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Tag: Sundance Film Festival (71-80 of 90)

Sundance Diary: Antonio Banderas, come take me away from all this

Ah, well, dang. Paul Rudd just left. He said he’d come back… but I think now I’m suffering from a bit of a self-esteem problem. You tell me how you’d feel if Justin Timberlake, Gwyneth Paltrow, Sam Jackson, and Aidan Quinn had all turned down your very generous offer to give them an open forum in which to explore their innermost thoughts. I mean, sure, it’s a blog. And they’re all very busy and important, whereas I am just, you know, busy. But it’s all I have, people. It’s all I am. Oh, my heart.

Now the question on the table is: To see Hounddog, or not to see Hounddog? The time for today’s screening is nigh, but Antonio Banderas is on his way in here to do an interview for Summer Rain (he directed it), and Rudd swore he’d be back, and I could use this time to transcribe my interviews with Anna Faris and Daniel Gold and the super-cute cast from The Great World of Sound, and finally (JEEZ, WHITNEY!) blog about our party last weekend, and write up that No End in Sight post, and I could also eat something, and help EW ninja Neil Drumming celebrate his birthday, and, frankly, I’m a lot more interested in Hounddog from a train-wreck perspective than anything else, and that’s not nice. Also, I figure the picture can only benefit if I wait and let the hype die down. I know Dakota’s a terrific actress (and her sister’s a great blogger), and that’s enough for me.

Plus, someone just showed up with Thai food. Decision made.


Sundance Diary: Global Warming, Iraq, and... OMG, there's Aidan Quinn!

Overheard, Jan. 24: "We’ve had two glorious reviews. It’s like we paid the people."

Okay, it’s calmed down a little here at the EW Sundance Photo Studio. Paul Rudd and the boys from The Ten are here and I’m stalking them for the guest blog, but in the meantime, let’s talk about yesterday! I’m much better today, first of all– I got 4 hours of sleep after losing $20 in a poker game despite Ten director David Wain’s attempts to save me from myself (it should be noted that I clearly retained nothing from my lesson with Jamie Gold this weekend) — and I can totally feel Sundance slowing down. People are leaving, Main Street (with the exception of the freaks outside our studio waiting for Gwyneth) is emptying out, and we’re all running out of time to see the movies we’ve heard so much about. I have one last chance to catch Waitress tonight; keep your fingers crossed.

So after I got up and went to the foreign policy discussion first thing yesterday morning, I came over here to the photo studio to grab some guest bloggers — Rainn Wilson’s post is the talk of the festival, by the way — and do an interview with one of the directors of Everything’s Cool, Daniel Gold. Everything’s Cool is a documentary that kind of takes all the global warming science we learned in An Inconvenient Truth and makes it personal by following the lives of people actually in the fight for awareness. I’m going to transcribe our chat and get it up here as a Q&A in the next couple days, because I thought everything he had to say was great, and he’s got some really solid advice for how we can all put our drops in the energy-saving bucket. (Have you switched to compact fluorescent bulbs yet?) Nothing better than talking with someone who’s engaging and interested in the conversation, rather than just trying to plug their movie and then get back to the snowboarding. Those folks might be famouser than Mr. Gold… but they’re way less interesting to me.


Sundance Diary: With a cameo appearance by new pals Gwyneth and Justin

Just checking in — it’s crazytown here, because celebs keep showing up with these big groups of people, and Access Hollywood is here, and there’s a flood of paparrazi downstairs, and Gwyneth Paltrow just left in a car and there were some near-misses with other cars who didn’t understand what "BACK THE F— UP" meant, and I want to apologize, PopWatchers, because I couldn’t get anyone to guest-blog. Everyone was in such a hurry! But I saw Gwyneth and Justin Timberlake bonding, and Sam Jackson was wearing a very fetching purple fur hat, and they all lent some time to the EW.com video staff, so look for those interviews up on the site soon.

And I’ll be back with a real post about everything I saw yesterday soon!

Sundance Diary: Featuring Celebrity Guest Blogger Rainn Wilson!

Rainn_lI am so glad I’ve finally got a chance to sit down and tell you about the EW party. Man! This place has been en fuego! But I’ve taken a deep breath, and gotten out my trusty notebook so I can remember all the amazing people I talked to on Saturday night, and…

… what’s that, Rainn Wilson? You are feeling the seductive call of the guest blog?

"Hello everyone on the Internet and in the world of entertainment. It’s me, Rainn Wilson, international superstar (hugest of all in Malaysia) promoting myself as un-official "spokesman of a generation" and gynecologist to the stars (Whoopi Goldberg, Katie Couric). I’m here because of the greatest movie ever made, The Last Mimzy, in which I star. I am actually raped by Dakota Fanning in this film. It was very disturbing and is causing quite an uproar in the blogosphere. [Nice word, Rainn, thanks. No problem. You’re so smart. Oh, go on.] She was wonderful to work with and very giving. So anyhoo, check out the family sci-fi epic adventure The Last Mimzy, and you will see my thighs. Good-bye."

