DAILY NEWS: Think Film's "Love"; Robert Evans' Return; Sundance/NHK; and Swag!
by Eugene Hernandez and Maud Kersnowski/indieWIRE
>> ThinkFilm In “Love”
(indieWIRE: 01.18.02) — ThinkFilm struck again yesterday, this time nabbing
domestic rights to Peter Mattei‘s “Love in the Time of Money.” The film,
selected as a special 17th competition entry, is actually out of competition
because it was executive produced by Robert Redford. Produced with Blow-Up
Pictures, the film’s cast includes Steve Buscemi, Michael Imperioli, Carol Kane, and Adrian Grenier, among others.
In other biz buzz, Palm Pictures confirmed its pact for Julio Medem‘s “Sex and Lucia,” while “Better Luck Tomorrow” and “Personal Velocity” are expected to close deals shortly. [Eugene Hernandez]
>> Robert Evans Ready for His Close-Up
(indieWIRE: 01.18.02) — “Hollywood Go Home” reads the graffiti at the Park
City Transit Center near Main Street. Those comments usher in the final
weekend of Sundance 2002, a festival that has already welcomed Brad &
Jennifer, Robin Williams, Mariah Carey and even Lance from ‘NSYNC. Nicole, Russell and Jodie are also in town.
Tonight, these pop culture upstarts will have to make way for a legend. “The
Kid Stays in the Picture,” Brett Morgen and Nanette Burstein‘s absorbing visual memoir about the career of Hollywood maverick Robert Evans, will debut tonight at the Eccles in front of a glittering gathering from
Hollywood old and new. And yes, Evans will be among those in attendance.
(The screening will be followed, of course, by an exclusive after-party).
Best known as the head of Paramount Pictures in the studio’s golden era of
the seventies, the 71-year-old Evans is a movie star-turned-producer and a
venerable ladies man who’s been married and divorced five times. His list of
credits includes a number of 70’s filmmaking triumphs, including “The
Godfather,” “Harold and Maude” and “Serpico,” along with a number of notable flops.
Morgen and Burstein’s film is a cleverly constructed portrait that
essentially takes viewers inside the mind of this compelling man. It
features a rich collection of film clips, news footage, photos and artifacts
that accentuate Evans compelling, often hilarious narration. (Many of the
stories are culled from his memoir of the same name.)
The movie is hardly traditional by documentary standards. What began as a
verite project morphed over time into a first-person portrait of a man that
Morgen now calls a father-figure. The final film is something that the
co-director uniquely refers to as “cinema mythologica, a wonderful Hollywood
Evans’ pedigree may be classic Hollywood, but Morgen hopes independent
filmmakers will embrace the producer and learn from his experiences. “Bob is
the ultimate maverick,” Morgen emphasized. “He did things on his terms and
his way — he is so relevant. You can learn more about producing from
watching this movie than you can from going to NYU.” [Eugene Hernandez]
>> Sundance Names International Award Winners
(indieWIRE: 01.18.02) — Four filmmaker have been named recipients of the
the Sundance Institute‘s annual Sundance/NHK International Filmmakers Award, a prize that includes a $10,000 cash prize. Chosen this year are Gjergi
Xhuvani for “The Bleating Sheep” (Europe), Sebastian Cordero for “Cronicas” (Latin America), Alex Rivera for “The Sleep Dealer” (U.S.) and Seisoku Kajita for “The Man Who Wipes Mirrors.” [Eugene Hernandez]
>> Sundance Goodie Bags Just Not What They Used To Be
(indieWIRE: 01.18.02) — For the past few years, Sundance has been the
golden trough of swag, industry give-aways, but this year it’s been reduced
to a more civilized grazing. Bloated marketing budgets were one of the first
victims of the tumbling economy, and after Sept. 11, gobbling consumerism has
gone from cool to crass.
Along with being fewer in number, the freebies this year are also less
likely to have giant logos scrawled across them. Instead of saying “Look at
me, I deserve attention!,” these goodies practically come with a tag saying
“We care. Let us help.” But maybe these companies really are more aware —
there is, after all, considerably less crap around.
The top drool-worthy item is a relatively unassuming gadget. It’s the
Jornada 568 Color PDA, and it’s been jetting away in the hot little hands of
every filmmaker, VIP and select member of the press (this writer was sadly
not included). Fully loaded with rich media software from FluxNetwork, this
sexy little handheld is guaranteed to offer hours of fun, with functions
that include festival info and filmclips, an MP3 player, digital camera and
mobile video screen.
Other top honors got to the Sundance Channel, the only company to offer a
truly exceptional goodie bag thus far. The Jack Spade canvas tote was packed
with products from hip, emerging companies, including Triple 5 Soul ear
warmers, Jo Malone perfume and Tony & Tina glitter make-up. Not one Sundance Channel-branded item could be found in the bag, save for an exceptional
Sundance Catalog candleholder.
The Reebok Retreat and the Chrysler Lodge are reminiscent of the giant
product houses that dominated 2001, but without the screaming product push.
Chrysler has its goodies in a single, locked room, away from the party and
spa activities. Not surprisingly, both of these mansions on the hill are
Several of the major product providers from past festivals have radically
scaled back their presence. Diesel, who in 2001 was overrun by people
pilfering its collection of free clothes, has limited itself to handing out
hats and outfitting the celebs who attended its party. HBO documentaries
gave out products this year only after the filmmakers requested them.
If you’re looking to bring a little piece of Sundance home with you and your
name didn’t make it on to the shrunken swag lists, the official Sundance
gear is good enough to wear back in the real world. Roots has taken over The
Gap‘s sponsorship slot and manufactured a surprisingly decent collection of
logo’ed hats, tees and sweatshirts. The problem is that unlike 2001, the
clothing is hard to come by even if you’ve got pull with the volunteer
staff. In this new, “we care” environment, Roots has limited the production
of these hot items for Sundance staff only. So for those of you who came to
Park City this year with lots of extra room in your suitcase for the free
stuff, you should probably buy some ski boots. [Maud Kersnowski]