Diary Of A Hollywood Refugee

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Sundance Ski & Schmooze 2007

I had seriously contemplated attending the Sundance Film Festival this year, but when I heard that the festival theme reflected founder Robert Redford's personal politics - his hatred for the Bush admin and his opposition to the war on terror in Iraq and Afghanistan -I opted not to attend.

Case in point:

Rory Kennedy's documentary “Ghosts of Abu Ghraib,” in which she looks at the abuses that at Abu Ghraib. What is about the left - and yet another Kennedy - that get let go of an incident perpetrated by a few sick people - who have been punished for their action. UNLIKE Rory's uncle Teddy who never paid for drunk driving accident that resulted in the death of his passenger, Mary Jo Kopechne.

That incident haunts me .every time I see that fat asshole on some news program shooting off his fucking mouth as he puts forth his cut and run policy.

"Ghosts of Abu Ghraib," is of the most talked about documentaries at this year's Sundance not only because it appeals to those at odds with US policy on the war in Iraq, or because a Kennedy is involved, but because Rory has concluded that what happened is systemic of the Bush administrations policy for fighting terrorism after 9/11, rather than the cruel acts of few rotten individuals.

No agenda there, Rory !

"It is not just about Abu Ghraib, it is about America and who we are as a country," Kennedy told Reuters on Saturday at the festival. Rory hopes the documentary will increase pressure for investigations into the abuses at Abu Ghraib and to drive changes in standing policies that she says sanction torture.

Also screening is "No End in Sight," a film that exposes a chain of critical errors, denial and incompetence in the Iraq war.

A bidding war has broken out for the non fiction dramatic Iraq themed feature "Grace Is Gone" starring John Cusak. John's character is an Iraq war widower upon hearing that is wife was KIA in Iraq, avoids telling his kids about her death, and instead takes them on a road trip.

Other documentaries generating buzz include:

"Chicago 10" tells
the story of the infamous conspiracy trial stemming from the protests at the 1968 Democratic Convention. Directed by Brett Morgan, it combines archival footage and original animation.

"Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten", by Julien Temple is an in-depth portrait of the Clash's late frontman journey from wannabe rock star to anti-establishment icon.

David Sington's "
In the Shadow of the Moon", chronicles NASA's Apollo moon missions from the astronauts perspective, and includes some spectacular original film footage from NASA.

Hailed as one of the most intriguing documentaries "Zoo" has been described as elegant, eerily lyrical, beautiful,controversial and poetic. A thought provoking documentary about a forbidden subject - beastiality- is based on the strange but true "Enumclaw Horse Sex Incident," that went viral and became the most read story of 2005. Andy Spletzer, of GreenCine, interviewed writer Charles Mudede who teamed up with Seattle based director Robinson Devor to bring this story to the screen.

Based on interviews with members of the now-defunct Enumclaw horse sex community, who call themselves "zoos," the movie charts how the Internet brought this group together, and how the death of one of its members from a ruptured colon after having sex with a stallion broke this group apart. Far from a traditional documentary, the narration is taken from extensive audio interviews with members of the group and was edited together to form the spine of the story. On top of that, they hired actors to portray the incidents that were being spoken about, and they brought in their Police Beat cinematographer Sean Kirby to create beautifully evocative images to punctuate the story. The resulting film, Zoo, is surprising in how thoughtful it is and, like every good documentary, makes you think about ideas and situations in different ways.
It's hard to believe, but one of the most beautiful films at Sundance this year will be about a guy who was fucked to death by a horse

Certainly the most controversial dramatic film has to be "Hounddog", from writer-director Deborah Kempmeier. A southern gothic tale about a young girl with an abusive father who finds the strength to overcome debilitating obstacles has garned 12 yr old Dakota Fanning major kudos for her mesmorizing performance. The film has been generating controversy over a scene in which Dakota's character is raped by a 12 yr old boy. Although he hasn't seen the film Sean Hanity,is enraged at the film's producer for putting Dakota Fanning through a traumatic experience.
Hound Dog Premiere Party at will be held at Marquee (Harry O’s Complex)

Over at the Pennhouse VIP Celebrity Suites, which my friend Kim Shimmel produces, they will be hosting The "L Word" girls who are launching their new website OURCHART.COM. CNN came thru to interview the Gephardts, and Kevin Bacon, Camryn Manheim,Josh Raydan and Sylar Spacek, Joey Panteloni,Ian Zerling, an Daphne Zuniga, have all dropped by.Sean Lennon will be doing an ecoustic nite, and

Monday nite, they'll be hosting " Signal" bash and on Tuesday nite PennHouse will sponsor a dinner for The Creative Coalition which will be co-hosted by Premiere Magazine.
The RED Lounge on Location VIP/Celebrity Silent Art Auction Proceeds to benefit the Global Fund and Creative Coalition at Pennhouse at Silver King Hotel on 1485 Empire Avenue.

And along with The Creative Coalition will also be hosting the 2008 Presidential Candidates at a high profile invite only coctail party. The Creative Coaition is a non profit organization that educates is presitigious Hollywood member to legislation in DC that effects child and educational issues.

Celebs that have dropped by or been seen in Park City include Molly Shannon, Cheryl Hines, and Teri Hatcher, Kevin Bacon, Steve Buscemi whose film "Delirious" stars Gina Gershon and Michael Pitt.

By the way" I'll be live blogging" from the for the "OscarTime" Pennhouse VIP Celebrity suites at the Santa Monica Loews from Feb 22-24. event.

More about that later.

Sundance, Slamdance & Swagdance


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