To all us film buffs, or wanna be film buffs, or filmmakers in the beginnings: We did it. We did the Sundance Thing. How awesome is that, really? I know whenever I meet new people, that has been a conversation starter, even my dental technician called me up the other night asking how the trip was. Sundance is a way bigger deal than we can ever believe. I don’t think I’ve spent so much money before going to see movies. Normally, I wait to get Hollywood movies for around 5 bucks on Amazon, even if I do get them six or seven years later. Sundance is a big deal. We got lucky and had a trip pretty well paid for so that we could go and watch quality films, and then schmooze with the director and the entire cast. (more…)
Posts Tagged ‘Aprille Brooker’
Spring Semester has officially started. It’s hard to believe that my Sudance ‘09 experience has happened and is already over. These last two weeks are one of the best escapades of my nineteen years. There is no way that this final blog will be an accurate representation how much I enjoyed Sundance.
It’s hard to believe that anyone couldn’t love Sundance, but I guess it has to do with what you put into it, and depends on your view of films. I wanted to do as much as possible with an open mind. I could have done more, but I wouldn’t take anything back. I saw some amazing films, some of which won awards, others were bought, and many I can’t wait to see again. There were a few that disappointed me, but only one that I did not like. There were five films I would have liked to see but did not get to; I hope that they will in some way be distributed.
Not only did I get to see some incredible films, but the atmosphere in which I saw them made the experience that much better. For the majority of the films there was a Q&A afterwards done by the director, writer, producer, and/or the actors. This made the films considerably more personal; I was able to understanding and hear the creators point of view. The Q&A for Brief Interviews with Hideous Men helped me understand some of the choices the writer and director made, making me appreciate the film on a different level.
The New Frontier movies aren’t supposed to be your conventional films; they even claim to be “the next.” I don’t think I could disagree more, or else I am frightened for the future of film making and watching. I wanted to expand my horizons and try something new, take in the whole Sundance experience. I have enjoyed the New Frontier art installations, so I decided to see a screening of Lunch Break.
The introduction, given by a programmer, spoke about taking your idea of what a film is and forgetting it. I proved that I am not able to do this; I guess I don’t have an open mind. This “film” was eighty minutes of one shot. A long hallway at a factory passing people eat their lunch in slow motion. I can say one positive thing: the slow motion of these workers movements looked beautiful. However, ten minutes of this would have made a lot more sense. I am sure that there is something I am missing, some artistic feature that I wasn’t able to connect with. Had I stayed for the second feature, I would have liked to hear the director explain, but I couldn’t convince myself that my time was worth it.
I saw more people leave during this one screening than all of the films I have seen combined. The only sound coming from the film was that of factory machines. I started to open my ears to the sounds emanating from the audience. The opening of sodas, the gulping of drinks, the crunching of popcorn and other snacks, the whispers of confusion between peers, the squeaking of chairs; all of these sounds were more interesting than the film. It started to become entertaining to guess how many people were going to make it through the entire feature. I almost regret not staying to see how close my number was, but I prefer keeping some of my intellect.
If you grow up in New York City or Los Angeles it is common to see famous people. It is even “proper” to act as if they aren’t important. You wouldn’t give them anymore attention then you would give anyone else. I never grew up in the city. For me, it is a weird concept knowing I am in a town that is now over populated with famous people. As much as this baffles and intrigues me, I would never approach the extremes of which some people are going.
I have seen crowds of people standing outside of restaurants waiting for actors to stop eating. I saw a mob of people run across the street to see Ashley Judd. Famous people are being bombarded while they eat; no wonder they don’t want to walk around.
I understand that these people are “above” us, but I have a hard time understanding why we attack them. Yes my heart might have skipped a beat when I saw Dominic Cooper standing right next to me, and I thought it was cool to be sitting in the same row as Chris Rock for The Informers, but I wasn’t freaking out.
Yesterday, I was walking down the street and I saw the Mystery Team all standing there. Had I not been in a hurry, I would have stopped, said how I enjoyed their film, and continued walking. It makes sense to take pictures and ask questions while they are on stage, but when they are eating… personally, I think not.
Even though I haven’t been star gazing, I have met a lot of amazing people. The first day I was in Park City, I wanted to explore the town. I ended up at coffee shop, writing (see Enslavement to 1,3,7-trimethylaxnthine to read what I thought of the place.) This place had minimal seating, so three people joined my table. Not understanding how communicative people are during Sundance, this surprised me. It ended up being a great first morning. One of them works in publicity and after finding out that I was a communication major, gave me his card and told me to contact him for an internship.
