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Live From Sundance, Part II



I've already shared some initial thoughts about my Sundance experience so far, and Monday was another day of indie film, chilled hands, and long ticket lines. I had the good fortune to catch the Luke Wilson drama Henry Poole Is Here, along with the premiere of Morgan Spurlock's documentary Where in the World Is Osama Bin Laden? which was followed by a pretty fascinating Q&A session. I'm determined to see more great stuff today; for now, more thoughts:

  • Best movie line I've heard in a long time comes from Henry Poole Is Here, in a scene featuring Henry (Luke Wilson) walking with his neighbor Esperanza (Adriana Barraza). Esperanza gives him some advice and Henry says, "You sound like a fortune cookie." Esperanza chuckles and replies, "Cookies can't talk." Cookies can't talk! It's so true.
  • Speaking of Luke Wilson, he was at the premiere screening of the movie, and he is rather dreamy, to say the least. He sat next to George Lopez, who is also in the film. They make quite the pair.
  • Sticking around for the Q&A session with Morgan Spurlock was a good idea, as it managed to improve my perception of his film. The movie made it seem like he decided to go off on this high-risk quest to find Osama Bin Laden because his wife got pregnant and he wanted to make a safer world for his unborn child, which just seemed outrageously foolish to me. Turns out he was already in preproduction when they found out about the baby and his wife Alex just barely let him continue with it. When an audience member asked what his next death-defying project would be, he responded, "Fatherhood," which I think is sweet.
  • More stuff if you read more.

  • Racing from one screening to the other, I managed to catch the dusky sunset behind the mountains, and it was utterly breathtaking. It sure is cold here, but the natural beauty is so worth it.
  • Not a lot of studios jumping at the chance to buy the rights to films this year. Some movies are being hotly negotiated, but apparently buyers are dropping out quickly when the numbers get too high. Summing up what I've been sensing around town so far, Lionsgate president Tom Ortenberg recently said, "There are many terrific films at the festival this year, but so far not enough good ones with strong box office potential." The only pictures to really garner any buyer interest so far have been documentaries; the Weinsteins have picked up the film about Roman Polanski and Zeitgeist picked up rights to a super buzzed-about world documentary, Up the Yangtze.
  • Listening to random chit-chat while in the long line for wait-list tickets, one woman remarked that her gentleman friend's hands were surprisingly warm and asked him why that was. His reply: "Little trick I learned in the Navy where I put my hands . . . in my pockets." Snarky, but funny, too.

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