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Screening Park City: Manohla Keeps it Real

Winona Ryder and friend in the box-ready comedy The Ten

Some of tonight's movie news of note from around the Sundance Film Festival:

--Manohla Dargis has her Sundance recap up at The NY Times, and while it's expectedly brilliant, my colleagues and I are wondering why she didn't just come out and name the anonymous "bad comedy that features a clutch of low-level film and television actors" and was "incompetently made and, from the half-hour or so of it that I watched, unfunny in the extreme" as The Ten? A quick browse through the program doesn't leave many alternatives. And huge kudos to her for propping up The Great World of Sound, which is still the best narrative feature I've seen at the festival (and, as of this writing, unsold). Not for nothing, her characterization of Hounddog as "rubbish," "sincere as it is stupid" and "pure art-house exploitation" couldn't have been more on the money. Someone should light the fucking negative on fire.

--Oh, and speaking of The Ten, The Hollywood Reporter notes that ThinkFilm bought it. I can't argue; those names will look good on a box.

--Meanwhile, one of Sundance's unsung heroes is Coming Soon's Edward Douglas, who, despite his lodging situation well outside the Park City limits, has arguably filed more stories (and definitely more words) than anybody else covering the festival. Plus he was one of the first reporters to get behind the Irish sensation Once, which took me more than a week to see and totally blew me away. I should have listened -- we don't agree on a lot, but this is one that might just be impossible to dislike. I want the soundtrack.

--I have sincerely missed Defamer since plunging into my Sundance cocoon last week, but after revisiting the wonderland of Mark Lisanti and Seth Abramovitch -- especially their spot-on coverage of Sienna Miller Swag-gate and Dakota Fanning's dirty-pantied hurdle on the road to pubescent godhead status. L.A. dwellers or not, Christ I love these guys.

Posted at January 26, 2007 7:09 PM

Comments (3)

Thanks for the kudo and the link, Stu! So glad you liked "Once" and I'm back now so I'm able to relax a bit and catch up on reading the coverage here. Also glad we agreed about "The Great World of Sound." I didn't think "The Ten" was that bad.. maybe Mahnola just isn't into that type of strange, offbeat humor. "Hounddog" on the other hand...well, you know how I feel cause you were sitting next to me :)

The best part of "The Ten" was the first thirty minutes, so it's possible she was talking about something else. When I read the story, I immediately thought of "Smiley Face", which left undistributed, I believe.

Smiley Face was produced and will be distributed by First Look Pictures, which -- between that film and its other S07 production An American Crime -- could have had a better festival.


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