The Producers @ Sundance: Deep Inside…The Hottest.

2011 Sundance Exclusive as witnessed by MP&MY

Saturday, January 22nd

Day and Nite at Cisero’s

How can an innocent stroll on Main turn into an exercise in debauchery?  With Day and Night at Cisero’s! Challenging assumptions of broad daylight  we are seduced by nearly-naked  vixens with Jackie-O shades. We are forced (totally against our will, of course) into a sweaty  two-hour drill of table dancing and Champagne rain to thumping house hits.  We try to resist, to fight, reestablish some sense of moral sanity at  4:25pm.  Useless. Like a Shvits at a bathhouse…It hurt so friggin good!  Iconic event organizer Randy brought the NYC flavor; and midst the bacchanal,  Thor was quietly enjoying his dinner.

“Thus, he journeys into the heart of darkness that is branding…” reads one review for Spurlock’s Greatest Movie Ever Sold.   And thus,  the two of us chug down the hill, White Russians swishing in our bellies.  Hunger has taken over and at such altitudes makes us feel like giddy schoolgirls. We strike gold at Carrera where

MY, MP & Morgan Spurlock

sushi chefs are slicing custom rolls and POM gals push rum-spiked beverages.  Leaving with pocketfulls of cigars and Bustelo cappucinos…genial and expansive.

We stumble into Moving Pictures at The Studio for some facetime with the publisher, Peter Trimarco.  Moving Pic’s show is on our network, SirkTV, and his graciousness is only complimented by Kelly who gives us a tour of the upstairs where forever-divine Andie Macdowell and her daughter Rainey are in the middle of a photo shoot.  Patron shots are in order and we will not soon be forgotten as there lives a bartender in Utah who now knows how to crack a Stella with a lighter.  Base to the thumb… Base to the thumb!

Hours later we scratch our itch at Bing Bar where head Bubblefish, Veronica Welch, from  SundLAnce,   introduces us to her school of tiger barbs.   The door is a Fort Knox of police men and there might as well be a sign out front “99%Rejection Rate Guaranteed.”  A scruffy townie flips off one of the men in midnight blue.  “Bing this!”  As if by osmosis we are whisked inside to a sea of partiers and gulp down Jack and ginger as if air.   Veronica has on the coolest conundrum of a T-shirt by  Future Heretics. It reads Compton Yacht Club.  How awesome!  Her Rubber Duck booties are nothing to sneeze at as well.  Trek Jogger, she points out.  And I want a pair in black for men.  Bubblefish was handling The Nivea for Men House presented by FLAUNT magazine in a gorgeous private home nestled in the mountainous landscape. The place had cast dinners, premier parties, and some serious swag from Diesel, Ben Sherman, and MCM bags.  Trent Magnano’s Midas touch was turning anyone into a celebrity. The Proper Barber’s cut is truth.

Link To Photos: Link 1 Link 2

Half past one Bing  is to the gills  and Veronica leads us to her after hours.  At this cockeyed point  MP and I find it best to each shut one eye not to see quadruple. I the right, he the left.  Our two-headed  Sundance monster walks best this way. In a dark subterrane  we are told to strap on Ion Time Sports Watches made of the natural mineral Tourmaline, used as a semi-precious gemstone and responsible for many health benefits.  A meditative state takes over.  We are focused and alive, concentrating very heavily…is it

Katerina The Bald Beauty @ The Playboy Lounge

the watch? Or the bartenders and waitresses in revealing bunny outfits at The Playboy Lounge? Dear Lord I can’t feel my face.  MP smiles at me. His lips are red.  Did I do that? His wife will chop mine off for sure! More importantly, an executive decision is made on the fly. To pound shots of Tequila Fortaleza with Katerina The Bald Beauty.   This is one beautiful, hand-crafted… tequila!  Feeling like Mexican outlaws in a Richard Rodriguez film we plunk down $120 and repeatedly demand the rabbit ears off a bartender’s head and directions to the grotto.   G-d help us had we had a Bowie knife…

4am.  Sans rabbit ears.  The two of us have taken down a large cheese pie, two chicken sandwiches, a bowl of fries,  a mesclun salad,  various deserts, two sodas, and small child in a stroller, accidently.  What business does he have that late at a pizza place anyway?!   We tip our waitress $100 (Karmatically making up for the fallen infant) and she weeps with joy in our arms.

