Our Man At Sundance is back with another report from Park City.
Last night I saw Howl, which was good. It’s centered around the obscenity trial to determine whether it was legal to publish Alan Ginsberg’s poem Howl.
It had a little bit of everything — some animation, documentary footage in some parts, and then a narrative feel with the actors for the trial scenes. The trial uses the actual transcripts. David Strathairn plays the prosecutor and John Hamm is the defense lawyer.
Howl was not only a good start to the festival, but it really showed what Sundance is about. The movie’s directors took it to the Sundance Institute here and workshopped it for around a year and a half. With the help of Robert Redford and others at the Institute, the film continued to grow and evolve into a finished product. It served as a really good showcase of the Sundance Institute.
Today I’ll be seeing four movies.
First up is Catfish, about a photographer who is contacted via MySpace by an 8-year-old girl in rural Michigan who wants to paint one of his photographs. They develop a relationship online, and the artist also develops a relationship with the girl’s older sister. It’s about how people interact via electronic communication.
After that I’m seeing Hesher, which stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt and is about a boy dealing with the loss of his mother who connects with a loner. I’m looking forward to it because I like Joseph Gordon-Levitt and I think he makes some pretty good choices in his movies.
Then I’ve got Please Give with Catherine Keener and Oliver Platt. They own an apartment in New York and buy the apartment next to them with plans of combing the two, but they have to wait for the little old lady who lives there to die. I’m not really sure what to expect — whether it’s going to be a dark comedy or more of a dramatic movie.
Finally I’m going to see The Company Men, which I’m really looking forward to. It reminds me a little bit of Up In The Air, because it’s all about the casualties of corporate downsizing. It’s got a great cast, with Chris Cooper, Kevin Costner, Tommy Lee Jones, Maria Bello, and Ben Affleck. I’m interested to see that cast all together.
That’s it for today. It’s snowed here yesterday, so the streets are a slushy mess, but luckily we have a shuttle service to get us to all the screenings. I’ll file another post soon.