We all have our own little obsessions, whether it be taking a shower everyday, using Purell constantly, knowing what time is it, or continuously drinking water. Mine isn’t as healthy as water-drinking or as hygienic as taking showers. I have an addiction to caffeine.
I remember how it happened. I didn’t have a sip of coffee or caffeine until late in my life; I mean high school of course. One of my friends started working at the local coffee shop. Let me tell you, this coffee shop, Cool Beans, is wonderful. It’s one of those well kept secrets that only locals know about. I was spoiled. My friend would make the best raspberry mochas, and soon I would only go if she was there.
It is hard to find a good coffee shop now a days. Large corporations are ruining the name of coffee. Who actually wants burnt tasting coffee from Starbucks? Not I, said the cat. These shops are at every corner, making them extremely accessible and quick. This has become a problem, especially for someone with an addiction. (more…)
Two years ago Greg Mottola got his big break by directing Superbad. A film that many people fell in love with. A film that can be watched over and over and only become funnier. Believe me, I know, and so does my father. At my house, Superbad is probably played at least once a month, if not once a week, usually in the depths of the night. It is easy for me to feel a strong connection with the characters; it is an accurate representation of my generation and what it’s like to be a senior in high school these days. However, I don’t feel that it is necessary to be young in order to find the film humorous. Mottola does this exact thing with his new film Adventureland.
Set in 1987, Brennan has just graduated from college and his summer dreams are smashed when his father is de-promoted, and his fund to europe disappears. He is forced into getting a job in order to save for Columbia graduate school. The only position he can find is as game guider at the amusement park, Adventureland. The job becomes the smack-in-the-face Brennan needs in order to prepare himself for the real world.
An Education, in one word, brilliant. In two, wonderful. I don’t believe that the creation of this story could be done any other way. Director Lone Scherfig had the perfect eye for this vision, and it amazes me that this is her first film in English. I believe that because she lacks perfect english, Scherfig was able to incorporate non verbal communications that flowed and intwined through each character and the story line. This happened so perfectly that as an audience member I was blown away.
The film is about a sixteen year old girl who is coming of age. She has a strict life that consists of one goal, getting into Oxford. When she meets an older guy, he shows her what life can really be like. Placed in the late 1950s, she has to choose between having “fun” or being independent.
Hunt With Squirrels: The Story of Gerald North
A look into the life of squirrel hunter Gerald North.
A short documentary by Aprille Brooker and Lizzy Kirkham
I was not able to get ahold of my second Indie Classic, and knew that I would need to choose an alternative. There were a few other students that had similar problems; so we ventured to Nate Andersen’s office. Which could also be referred to as a library, specifically one for movies. He handed me Personal Velocity within seconds, and I knew from the cover it was a going to be a good match.
It is not one of the 50 essential indie films talked about in our text, but it was selected for Sundance in 2002 and won the Grand Jury Price. It was originally a novel by Rebecca Miller who then adapted it into a screenplay and also directed it. This is the second film she has directed after Angela. Miller’s career, in the entertainmentbusiness, started as an actress, manly for TV shows. Once she switched to being behind the camera, she did not go back. Another one of her well-known movies is The Ballad of Jack and Rose starring her husband Daniel Day-Lewis. She has not yet directed a movie that she herself did not write. Although, she did only write the screenplay for Proof. This spring she has a new film coming out called, The Private Lives of Pippa Lee. (more…)
Never having heard of John Cassavetes, or any of his movies, before receiving him as my Indie Icon, I was dubious about about his work. I went to Blockbuster, with an open mind, looking for any two of his movies. Prepared with a list of five or six titles, I journeyed to blockbuster only to find that they did not carry a single one. This did not enhance my confidence in Cassavetes. I was able to find A Women Under the Influence (only in VHS) and Shadows at Eckerd’s Library. I have not used a tape in eight years, it was a stroll down memory lane.
Not knowing who Cassavetes is did not matter; I was blown away with A Women Under the Influence. Mabel, played by Gena Rowlands, is constantly trying to fit her role as a mother and a wife. A bit on edge and not quite understood, things escalate. When Mabel is placed in a mental institute and months later brought back, the film shows the effects on the family.
I became exceedingly involved with the story. There I was sitting in the Library (only place I know that has a VHS player,) jaw down, eyes wide, starring at the TV only inches away from me. It is no wonder Rowlands won a Golden Globe for Best Motion Picture Actress and Cassavetes was nominated for Best Director and Best Screenplay.
Cassavetes attended the American Academy of Dramatic Arts during his high school years. After graduation he continued acting and met future wife Gena Rowlands, who stared in many of his later films. Cassavetes began teaching acting workshops in New York City. It was during an improvisation exercise that Cassavetes was inspired to begin writing his first film Shadows. (more…)