DAILY BRIEFS: Taos Fest Plans; Maysles on Sundance; SF Gay Fest Films;Miramax's New Harvey
by Eugene Hernandez/indieWIRE
>> Taos Film Festival Sets '99 Lineup
The Taos Talking Picture Festival gets ready for another year of film and
media discussion, April 15-18, 1999. Passionate about their involvement in
the discussion of film, the small Taos fest has big plans for this year's
Media Forum. Included in this forum will be a
dissection of the male archetype in film, an examination of portrayals of
women from various economic classes in film, and a challenging argument for
how film and television has served to expand rather than diminish our
intellectual capacities. Other forums include discussions on the nature of
the "populist" film, cinema's influence on public relations, and a
discussion of new media by former editors of WIRED magazine.
This year's festival will include films from 23 countries, including 13
world premieres, and 8 United States premieres. Opening night film "Swing"
stars Clarence Clemons and Lisa Stansfield in a romantic comedy about an
upstart swing band. Samuel Jackson and Greta Scacchi will star in the
Saturday Night Centerpiece film, "The Red Violin," and the new film from
the Quinn brothers (Aidan, Declan, and Paul) "This is My Father" will close
the festival. Four films will compete for Taos' exciting Land Grant Award
where one filmmaker will become the owner of 5 acres of land on Taos Mesa.
The four films competing this year are "La Ciudad," "On The Ropes," "The
Source," and "Oxygen." Another award that Taos gives away is the George
Melies Award for excellence in cinematography. Competing this year will be
"My Mother's Dreams of The Satan's Disciples in New York," "The Water
Ghost," "Herd," "Pain Angel," and "The Offering."
Taos will also pay tribute to several filmmakers during this year's
festival. Bill Forsyth ("Local Hero") is being honored with the Storyteller
Award. Dennis Hopper, former Taos resident, will be on hand to accept this
year's Maverick Award. Seattle based Phil Lucas will accept the Taos
Mountain Award for outstanding achievement by a Native American. Documentary
filmmaker Lourdes Portillo will receive the Cineaste Award celebrating
diverse cultures. [Jeffrey Winograd]
[For more information, contact the Festival at (505)751-0637.]
>> Sundance Showcasing Maysles Brothers
This month Sundance Channel offers four evenings dedicated to the work of
acclaimed documentary makers David and Albert Maysles. On each Monday of
this month the Channel will screen one Maysles movie -- this week "Grey
Gardens" (1976) was broadcast, while in upcoming weeks the Channel will
offer "Gimme Shelter" (1970), "Salesman" (1968), and "Showman" (1962). All
four films will be re-broadcast together on Sunday April 25th, and shown
individually throughout the month of April.
"Just as Truman Capote was inventing this new genre, the non-fiction novel,
we were inventing the non-fiction feature," recalled Albert Maysles in a
conversation with Adam Pincus that was published in the latest edition of
Sundance Channel's monthly guide. Of course, his boastful comments are not
far off. If the Maysles didn't quite "invent" the genre, as Pincus points
out they were certainly at the head of the class of documentary filmmakers
like Robert Drew, D.A. Pennebaker, and Richard Leacock who re-invented the
form, creating ripples that are still being felt in non-fiction work (and
reality television) today.
"To me the camera is an extension of your eye," Maysles tells Pincus, "Your
presence is something that you shouldn't try to hide. I mean, 'fly on the
wall?' Rickie Leacock described that as a 'fly in the ointment.'"
[For more information, visit the Channel website at:
>> "Trick" Kicking Off SF Lesbian & Gay Film Fest
Jim Fall's "Trick," which premiered at the 1999 Sundance Film Festival,
will open the 1999 San Francisco International Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
on June 17th. Now in its 23rd year, organizers call the event the "gay
Cannes," noting that it is the oldest and largest lesbian and gay film
festival in the world. The event runs through June 27th. "Trick" stars
Christian Campbell and John Paul Pitoc and is also expected to have high
profile spots at both L.A.'s Outfest and New York's New Festival before
Fine Line releases it this Summer.
Lukas Moodysson's "Fucking Amal," which won the Teddy at the Berlin
International Film Festival will close the San Francisco Festival. Among
other movies set to screen at the event are Ana Kokkino's "Head On," Rose
Troche's "Bedroom's and Hallways," Nisha Ganatra's "Chutney Popcorn,"
Stanley Kwan's "Hold You Tight," Francois Ozon's "Sitcom," Sumitra Bhave
and Sunil Sukthankar's "Long Live Life," Scott King's "Treasure Island,"
Nikolas Perry's "Speedway Junky," and Lea Pool's "Set Me Free."
[For more information, visit the festival site at:
>> Miramax Remaking "Harvey"
"Bob Acquires Harvey" exclaimed a press release sent to the indieWIRE
office from Miramax. Nice hook.
The story? Miramax has acquired the rights (except for the stage) to the
1950 film, "Harvey," which starred Jimmy Stewart. A modern-day remake is
in the works, and according to a prepared statement by company co-chair Bob
Weinstein, the search is on for an actor who can reprise Stewart's role as
the friend of an invisible 6-foot rabbit.
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