Roleplaying has always been a huge part of hip-hop. Rap lyrics, so often autobiographical, blur lines between reality and fiction almost without exception, and any truly successful rapper has mastered the performance of at least one painstakingly engineered persona. Maybe it should come as no surprise, then, that so many rappers can really act. Unlike those few-and-far-between crossovers from other genres (Tom Waits, Justin Timberlake), rappers who can bring roles to life seem to be the rule, not the exception.
Lots of folks were packing up and heading out this morning, but they were obviously out in force last night. And it’s not an indie festival if Vera Farmiga doesn’t show up looking understadedly amazing. That woman just looks awesome in a hood. I could go on, but I won’t. Check out all the party people on our gallery.
In interviews, LUV co-writer/director Sheldon Candis likes to describe his film as a “driller” — part drama, part thriller. Candis, a USC grad and one of Filmmaker Magazine’s 25 New Faces of Independent Film for 2011, based the film’s coming of age story on his own life growing up on the streets of Baltimore. Looking for a father figure, he found one in an uncle — not realizing that, as he puts it in his Sundance ’12 Meet the Artists interview (see below), the man he idolized was “one of the most infamous and feared drug dealers” in the entire city.
Folks, we’ve got a number of ensemble films out at the moment – big casts with big names. One, J.C. Chandor’s MARGIN CALL, a first feature that attracted some of the biggest names in Hollywood, surprised even the most cynical of cinephiles. That’s a no-no in most industry circles, the prevailing wisdom being, “a new director just can’t attract the talent.” Go J.C. Chandor! Bring us back to the 90s! Other ensembles recently in theatres include TOWER HEIST and…HAPPY FEET TWO, which I would argue is the most ensemble-y of them all…