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sundance 14.7: dinners and movies

sundance 14.7: dinners and movies

Five days to go and things are at a more manageable pace. Monday night was interesting; the annual Cinetic Media bash at Zoom yielded a pair of deals on a day of frenzied buying, as we reported on indieWIRE, leading right into an early morning for Tuesday’s Oscar nominations. By the time Tuesday night rolled around, we were ready for the annual Stella Artois dinner up at the Stein Erickson, saluting the New Frontier section. A relaxing sit down meal capping days of biz insanity was a nice transition into the second half of the fest.

My favorite film of the past few days, in fact my favorite of the fest so far (edging out David Gordon Green‘s “Snow Angels“) is Andrew Wagner‘s “Starting Out in the Evening,” an exceptionally well written look at the life of an aging, overlooked author and the young college co-ed who is writing her thesis about his forgotten work. Frank Langella, Lauren Ambrose, and Lily Taylor star. I don’t typically do this, but I’ll go out on a limb right now to declare that Langella’s performance as the slightly stodgy Manhattan writer is one that should be acknowledged during awards season one year from now. Buyers are picking up on this film and it should find a home this week.

Finally, after a few more movies, I ended the evening back at Zoom on Wednesday for a small leisurely sit down dinner with folks from Sundance Channel along with a few special guests. Geoff Gilmore enjoyed his first sit-down dinner in a week, as did Cinetic’s John Sloss, who is still getting over two nights without sleep after the recent deal madness. Brett Morgen, creator of the channel’s “Nimrod Nation” was buzzing about Thursday’s planned rally in Park City, and channel CEO Larry Aidem dropped by for a bit, among others. At nearby tables in the dining room, Sundance programmers John Cooper, Trevor Groth, Shari Frilot, and David Courier, were among those up for the low-key night prior to the fest’s World Cinema section bash up the street. After the meal, a bunch of folks headed off to the parties and I made my way over to another late-night screening. More to come…

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