Sunday, January 23rd

To walk into Superdry is to be awakened by a horsewhip on the backflesh.  Personal fetishes aside,  it’s the one we’ve been waiting for.  Superdry USA, a UK fashion brand, hosted a two-day series of events.  Superdry was created in 2003 following the owner’s inspirational trip to Tokyo. It’s a brand with a vintage Americana flavor, Japanese-inspired graphics, and a UK edge.  Very cool stuff!  The Brad Leather Jacket is my favorite.

Tonight, Danny Masterson’s Downstairs is a pumping hub bub of the biting and the beautiful.  A sexy crush of actors and celebs moving and shaking with NY and LA’s top party promoters and club owners.   Special performances by Adrian Grenier’s Honey Brothers and up-and-comer Adrian Vera are  followed by DJ sets by MomJeans (Danny Masterson) and Cisco AdlerPenn  Badgley was breaking a few gossipy hearts, Twilighter Chaske Spencer and Cassie Scerbo were hanging with  killer Ronnie Vannucci and former gun Matt Sorum, Caribbean pirate Vanessa Branch and pro-shooter Christopher Mcdonald all celebrated with foosball and darts.

Shadow PR repped the event with their standard taste for quality and sharp eye on craftsmanship.   Coordinated by the hot pink-clad Kinley Cross from Shadow’s LA office this was one super smooth night and hands down the MOST fun on Main this Sundance 2011.

Link To Photos (Credit Jamie McCarthy, WireImage):  Link 1

The Indie Mogul Party in Deer Valley…A true filmmaker party.   Rich Kalinsky from Fujifilm had invited us to a distinct lodge with a kaleidoscopic  crowd.   The popular and the scholarly, the cult and the cliched, old and new.   Having just screened Kevin Smith’s Red State, Rich praised the film as  Michael Jackson reminded us that Billie Jean wasn’t his love while a few revelers sucked something or other at the Oxygen Bar.  MP ended up happy after a  well-needed complimentary massage.   FujiFilm, Avid, and Raleigh Studios backed a solid mixer.

The coolest cave that is the House of Blues is filled with rock and roll boys and girls that never die!  And TicketCake’s Dylan Jorgensen makes us feel like royalty…or rather like inside a plush living room  of one of rock’s most decadent and respected.  Dylan is the man when it comes to scoring tix to a hot event.  Come hither sneers and tight minis up to here and Slash hosting  a private event for the release of his Slasher Films.   That’s what I’m talking about!  Slash’s company will focus on a sub-genre of the horror film which typically involves a psychopathic killer stalking and killing a sequence of victims in a graphically violent manner, often with chainsaw or scythe.  The slasher as a genre has it’s own set of characteristics which set it apart from related genres like splatter films.

Slasher has four films currently on their slate.  We most anticipate Nothing To Fear which will reportedly be about the real town of Stull, Kansas, which many believe to be the ‘gateway to hell,’  and  Theorem, the  story of a mathematician who discovers the equation for evil (Aronofsky reverse Pi inspiration? ).  What fresh air to bring back character-driven and intelligent horror films with depth like in the 70’s and 80’s!  Thanks Slash.  And for that girl on the corner of Hebert that squeeked to her girlfriend “Who’s Slash?”…Slash, buddy,  can you please base a “final girl” character on her in one of your films?  But don’t spare her to tell the story.

