black and White Award, and
Gert Embrechts' short film, "13," won the Kodak Vision Award for Best
Cinematography. Finally, the Spirit of Slamdance award went to Mike
Mitchell, for his short film, "Herd."
Festival jurors for Slamdance fifth year were AFI Dean Sam L. Grogg,
Australian filmmaker/journalist Jacqui Louez, Baltimore based filmmaker
Skizz Cyzyk, filmmaker Richard Wechsler, FILMMAKER Magazine editor Holly
Willis, and Japanese filmmaker Junichi Mimura.
>> Verow Wins "No Dance"
Meanwhile, over at No Dance, filmmaker Todd Verow -- who was last
at Sundance with "Frisk" -- won the Grand Jury Prize for his digitally
shot feature film, "Shucking the Curve." The movie, which screened last
year at the New York Underground Film Festival, stars Bonnie Dickerson
who won the festival's Best Actress award. Todd is anticipating a trip to
New York for the 1999 NYUFF where he has been invited to unveil a
new digitally-shot feature, "The Trouble with Perpetual Deja Vu."
Still on track with his "ten features by the year 2000" goal, Verow
is, as always, currently in production. [For a complete list of
No Dance winners, visit the festival website at http://www.6161.com]
>> Farrell Discusses Tour Documentary
Perry Farrell, subject of the Slamdance film "Three Days," spoke with
indieWIRE this week about the tour documentary. When asked to
compare the new movie to the film "Gift," which "documented" a
different period in his life, Farrell explained, "When I started to do
'Gift' it was -- at that time of my life -- it was a celebration of the flesh."
Smiling, he continued, "We're entitled to celebrate our flesh, it's a certain
period when a person is at their prime, their sexiest so to speak, their most
sexually potent perhaps -- its mating time -- you celebrate the flesh and you
look at yourself and you see the flesh and you pierce the flesh and you
tattoo the flesh, and then something happens..."
Reflecting on that period of his life, Farrell continued, "I think this
films would be a nice bridge to get us there from where I was -- I was
probably a dear person, but kind of sloppy -- I didn't exactly know how
to live for myself, and through this film I think I've begun to see how
to live for myself."
>> Throat Coat
Roko and Adrian Belic's "Ghengis Blues" star, Kongar-ol
Ondar performed his native Tuvan throat singing at St. Mary's Church to
a packed and entranced crowd Thursday night. With the four-string Igil
in hand, Mr. Ondar's growling/smiling voice created four notes
simultaneously. How'd he do that? His song "Good Horses" (Tuvans dig
horses and women, so translated Roko) reminded me of a Celtic dirge. His
voice became a whistle, harmonically pure chords shot through the roof;
I hesitantly zipped out of there only because I had a ticket for the
35th anniversary screening of "A Hard Day's Night" at the Egyptian.
Miramax will be re-releasing it soon. The film has been re-mixed, with
the early Beatles' tunes cranked to Bruckheimer db's. Thanks Harvey.
>> Sony and "Idaho?"
As reported yesterday at indieWIRE.com, word on the
street is that Sony Pictures Classics has acquired the rights to Michael
Polish's "Twin Falls Idaho." The Sundance American Spectrum film stars
Mark and Michael Polish, as well Michele Hicks, Jon Gries, and Patrick