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DAILY NEWS: Sundance 2001 Rounds Out Feature Lineup With Premieres, World Cinema and More

DAILY NEWS: Sundance 2001 Rounds Out Feature Lineup With Premieres, World Cinema and More

DAILY NEWS: Sundance 2001 Rounds Out Feature Lineup With Premieres, World Cinema and More

by Anthony Kaufman/indieWIRE

>> Sundance Premieres, Lahti Opens Sundance, New Films from DiCillo, Anders and Linklater

(indieWIRE/ 12.6.00) — Actress-turned-director Christine Lahti (Academy
winning short “Lieberman in Love“) has the privilege of opening the
2001 Sundance Film Festival on January 18 in Park City, Utah with her debut
feature “My First Mister,” the unlikely love story between a 17-year-old
girl (Leelee Sobieski) and a dying older man (Albert Brooks). Paramount Classics will release the film next year. The remaining 16 films in the
Premieres section of the festival — reserved for higher profile films,
often with U.S. distribution already in place — includes new works from
some indiefilm regulars as well as a handful of auspicious debuts.

Kasi Lemmons follows up her critical success “Eve’s Bayou” with “Caveman’s
” (Universal Focus), the film will that will serve as the opening
night film in Park City. “Living in Oblivion” director Tom DiCillo returns
to Sundance with “Double Whammy,” starring Denis Leary as a struggling
police detective — it is currently without a U.S. distributor. Also
returning to Sundance is Alison Anders who brings her latest feature,
Things Behind the Sun,” the story of a music journalist confronting his
troubled past — digital feature is also without U.S. distribution.

Other experienced vets include Richard Linklater with his much-anticipated
animated feature “Waking Life,” done in collaboration with Bob Sabiston and
Tommy Pallotta; “Niagara, Niagara” director Bob Gosse’s lesbian drama “Julie
,” starring Lili Taylor and Courtney Love; and Michael Apted, who
returns to the indie world after James Bond’s “The World is Not Enough” with
Enigma,” a World War II spy thriller written by Tom Stoppard and starring
Dougray Scott.

Two established foreign directors Patrice Chereau, from France, and Lea
Pool, from Quebec, offer an outsider’s glimpse into English-language
stories. Chereau’s “Intimacy,” written by noted screenwriter Hanif Kureishi
(“My Son The Fanatic“), features noted Brits Marianne Faithfull and Timothy
Spall. Pool’s “Lost and Delirious,” stars it-girls Jessica Pare (“Stardom“),
Mischa Barton (“Skipped Parts“), and Piper Perabo (“Coyote Ugly“).

Other notable debuts include Daniel Minahan’s biting reality-TV parody
Series 7” (USA Films), the Spike Lee-produced “3 A.M.” (Showtime), William Bindley’s “Madison,” starring James Caviezel, and Peter Care’s “Dangerous Lives of Altar Boys,” produced by Jodie Foster — it will screen as the Festival Centerpiece. [Anthony Kaufman]


>> Spanish-Language Cinema Dominates Sundance’s World

(indieWIRE/ 12.6.00) — Though you don’t get more “American” than Sundance
and apple pie, each year the Sundance Film Festival assembles a surprising
selection of works from emerging directors from around the globe for its
World Cinema sidebar. Most filmgoers don’t go to Sundance seeking such
“foreign” films, but when the buzz builds, tickets to “Run Lola Run” and
Saving Grace” can be more coveted than “Happy, Texas.”

With an unofficial emphasis on Latin America, Sundance once again delivers
several films from South of the border, including Jose Luis Marques’s
Fuckland” (Argentina), the 8th official Dogme 95 film about a young man
trying to seduce a girl from the Falkland Islands, Andrucha Waddington’s
delightful Cannes entry “Me, You, Them” (Brazil, Sony Pictures Classics), the premiere of Brazilian director Sandra Werneck’s “Possible Loves,” a
Sundance NHK grant finalist, Sergio Castilla’s “Te Amo (Made in Chile),”
Maria Navarro’s “Without a Trace” (Mexico), and veteran director Barbet
Schroeder’s “Our Lady of the Assassins” (Columbia).

And from German production co. Road Movies comes the premiere of Henrique
Goldman’s “Princesa” about a Brazilian boy whose dream is to become a woman;
in order to raise the money for a sex change operation, he goes to Italy and
becomes a transvestite prostitute where he falls in love with a respectable
man. Other films with a Latin flavor are Laura Mana’s “Compassionate Sex,”
(see today’s indieWIRE’ story “Made in Spain“) and Javier Corcuera’s feature
documentary debut “The Back of the World” (Spain) about three troubled
people: a boy working to support his family, a woman in jail and a man on
death row.

