PARK CITY 2000: Fashion, Food and Film
by Peter Byck
Checked out "You Can Count On Me," Kenneth Lonergan's orphan tale of sister Sammy's (Laura Linney) and brother Terry's (Mark Ruffalo) adult lives years after their folks bit it in the grill of an on-coming semi. She's wound up tight as a drum; he's a stoner who likes to get into fistfights. New-comer Rory Culkin shines as Sammy's eight-year-old son and Matthew Broderick plays Sammy's boss, the bank manager from hell. Lonergan takes this familiar tableau of intimate family drama and raises the stakes -- his characters fight, quip and bicker and no one's a saint.
Now, the real fun began at the "Eyes Of Tammy Faye" screening where we were warmed-up by the short, "Secret Asian Man," Mike Sakamoto's profile of one-man genius, Arthur Nakane. Nakane then grooved the impressed press crowd with what he called "the best show in town." He played an electric guitar with a drumstick taped to the head stock (for hitting the cymbals) and another pokey stick on the body to play his keyboard. He regaled us with "Secret Asian Man,"
and then, to give projectionist Pete (of Taos, NM) more time to spool up Tammy, he gave us his rendition of "La Bamba." Nakane plays at a Shakey's in LA (12 years running) - don't miss this.
I cannot say enough about Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato's "The Eyes of Tammy Faye." I had such a negative impression of Ms. Faye before the film, and now I hope she gets her own TV show and cries as much as she damn well pleases. She is sincere and courageous, she's a fighter and she's had a real tough row to hoe. Bailey and Barbato (accompanied by editor Paul Wiesepape) give us a swift, tight, hilarious history of Faye, ex-husband Jim Bakker, anti-Christ Jerry Falwell, complete with "Babe"-like chapter headings, with hand puppets instead of mice.
The ifilm party @ Cicero's: "Maid of Honor" star Kehaunani points out fashion find #1: the Skyy Vodka swizzle stick that doubles as a pair of glasses; some new pinhole camera technology. Sarah Eaton of Sundance Channel reports, "I've seen a number of girls in short skirts in cold weather." I asked her feelings on that: "One question. Why?" Elizabeth McNamara of collegebroadcast.com concurs, "I saw someone who had on slip-on sandals and no stockings."
Ifilms' Chief Technology Officer, Greg Neocampo (hope I read his writing right) was filling the large video screens with visual mixing, "I do live filmmaking, that's the idea." His palette was a moving Rorschach test of sharks, amorphous undulations of color, turtles, skulls, Laurence Welk clips and snake x-rays DJ Ron O'Donnell provided the grooves and the dance floor was hopping, ifilm editor-in-chief Andrews Hindes leading the way. Drink-wise, I learned that a Utah double was equal to a Kentucky half.
On the way out, rezfest honcho Johnny Rez's Polo shirt caught my eye - green and brown herring bone on beige. "Cost me coin, probably have it the rest of my life. It's like making a good film, they never go out of date."
January 22, 2000
Start the day off with "American Psycho." Journeyman scribe Paul Cullum arrived in trademark white scarf draped around neck. The film leaves me with one question, huh? A reporter had a seizure just before the last reel, he said he'd never had one before, and my only thought is why more of us didn't respond to the film the same way he did.
Friday, Jan 21, 2000
Janet Pierson has the low-down for Sundance fashion: it's called comfort. Bring a coat with enough pockets to forego the big bag, get a notebook that'll fit into back pocket. Her struggle was the coat/scarf situation: "It's clashing. I didn't want to come, but I did." Her scarf is purple velvet on one side and some wild hippie pattern on the other. The problem is her coat's buffalo plaid lining - nothing would go with that, except more plaid. Husband John is sporting his 1993 boots purchased in Vernal. Utah, gateway to Dinosaur National Park.
Talked about doc, "Well Founded Fear," lived up to it's pre-fest PR. It's an unsettling look at the asylum-seeking process at the INS. Directors Shari Robertson and Michael Camerini (DP as well) get inside the INS, talking to the people who decide whether a weeping foreigner is telling the truth about abuse back home, or is lying. It's great to see a well-produced, well-shot, well-scored (Mark Suozzo) doc.
Stanley Tucci's "Joe Gould's Secret" was introduced by Robert "my name is Bob Redford." He was wearing last year's official Sundance orange jacket, an "Owl Bar" flannel shirt, black scarf knotted around the neck, jeans, what looked like a 1970's era Ralph Lauren belt
and cowboy boots. "Joe Gould's Secret" is an erudite study of lost souls, writer's block, and delusions of grandeur - writer meets witty bum, writer's article gives witty bum a bit of notoriety, witty bum wants to remain friends, and writer wants to move on to next
subject to exploit. The film is a moving homage to Edward Hopper's "Night Hawks."
Up to the Sundance, AT&T, Apple Computer party where Norweigian band, Get Away People, were rocking the joint with their Spin Doctor-like Northeastern white-boy funk thang. Unnamed Norweigian photog sez their music "was more fragile," a few years back, but
now they're "more mainstream." Their dub joik (yoddle) was quite nice - not much of that in the States these days. Speaking of Norweigians, "Spring Forward," producer Gill Holland was decked out in mom wear; 10 year-old sweater of black and red wool in a snow-flake pattern, and a 20 year old ski cap fashioned in the classic Marius design, complete with large bouncy ball on top. Beth Holden of Propaganda Films walked up and Gill said, "nice shoes." They were black patent leather with a white leather strip across the top. The party's grub was some solid salmon on toast and the world's tiniest chocolate eclairs.