The Reeler
The Sundance Blog

NYC Films Go Fast in Weekend Sales

Dan Klores at Saturday night's screening of his documentary Crazy Love (Photo: STV)

Surprise -- or not: The two big sales of the last 24 hours are New York films. The Hollywood Reporter has the reports on Magnolia's pick up of Dan Klores' documentary Crazy Love and the Weinstein Company's grab for James Strouse's drama Grace is Gone. (Check out The Reeler's interviews with Klores and Crouse in the site's From NYC to Sundance section.) Word has it that George Ratliff's thriller Joshua is not too far behind; a press and industry screening this morning left multiple buyers impressed, conferring in their respective clusters outside the theater.

Nicole Sperling has a sensitive Harvey on the record after negotiations that wound down at 4:30 a.m. today:

Weinstein Co. paid $4 million for the world, Weinstein confirmed. The mogul wept along with other audience members at its initial screening at the Racquet Club. "It's definitely an Oscar season awards festival October/November release," he said. "It's Cusack's turn."

At Saturday's Crazy Love screening -- a midnight event that went off before the deal was official -- Klores talked to an intimate crowd assembled at the Holiday Village Cinema about crafting the outrageous love story of Burt Rugach and Linda Riss, the latter of whom was blinded by the former in a jealous rage in 1959 before they reconciled and married in the '70s:

ON ROUNDING UP ARCHIVAL FOOTAGE AND PHOTOS: "Was it hard getting the footage? It's part of the process -- it's one of the big challenges. But people were great -- one thing led to another. Marie Kessler, she tells you about the airplane ride. We met Rusty Goldberg, she had footage of the weddings and all those dances. Dave (Zieff, the film's editor) was always on me: 'We need more footage! We need more footage!' It's certainly true. We were pretty lucky. But the answer is no; it's grueling, but you get it."

ON WHETHER OR NOT HE BELIEVED RUGACH'S STORIES: "I took everything that he said to me. No, I didn't say, 'Oh, I believe you.' I never said that. I felt like, 'This is what you're saying to me. Is it the truth? It's his explanation of things. It's obvious he's ill -- he's a deeply ill man. But I didn't hate him at all -- at all. The first 10 minutes you meet him he's like a nice old guy. But then he goes on and on and on, and you can see the deep psychological damage that's been done -- you really can."

ON THE COUPLE'S PERCEPTION OF THE FILM: "I didn't have the guts to show it to them in person. Dave showed it to them. I didn't want to be around. ... What's interesting is that (Linda) did not want to see just with Burt. She called her friend Rusty, and Rusty saw it with them. She needed that sense of comfort and a little bit of trust because she can't see; she just didn't want Burt's interpretation. ... Burt was here last night, and he faced a Q&A with Linda, and he said one of the things he's so pleased with is it gives him an opportunity to show the world he's not this animal that he was 50 years ago. And Linda is smart enough to say, 'I have to listen to it more and more,' before she has an opinion, I guess."

Posted at January 21, 2007 4:46 PM

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