Monday, January 24th

Dinner at Chimayo is so exquisite that I can’t even begin to describe it.  Nor will I.  I’m not a restaurant critic.  Hell, it’s my first time writing about parties and events  even!   A word of advice: Stay away from guys named Dominic from Chicago that bark about “shift changing” the women they are with even before the dessert arrives. Try not to notice them popping a pill in front of the wait staff.  And whatever you do definately do not believe them when they say “My friend runs that restaurant we go in through the back the kitchen like Goodfellas tell them Dominic sentchyou you with Dominic.”  Because the doorman at the restaurant knows no Dominic and Dominic just kept walking past this restaurant.  Getoutaheeya!

The Best Complimentary Liquor Award (if we’d have one…and I will bring up at next meeting) goes to a yet-officially-unofficially opened Silver. As Ole Blue Eyes would peg “a classy joint.”   Salvation Boulevard had their film bash and  Vegas Cosmopolitan hotel was onboard.   This David Rockwell designed, sleek spot introduced us to a new rye vodka.  The stealth Belvedere bottles, labeled Belvedere Intense,  were poured beside original Belvie and for two guys that swore not to go out tonight it all blended into one beautiful flight change.   The drink to be had for breakfast, lunch, and dinner is the 508Hendrick’s gin, simple syrup, basil, thyme, chili flakes, and of course Belvedere…nectar of the gods.

Tuesday, January 24th

The slab of exotic land with running water is the coolest centerpiece we have ever seen.  Hands down the most grass in a room that we wouldn’t dare smoke.  As everyone picked at crispy dumplings and chicken skewers, The INAUGURAL SUNDANCE INSTITUTE | MAHINDRA GLOBAL FILMMAKING AWARD recipients were announced.  Emerging artists from Romania, Mexico, Malaysia and Israel selected for their visionary projects,  were awarded each  $10,000, attendance at the Sundance Film Festival for targeted industry and creative meetings, year-round mentoring from Institute staff and creative advisors, participation in a Feature Film Program Lab, and ongoing creative and strategic support.  That is quite a lot support seeing that most aspiring filmmakers usually must max out their folk’s credit cards and run around in circles memorizing The Guerilla Bible of Filmmaking before the rejection letters from festivals start landing in their mailboxes…

Nevertheless, the Winners of the 2011 Sundance Institute Global Filmmaking Award are:

Event Organizers and Winners

Bogdan Mustata / WOLF (Romania) In this surreal tale, a 16 year-old boy’s dearest wish is realized when his absent father is quite literally reborn and joins the family once again, with complicated consequences.

Ernesto Contreras / I DREAM IN ANOTHER LANGUAGE written by Carlos Contreras (Mexico). A rare indigenous language already on the verge of extinction faces its final threat when its last two speakers, very old friends, have a fight and refuse to speak to one another.

Seng Tat Liew / IN WHAT CITY DOES IT LIVE? (Malaysia). The unexpected presence of an African immigrant hiding in a small Malaysian village arouses the superstitions of the local residents, calling into question whether home is defined by the place you live or by the people who surround you.

Talya Lavie / ZERO MOTIVATION (Israel). A sometimes comic, often dramatic look at the power struggles of three female clerks over one year in an administrative office at a remote army base in the Israeli desert.

Buy the ticket…take the ride.

We RSVP’d with Steve Wilson from BWR PR and are happy that we were able to experience this ceremony. The event directors / organizers are genuine people that have a self-less interest in the cause while securing a foundation and nurturing aspiring filmmakers.  We watched these four filmmakers accept their awards with admiration.  Their’s now is a mysterious unknown.  We pray their hopes not decimate in life’s travails…somehow we think these beautiful dreamers will be alright.  Reach for the stars…you’ll hit the moon.

Banksy?? in a Sundance Alley

Oh!  And we saw some movies.  People, this is a film festival after all.

And if you have gotten this far down please check out our interviews from the festival on this site and broadcasting on our national college television network  SirkTV.

