By S.T. VanAirsdale
I don't know if everybody was talking about this earlier in the day and I missed it or if perhaps it's just flown this low beneath the radar, but a friend recently pointed out the back of Friday's Sundance Daily Insider, which boasts a full-page Volkswagen ad featuring a handwritten note from embattled Hounddog director Deborah Kampmeier:
My film, "Hounddog" is all about finding one's true voice. We'd shot four weeks straight when we were shut down by the union. Trying to finish, the stress became almost overwhelming when, with almost no time left, a ferocious lightening [sic] storm hit. Cast and crew were whisked away to their trailors [sic]. I sat there, trapped in silent dispair [sic], feeling my film slipping away. I put on Bessi [sic] Smith. "When it thunders and lightenin' [sic] ... mmmmmm, I can't move no mo'." You know that feeling when a piece of music speaks your truth better than you can? I wept for Dakota's brilliant performance and I wept for all the women who've been abused. Then I had an inspiration. I asked my DP to shoot the lightening [sic] as it lit up the broken down cars. It ended up becoming important footage for the film. It stormed around us all night. But we finished the work and ultimately, the film... wailing the blues.
Meanwhile, virtually all of Hounddog's viewers finished the exploitive, racist piece of Southern-fried horseshit hackwork wailing for Kampmeier's head -- all of its viewers, that is, except for some doomed Volkswagen copywriter, who added this kicker:
Congratulations, Deborah, on getting your film produced and capturing this year's VW Relentless Drive Award. Have fun driving the sweet Touareg that comes with it. Or, if necessary, use it as a fat bribe should union officials wander your way again. We look forward to seeing you at next year's Sundance Film Festival.
Congratulations indeed, Deborah; the Touareg should do just the trick getting you to every screening in 2008 with time to spare. But don't worry about getting shut down on the job: As far as I know, ticket-takers aren't unionized.
Posted at January 27, 2007 1:25 AM
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