Okay, now I’m distracted.

addCredit(“Rainn Wilson: Jesse Grant/WireImage.com “)

Sundance Diary: If we'd known Tara Reid was a genius...

Okay! Things are really hopping here at the EW house! Tara Reid is here, Zooey Deschanel just left, we’re all on pins and needles awaiting the arrival of Antonio Banderas, and EW’s Missy Schwartz just referred to Hounddog as "Snakes on a 12-Year-Old." I’m telling you: life is good. So is this bloody mary I’m drinking.

Wait! Tara Reid: wanna blog?

"HI its Tara Reid and i’m in Sundance its freezing here but alot of fun and alot of work my movie premieres tonight and i’m really excited."

Thanks, Tara! (She’s in If I Had Known I Was a Genius. Look for it!)

Sundance Diary: Walking many miles in Katherine Heigl's moccasins

Smiley_lAnother day dawns here at Sundance, and I stop by the EW photo studio to write up the blog item I didn’t write last night because I ran out of time. Yesterday, I think I hit a wall, and when — after two parties, a discussion with EW’s masterful Greg Kirschling about the News & Notes story he’s writing on the first weekend of Sundance, a check of my e-mails, and a viewing of the last hour of Hear and Now – I finally got to turn off the lights, I was out. For all of an hour and a half.

Part of the problem was that I had to get up this morning to attend a foreign policy breakfast pegged to No End in Sight, Charles Ferguson’s documentary about the mismanagement of the Iraq War. I’ve heard the movie is great — An Inconvenient Truth for the "war on terror" — but I haven’t seen it, and 7:30 a.m. is not the time to ask me to think about the parallels between Iraq and Darfur, or whatever. At 7:30 a.m. I am pretty much prepared to think only about ponies. I ask you, PopWatchers: Where are the damn ponies? (Luckily, I don’t need to interview Mr. Ferguson until later in the day tomorrow, so I should be fine.)

But as I sit here and listen to EW movie critic Lisa Schwarzbaum do a video blog for us in the other room, I am thinking, a) that Lisa Schwarzbaum is brilliant and b) that she’s right when she says you have to get into a rhythm. I mentioned something about that yesterday, which then turned out to be the day my rhythm fell apart. For example, I didn’t see a movie. I slept until about 10 a.m. (sorry about that, Grace is Gone), got up, came in here to blog, interviewed Heather Graham for Adrift in Manhattan, interviewed the cast of Smiley Face (Danny Masterson and the incomparable Anna Faris, pictured), stopped in to the Fred Segal swag shop and picked up the VERY SAME PAIR of Earth Shoes clogs that Katherine Heigl snagged (OMG IT IS LIKE I, TOO, AM FAMOUS), interviewed Billy Baldwin, ran into my friend Josh Bearman (whom I didn’t recognize at first because, you know, why in the hell would Josh Bearman be here?), ran into EW’s Missy Schwartz and stopped into the Gibson lounge to hear some open-mike performances (a chick did a really nice acoustic "Take On Me" that I plan to steal), came back to the photo studio, typed Billy Baldwin’s blog item, transcribed my interview with Smiley Face director Gregg Araki and sent it to the Kirschbomb, went back to the hotel and dropped off my Heigl clogs, checked my e-mail, and scheduled some interviews for later in the week.

Notice that nowhere in there does it say "ate food."


Sundance Diary: Billy Baldwin gives us the skinny on stars and swag

Billy_lBilly Baldwin is dictating the following to me, while he prints a script here at EW headquarters:

"Sundance. Well. Let’s start with, obviously, I’m the darling of the festival. One film at Slamdance, one film at Sundance. What can I tell ya. [Long pause.]  I don’t know what bothers me more about Sundance: all of the free s— that they give to the rich and famous who don’t need it, or the way that I behave when thrown into the den of swag. I can sit here and pretend that I’m above it all, but in reality, after being given free iPods and Razr telephones, jewelry and vacations, if my grandmother — may she rest in peace — stood between me and the last Philips flat screen television, I’d lay her out right on her ass for that bad boy.

"I hired a publicist to come here with me because I had two films in the festival. I figured because I had two pictures I probably would need somebody to wrangle all of the various media outlets — print, electronic, etc. She wound up becoming my swag mule, schlepping the hoards up and down Main Street so that I didn’t look like the gluttonous whore that I am in front of the throngs of media and paparazzi. Sure, I threw her a bone for her troubles — tossed her a couple of t-shirts, a hat, and a digital picture frame. I’ve got a heart. And in the final analysis, those thousands that I shelled out for this publicist turned out to be a windfall because not only did she organize my press schedule, but she also sheltered me from embarrassment and humiliation in front of the cameras by doubling as my swag mule.