Thanks and see you all soon…

by Max Yampolsky

Cape Latitudes & Shrouded Harbors: The 2010 Provincetown International Film Festival – Feature

The inherent structure of Cape Cod allows for many misinterpretations but the most structurally specific revolves around a sense of geography. Provincetown, as a destination, rests at the tip of Massauchussetts…a perception of Land’s End, if you will, marked by the precipitous beacon of a white lighthouse.

Unbeknownst to many, the Pilgrims first landed here before settling on Plymouth further down the way. The natural harbor brings through a sense of calm but also a brisk breakwater which holds away storms steaming just 125 miles off shore on the Grand Banks. One cannot help think of “The Perfect Storm”.

It only seems fitting that a film festival rests within its quaint streets offering a glimpse of life both lithe but also socially conscious.

Reached briskly from the gateway of Boston, Provincetown is a swift 2-hour high speed ferry ride via Bay Street Cruises from the World Trade Center wharf in the infamous harbor where tea once sprung in majesty. Nearby Logan International Airport is right across the water, reach with utter ease by MTBA, the city’s intrinsic and easy-to-use train system. Dependent whether coming from the West Coast or closer, an overnight stay in the Boston area might be deemed necessary simply because of schedule.

Arriving in Provincetown, the planks of the wharf reveal the lobster boat swinging in the crux of early morning fog. The pinnacle of Pilgrim Monument rises above the town as Commercial Street rises from end to end consumating the heart of the tourist trade.

A short 10 minute walk affords the stay of the jewel of the island: the Crowne Pointe Inn. Its bungalows gently lifted with the aroma of flowers and gentle sloping fences give it the perception of a high-end bed and breakfast with all the amenities. The included breakfast, prepared by a master chef highlighting culinary delights from eggs benedict to quiche along with the essence of freshly squeezed orange juice, provides a remarkable beginning to the day.

The Provincetown International Film Festival is in a persistent growth balanced with its different textures of films inevitably creating structure of its status. The films themselves are mired between an aspect of overarching stylistic representation and a plethora of existential journeys.

Hipsters” is a Russian film taking on the representation of the 50s idea of “cool” in the 1960s perception of Communism. With some exceptionally shot musical sequences that rival some Western European productions with distinctly more flair, the movie also works on the level of contrasting sociological differences. The characters in the film long for the texture of America in terms of its rebelliousness only to realize at the end of the film that the times had past them by and America has moved onto another trend. This along with an ending musical sequence that mixes both aspects of “Grease” with the anthem angles of U2 showing 50s youth and today’s youth on the streets of urban Russia show distinctly how life has changed there.

Hideaway“, in many ways similar to the film “Swimming Pool” ( made a couple years ago), uses a tragedy as a resetting mechanism for a character to retrace her identity. Unlike that earlier film, this French outing focuses on a former drug addict’s hope for the brother of her dead lover only to be confused by his actions. The aspect of her pregnancy is the only aspect of her love that she can still feel. The resolution feels metaphorical beyond a doubt but nonetheless the narratives wilts in comparison.

Tanner Hall” reflects more with the search for identity than any specific plot contrivance. The story, set at an all-girls college, revolves within the idea that in every situation, there is a need for escape. The lead actress, Rooney Mara, who is every bit as quiet in real life, speaks with her eyes and movements which makes the progress of the story much more primal. Certain character structures surrounding her though are wasted, especially those involving Amy Sedaris and Chris Kattan, who though comical don’t necessary play through in tonal tandem with the rest of the cast.

All About Evil” swings the complete other way with its gore instilled movie homages revolving around the psychologically disturbed granddaughter of a movie house owner who seeks to make her own works of horror. While the offbeat structure and characters (especially in the form of two sadistic twins in bobby sox) provide some camp laughs, the tonal structure is at times un-wielding despite an understanding of macabre by the director, who also moonlights as drag queen celeb Peaches. Natasha Lyonne, who here reteams with her “But I’m A Cheerleader” co-star Mink Stole, gets the viciousness focused full throttle but her lavish intensity at times overwhelms the idea unraveling its momentum.

