SUNDANCE ’11 – Update #1

INTO THE MOUTH OF MADNESS
Author: Glen Matthews
January 20th, 2011 – 5:53am

I’ve learned that when a United States border guard asks you what you do for a living—at no point, should the words “I’m an actor” come from your mouth.

Close. Call.

Currently, I’m sitting in the Buffalo Airport where I slept overnight—this is what happens when you combine cheapest flight, with cheapest bus-ride (to said flight). It’s been 6 hours since the Sundance Film Festival has officially begun, and I’m pretty damned excited to be a couple of plane flights away from being in the depths of it’s madness…

“The [2011] Sundance Film Festival is like looking into our film futures. While many of the films are unknown now, playing at Sundance sets off a snowball effect that continues throughout the year and eventually, these movies become an integral part of popular culture.”

-Germain Lussier, Slashfilm.com

The last time that I was on screen in Utah, I declared “It’s Christmas, I just want to fuck!”, and now it’s “Give me the money or I’ll slice this bitch’s throat!” Please don’t let my Grandparents know what we’re doing down here.

As with any film festival, you approach it with a handful of films that you’d like to check out—but also with any film festival, plans tend to shift and the Gods of Film Festival laugh in your face, punch you in the gut, and deprive you of sleep. With that in mind, check out my top 5 films that I’d like to check out at the fest this year…

HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN—Let’s get this pick out of the way and avoid any indication that I’m trying to be clever by selecting the movie that I’m in. I’m including this because tickets to the HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN screenings have been selling like mother-loving hotcakes (going for $150 on EBay—greasy bastards); I was fortunate enough to snag myself a ticket
to the screening in Salt Lake City on the 22nd (through a lottery ticket-purchase system), but other members of the Hobo cast/crew who are travelling down to Utah have yet to secure a ticket. Pray for their souls.

WIN WIN—This is the third film from Tom McCarthy. His two previous films happen to be two of my favourite films of all-time: THE STATION AGENT and THE VISITOR (Richard Jenkins for the win). McCarthy seems to have a knack for bringing the absolute-best performances out of his cast, and in this film, a story about a man who moonlights as an amateur wrestling coach, he’s directing Paul Giamatti, thus, the results in my brain are pure gold. I don’t have a ticket to this yet, so please, pray for my soul.

SHORTS PROGRAM 1—Comedy duo Tim & Eric (from the ever-effed TIM & ERIC AWESOME SHOW GREAT JOB) are bringing their short film THE TERRYS to Sundance as part of Shorts Program 1. Also in the lineup is Adam Yauch’s (from the Beastie Boys) FIGHT FOR YOUR RIGHT, a pseudo-mockumentary/documentary with the Beastie Boys being played by Elijah Wood, Danny McBride & Seth Rogen. So incredibly stoked to be checking this out tomorrow morning!

TAKE SHELTERMichael Shannon is a god amongst men (or at least actors). One of America’s finest character actors; his portrayal of a federal agent in HBO’s BOARDWALK EMPIRE is one of my favourite performances of the year. In TAKE SHELTER he plays a Father who is having recurring nightmares of death and destruction which cause him to manically build a bomb-shelter in preparation for the impending doom that he believes is coming for he and his family. I’m on board.

PROJECT NIM—From the director of the Oscar-winning documentary MAN ON WIRE (see it), comes another documentary; this one apparently is about a group of scientists who attempt to raise a chimpanzee as a human. Simple enough, but with James Marsh at the helm, you have to believe it’s going to deliver. I can 90% guarantee I’ll be a weepy-baby by the end of this one.

Honorable mentions: RED STATE (from Kevin Smith), there is no way I’m going to get into this screening without waiting in line for a long, long time. I’m talking new-video-game-console-launch waiting times. TROLL HUNTER, the trailer for this looks terrific, but after looking at the schedule, none of the screenings are at a convenient time for me. And basically EVERY OTHER FILM, it’s Sundance, if it’s playing there, it’s very likely worth checking out.

Check back all week long for updates from other members of the HOBO WITH A SHOTGUN cast and crew!

Here we go!

Update as of 3:51pm MST: Made it to Salt Lake City just fine! Headed into town to pick up tickets!

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