DAILY NEWS: Cowboy's "Love," New "Squeezebox" Doc and Sundance Channel Doc Deal
by Eugene Hernandez, Matthew Ross and Brian Brooks/indieWIRE
>> Cowboy Finds "Toy Love"
(indieWIRE: 06.04.02) -- Cowboy Pictures has acquired North American rights
to "Toy Love," the new comedy from New Zealand director Harry Sinclair ("The Price of Milk"). John Vanco of Cowboy Pictures negotiated the deal with Kathleen Drumm of the New Zealand Film Commission at the Cannes Film Festival. The film follows the sexual misadventures of the young and
attractive looking for love and passion. It stars Dean O'Gorman and Kate
"'Toy Love' was a wonderful discovery for us at Cannes," said Vanco in a
prepared statement. "I love how deftly it hides surprisingly dark themes
beneath its very sexy and funny depiction of love and lust. It's a screwball
comedy that's quite twisted." Cowboy will release the film in theaters
nationally in spring 2003. [Matthew Ross]
>> New Doc Remembers Squeezebox, NYC's Weekly Rock Party
(indieWIRE: 06.04.02) -- While their friends were networking in the Hamptons
or sunning themselves in Provincetown this Memorial Day weekend, hundreds of
New Yorkers who had stayed behind celebrated the second anniversary of
Motherfucker, a club night that has become a holiday weekend fixture in
NYC. Seizing the moment to build momentum for a new movie, a group of
filmmakers sneak previewed a trailer for a new documentary that explores
what was one of Manhattan's hottest weekly parties, Squeezebox.
Dubbed "Squeezebox, the Movie," the work-in-progress doc features footage
from last year's final Friday night at a club that launched Hedwig & the
Angry Inch and the Toilet Boys, among others. Lyle Derek, a former go-go dancer at the weekly party (held at downtown venue Don Hills), is among
the team currently pouring over footage, which dates back to the club's
early days in the spring of 1994. He is joined on the project by fellow
executive producer Steve Saporito, director Jason Cacioppo, and producer
Formed to recapture the energy of New York's '70s scene at haunts like Max's
Kansas City or the Mudd Club, Squeezebox welcomed a number of notables over the years, many of whom were on stage on the final night as a tribute to the
nightspot. Among the performers on closing night were Deborah Harry, Bebe
Buell, The Toilet Boys, "Hedwig" creators John Cameron Mitchell and Stephen Trask, and Lady Bunny, as well an array of NYC's other legendary drag queens (many of whom would regularly join the band on stage for a Friday night jam session). A few other surprise celebs are on tap for the doc as well.
Forty hours of footage were captured by 8 cameras on Squeezebox's closing
night, director and editor Jason Cacioppo told indieWIRE last week. The
doc will include live performances as well as backstage interviews with
a number of the notables.
"The effects of the camcorder revolution were that someone was always there
shooting," said Cacioppo, himself a regular attendee at the mixed club. "It
was about a place that people could go and belong," he added, reflecting on
what the club meant to him at the time. "It was really an intense community
that was formed at a time when New York was not about people hanging out and
having a wild rocking scene."
"I really miss it, it was a time we felt free to express ourselves without
the fear of being arrested or shut down," Squeezebox hostess Misstress
Formika told indieWIRE last week by email. "Thanks Ghouliani!" The fact that
the club flourished under the radar even as New York City's then-Mayor Rudy
Giuliani cracked down on numerous clubs in the '90s is an inspiration for
the project, according to the filmmakers.
"For me, coming from a small town in Texas, finding Squeezebox was like
finding the ultimate freedom," Lyle Derek told indieWIRE. "There were no
judgments, you could be whatever you wanted and do what every you wanted --
it was just pure and fun and free."
"Squeezebox was a filthy, sweaty, glam, trash joint where boys could slamdance
with boys and the homoerotic subtext was a supertext," John Cameron Mitchell told indieWIRE by email, adding, "I felt comfortable in a bad wig doing underrehearsed punkrock karaoke to Fleetwood Mac, Pere Ubu, and Debbie Boone." Concluding he underscored, "It was an oasis of Heaven in Hell."
The team decided to use last week's Motherfucker night, also hosted by
Misstress Formika, as a way to build awareness for the movie among its core
audience and the industry, even though they are still at least six months
away from completion. The team raised funds for the doc themselves, and
distribution hasn't been secured yet.
"This is a personal project for all of us," Derek explained, "We want to
really just take our time, this is a labor of love." Continuing on that
thought, Steve Saporito added, "The entire crew here has a great respect for
the material, we want this thing to come out in exactly the right way, as an
informative and a really fun movie." He added that the team are already
talking about creating a soundtrack album to complement the documentary.
"(The Motherfucker screening) was a huge success for us -- everyone (in the
biz) knows what we are doing now," Derek added, "And now all the kids know
what we are doing, too!" [Eugene Hernandez]
[For more information, visit: http://www.squeezeboxmovie.com.]
>> Sundance Channel Acquires Television Rights to "All Water Has a Perfect Memory"
(indieWIRE: 06.04.02) -- The Sundance Channel has acquired U.S. pay
television rights to Natalia Almada's award-winning documentary short, "All
Water Has a Perfect Memory," the indie TV network announced yesterday.
The film, which won the best documentary short prize during the recent
Tribeca Film Festival, will make its television debut on August 11.
A Sundance Channel release describes the film as "an experimental
documentary about the death of the filmmaker's sister, Ana Lynn. Almada wove
her brother, mother and father's personal recollections about her sister's
death together with super eight home movies, photographs, and fabricated
images to create a visual memory of her sister." The film screened during
the 2002 Sundance Film Festival and received a Gold Plaque Award at the 2001 Chicago International Film Festival. The deal was negotiated for Sundance
Channel by Larry Greenberg, director of acquisitions, and Valerie Watts
Meraz, supervisor of film acquisitions for Showtime Networks and the
Sundance Channel, and Natalia Almada on behalf of the film.
Sundance Channel launched in 1996 under the direction of Robert Redford,
Showtime Networks Inc., and Universal Studios. The company operates
independently of the non-profit Sundance Institute. [Brian Brooks]
>> MONDAY IN indieWIRE DAILY NEWS: DAILY NEWS: NY Latino Fest Lineup; Walker + Assoc Plans; and IFC's "Sex"
(indieWIRE: 06.03.02) -- The New York International Latino Film Festival
announced a slate of 50 films for its fourth annual event; Publicist Rudi
Furstberger, who has worked at Jeremy Walker + Associates since the agency's
founding in November, 1999, will return to his native Germany; And, IFC Films
has nabbed Cannes' 2002 Directors' Fortnight opener "Sex is Comedy."
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