Wasteland“, the sole documentary viewed, premiered to intensive raves at the Sundance and Berlin Film Festivals earlier in the year. Using recycling and the persistence of third world poverty as a vehicle for social change, filmmaker Lucy Walker and artist Vik Muniz create a reflective study of human behavior set in the garbage dumps of Rio. The idea of creating visual art as a medium from life, transposing it into a photo then using the same workers to reconstruct the image using recyclables from the same landfill is both cyclical and affecting, especially when the film captures how it changes the subjects’ way of thinking.

“Every Day”, much more a character study, stars Liev Shreiber and Helen Hunt as a couple trying to find sanity in their daily lives between a dying alcoholic father, a overly steadfast son, an unbridled affair and fears of getting old. While the story leans towards the melodramatic, it is the focus of the two stars and their slightly bent (and on-purpose) miscommunication, that rightly relates their overarching shortcomings. Supporting turns by Brian Dennehy as the father and the always sensuous Carla Gugino as Liev’s sexual laision lost in her reverie solidify this small independent’s possibility.

The vision of honorees swells through the town like an uninterrupted wave of praise. The exceptional aspect of Provincetown is that people can walk down the street undeterred even as a celebrity. John Waters, who is a member of the festival board and summers in the area, can be seen riding up and down the streets on his bike.

This year, the honorees included director Kevin Smith (who brought his producing effort “Bear Nation” to town) as well as Oscar winning actress Tilda Swinton (with her new film “I Am Love”) allowing them to assimilate directly into the calmness of the town’s setting.

At a filmmaker brunch at the scenic Land’s End Inn with a vista over the harbor, Smith related that the town reminded him of the first place he wrote a screenplay but harked back that the entire business has changed since then. Interacting with indie filmmakers is a joy for him but, with the saturation of product now, the idea is much more complex. The key is enthusiasm.

While films abound within the streets of Provincetown, its bright corridors also hold distinctions of food and drink for respite.

Mews, on the far east end of Commercial Street, envisions itself as a vodka destination and revolves in the textures of its martinis.

The intonation of The Butterfinger, mixing Van Gogh Chocolate Vodka with Frangelico, creates a perfect soothing ideal as the boats sway on the water outside the frosty windows. The “Cape Blush” Zinfandel from Truro Vineyards, near where “Storm” author Sebastian Junger lives, provided less intention withering instead of inspiring.

The appetizers provided a structure of balance entering into the main course. The crabmeat filled avocado, available only in season, provided a paradox of sensation from the sweet taste of its pinnacle while the creamy influx of the sizable salad wedge soaked in blue cheese and bacon waxed heavenly.

The main entree of lobster risotto, provided with large claws of local crustacean meat mixed with scallions, wild mushrooms and truffle oils, simply purged the soul while the after-dinner devilish “Cookies & Cream” concoction, balanced with the heightened espresso, steadied the senses.

The Bistro Grille, located within the Crowne Pointe Inn, offers another permutation of the dining experience with similar flair.

Similar within the sweetness of the Butterfinger at Mews, the Jade Martini mixes Midori, Malibu and pineapple juice with a smooth feeling that carries over the gentle fog encircling the town.

The starter consortium failed to waste any time with a tuna tartare cylinder, topped in caviar, that both lightened and assaulted the taste buds at the same time while the clam chowder, a stalwart of the area from its plentiful bounty offshore, did not disappoint in its creamy countenance.

The main dish again highlighted the delicacy of the area in the form of a butter-poached lobster which, again with its meat encrusted wondrousness, simply melted in the mouth, this time surrounded by an array of vegetables from carrots to peas soaked to the bone, not to mention the visceral and downright seductive Red Velvet Cake enjoyed afterwards that, were it not for the side of au gratin potatoes during dinner, would surely have caused ensued food rapture.