"Look for American Fork and Adrift in Manhattan at a theater near you."

See? Told you I’d get Billy Baldwin.

addCredit(“Billy Baldwin: George Pimentel/WireImage.com”)

Sundance Diary: Featuring Celebrity Guest Blogger Elle Fanning!

Elle_lHey, kids. I’m posting this direct from EW headquarters on Main Street, where the Fanning family has just arrived to drench us all in cute. And of course, seeing Elle Fanning (pictured at Sunday’s premiere of The Nines) in the flesh isn’t helping me get over my obsession with The Nines any — WHY HASN’T ANYONE BOUGHT THIS YET — and now I’m being swept back into that world, all those rich colors and the warm humor of Melissa "Sookie" McCarthy and the abs of Ryan Reynolds and the way the last instant exploded into my stomach and made me remember why we live, why we put up with all this, excuse my French, bullcrap… jeez, I can’t say enough about that damn movie.

OH! PopWatchers, get excited… I’m gonna pass the mike to a very special guest…

"hey i’m elle fanning. Yesterday I went skiing for the first time and it was the funnest thing I have ever done!!!!!! Picabo Street and Jonna Mendez taught Dakota and I. I would love to come back to Utah again!!!"

addCredit(“Elle Fanning: Evan Agostini/Getty Images”)


Sundance Diary: Opening Weekend

Savages_lOverheard at press screening of Rocket Science, Jan. 19, 7:10pm: "I would never disrespect the Alamo Drafthouse, but the Arclight is the greatest theater I’ve ever been to in my entire life."

Howdy there, PopWatchers, and greetings from the snowy streets of Park City! I’m still here at Sundance, and you’re still in my pocket, getting a first-hand glimpse at what it’s like to report from a film festival when you’ve never been to a film festival before and are doing all of your writing between the hours of 1 and 4 a.m. We’ve got a whole weekend to recap, so this is gonna be long — grab a cup of tea and settle in, won’t you?

First, I want you to know how lovely it was to check in here after my post from Day One — in which I basically had a small nervous breakdown — and find your encouraging words. I’m hanging in there. (Insert photo of cat clinging desperately to tree branch here.) I’ve figured out where everything is, I’ve made it to plenty of screenings, I’ve hit some parties, and I even got in a couple hours of snowboarding without hurting myself. I have gotten used to surviving on a diet of Clif bars and water. I no longer spend hours hysterically highlighting schedules. I may even be having fun.

Also, I met Roger Clemens today.

Yeah, that’s right: It’s the biggest film festival on American soil, and I’m gonna lead with sports. I’d like to send a big shout-out to my friends at ESPN for having the brilliant idea to set up shop across from EW’s headquarters on Main Street, stocking a three-story club with very few fest-tards but plenty of big screen TVs, comfy sofas, and Shiner beer, a.k.a. The Official Beer of Whitney. And you couldn’t beat their guest list: I took a poker lesson from reigning World Series of Poker champ Jamie Gold on Saturday afternoon while sitting next to Brian Westbrook and Donté Stallworth, or approximately 64 percent of the Philadelphia Eagles‘ offense. Two interesting stats: Westbrook’s biceps are the size of my head (and his watch is the size of my apartment), and Stallworth carries around a Razr, a Blackberry, and a Sidekick decorated with flowers that he kept insisting to me were trees. (When asked why he needs three phones, he responded, "I like phones," which makes sense.)


What should be on Whitney's must-see list at Sundance?

Hounddog_lHello, PopWatchers, and greetings from Sundance! It is 2 a.m. Park City time, and I’m finally settled in at the hotel after a long day of traveling, stressing, organizing, unpacking, and a little more stressing.

Today was really just about getting here and figuring out the lay of the land at this, my first film festival; all the screenings and interviews and whatnot start tomorrow. But I’ve already learned perhaps the most important lesson of all, and it is this:

Film festivals ain’t easy.

No, seriously.

Here, I’ll respond to that so you don’t have to: "Oh, Whitney, quit whining. You have a totally cush job, especially considering the fact that you are a no-talent loser. What’s so hard about hanging out at a ski resort and watching movies? You suck. I don’t want to be in your pocket anymore."

And you’re completely right. This should be a totally cush job, and I really am completely devoid of any worthwhile qualities as a human being. But that doesn’t change the fact that on Day One of Sundance 2007, I didn’t really do much of anything except freak out.


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