Even more popular than Spanish-language films are the English ones, of
course. (Last year, Fine Line shelled out a reported $4 million for UK’s
“Saving Grace.”) This year, competition will not be as stiff, because Bill
Eagles’s “Beautiful Creatures,” starring Rachel Weisz, already has
distribution from Universal Focus; “The Castle” Aussie director Rob Sitch’s
comic return “The Dish” was snagged by Warner Brothers post-Toronto, and Andrew Dominik’s Toronto stunner “Chopper” was taken by First Look. Still on the market, though, are two solid UK films, Pawel Pawlikowski’s multiple
award-winning international favorite “The Last Resort,” and Jamie Thraves’s
relationship comedy “The Low Down,” starring hot newcomer Aidan Gillen (best
known for his role in the British version of “Queer As Folk“).

Iceland is also well represented with two films: Baltasar Kormakur’s Toronto
Discovery winner “101 Reykjavik” and Fridrik Thor Fridriksson’s “Angels of
the Universe
.” From Japan comes local legend Takeshi Kitano’s “Brother,” and
Sundance Lab participant Yoshiyasu Fujita premieres his debut about stand-up
comics “Bleep Brothers.” Also notable are the two French entries, Ilan Duran
Cohen’s upcoming romantic farce “La Confusion des Genres,” and Jean Pierre
Sinapi’s mischievous comedy “National 7” (formerly “Uneasy Riders”), about a
hospital filled with horny nurses and patients, which won audience awards at
Berlin and San Sebastian and a critic’s prize in London. Other international award winners include Denis Villenueve’s “Maelstrom” (Canada), Lukas Moodysson’s “Together” (Sweden), and Edoardo Winspeare’s “Living Blood
(Italy). [Anthony Kaufman]


>> Midnight, Frontiers, Native Forum, Sundance Collection and Special Screenings

(indieWIRE/ 12.6.00) — There’s little whiff of a Blair Witch hiding in the
woods of Sundance‘s 2001 Midnight selection, unless you count the screening of the 1963 Brazilian horror classic “At Midnight, I’ll Take Your Soul,”
directed by Jose Mojica Marins, or the new accompanying documentary “Coffin
Joe: The Strange World of Jose Mojica Marins
.” The other Midnight fare
appears more campy than scary: Canadian gay activist Noam Gonick’s tale of a
teenage love triangle “Hey Happy!“, Academy Award winner Bill Plympton’s latest animated feature “Mutant Aliens,” and from the comedy troupe, Broken Lizard (“Puddle Cruiser“) comes “Super Troopers,” a comedy about highway patrolmen. Also screening at midnight is “Decline of Western Civilization” director Penelope Spheeris’ “We Sold Our Souls for Rock n’ Roll.”

Appealing to more highbrow tastes are the Frontier films, with four feature
length films and one shorts program. Two documentaries will appear: Veteran
lesbian experimental filmmaker Barbara Hammer’s “History Lesson,” which
Variety recently described as “a witty, giddy exercise — a sort of ‘Atomic
‘ of archaic screen lesbiana,” and Columbus, OH College of Art and
Design professor Kon Petrochuck’s (a.k.a. Kon Pet Moon) “Two Unknown
,” about two sets of unclaimed photographs the filmmaker found
and his search for the stories behind them. Fiction features include German
filmmaker Philip Groening’s “L’Amour, L’argent, L’Amour,” whose actress
Sabine Tioteo won a Bronze Leopard at Locarno, and Martinique director Guy
DesLauriers slave story, “The Middle Passage.” A program of Frontier shorts
will be announced soon.

In the Sundance Institute’s ongoing commitment to Native American
filmmakers, this year’s Native Forum includes 11 new works, including the
return of Shirley Cheechoo (last year’s “Backroads“), with “Tracks in the
,” and Catherine Montgomery’s romantic comedy “Christmas in the Clouds,” starring Graham Greene, M. Emmet Walsh and Janet Leigh. Several new
documentaries will screen as well: Peter Spirer’s “The Walk;” Robert
Brewster and Felix Gehm’s “Voices of the Sierra Tarahumana;” Alex Halkin’s
Chiapas Media Project;” James M. Fortier’s “Alcatraz is Not an Island,”
which examines the Indian occupation of Alcatraz Island; and Rod Pulido’s
The Flip Side” about a Filipino American family. Films in the section also
hail from Canada and New Zealand.

Special Screenings at the festival include Trent Harris’s “Beaver Trilogy,”
a short program devoted exclusively to Portland-based animation, and
revivals of Robert Epstein’s acclaimed documentary “The Times of Harvey
” and Sam Fuller’s pulp classic “The Naked Kiss” — don’t miss the bald
prostitute! [Anthony Kaufman]







DAILY NEWS: Sundance 2001 Reveals Competition and Spectrum Linueps

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