While these two establishments represent the height of dining for either meeting, romantic or other escapades in the small town, the cross-section of local food elements both in Provincetown and late night in Boston show the personality that encompasses the area.

Whether watching the game or surfing the net, George’s Pizza on Commercial, can do both especially when its oven baked sausage and spaghetti gets the heart pumping while P-Town Lucky Dogs, created by a transplanted Californian from Brentwood, understands the cruciality incumbent in the freshness of ingredients whether it be bacon, chili or cheese.

Down the street, the Old Colony Tap is essential for the comings and goings of all points draft while the personification of Pabst and the dark cringing of crackling night pontificates the locals with an immense sense of humor especially when a party just off a harbor cruise makes their way in.

In counter-structuring presence, the round structure in Boston especially if one has to stay the night revolves around which section of the city retains your business. In the necessity of the Boston Commons area, any section of the park can create an adventure in its own.

Staying at the Boston Park Plaza off the city’s Chinatown but also straddling its Theatre District, the selections are eclectic but ultimately satisfying. The Tam, located next to the W, functions as a friendly bar, undoubtedly Bostonian in its identity with the $3 Amber Bock specials to prove it and a warm intense vibe.

Barely four blocks away, Asian Garden, in the heart of Chinatown, relishes with the hotness of the food even as the hour passes ten. The lobster dumplings, reveling in a chili sauce makes way for a scallop soup mired in hot and sour spices that fills with gusto. The main course of orange chicken stuns in its sheer volume and taste that makes one glad.

If late night continues the run, Boston Kitchen Pizza, only blocks away as well, offers that thin cheesy heaven that can only be made in certain corridors of the East Coast, assaulting its consumer with thoughts of college nights past.

Returning to the tip of Cape Cod, adventure outings allow for a balance of land and sea, optimizing the preferential pull of the region.

Art’s Dune Tours is a functional anomaly in many ways within the artisan personality of Provincetown. The presence of large sand dunes ranging for miles with lone shacks still maintained atop their pinnacles might seem like a progression out of a movie. In all perceptions, this is true.

As pointed out by the knowledgeable owner Rob, Hollywood lore has retained its own small part of history within this area. Tennessee Williams wrote a discernible chunk of “A Street Car Named Desire” atop a dune shack. When Marlon Brando made the trek here to meet the playwright in advance of the production of said movie, it is said the actor had to traverse the dunes, not unlike a quest of his own. In parallel to that, only a few yards away around another bend are the dunes Steve McQueen traversed in the original “Thomas Crown Affair” in the infamous chase sequence. Art’s is the only company allowed to tour the land which makes their business specifically unique across the board and a must-see for any visitor to the area.

For the seafaring, Cee-Jay Fishing, departing from MacMillan Wharf, offers a taste of the local fishing without overwhelming the visitor. The great possibility is that the fish run far and about around the harbor. A full school of stripers hit multi-hooked jigs barely 200 yards from the dock. With all bait and reels provided within the excursion price which is more than reasonable, a 3-hour cruise with the inevitability of sunshine always makes for an efferverscent morning.

Provincetown offers a getaway that many attest as peaceful. With a town both “user friendly” and walkable, the key is attained with wonderful democracy. In tandem, with the advent of the Provincetown International Film Festival, the inventive and locally specific programming both engages the viewer and brings them into the mindset of the city. With summer locals such as John Waters championing the possibilities of the arts here, a local community centered on the ideal of a creatively bred township and food with a taste of the sublime, Provincetown knows itself through and through with a sense of pride.

First Look: COP OUT – WB

Warner Brothers just provided IR with this still from “Cop Out”, a comedy starring Bruce Willis and Tracy Morgan and directed by Kevin Smith, as part of their 2010 preview. The movie lets its cop out on February 26th, 2010. (P.S. : The film was formerly titled “A Couple Of Dicks”)