SFF

Cory Booker Brings BRICK CITY to Park City

Cory Booker Brings BRICK CITY to Park City

Forest Whitaker and Newark Mayor Cory Booker (Photo Credit: Michael Buckner/Getty Images). For more images from this party, check out the photo gallery.
Newark Mayor Cory Booker was “in the house” on Sunday, which is how he was introduced at a screening of the documentary series BRICK CITY, whose second season premieres next Sunday on Sundance Channel.

Wearing jeans, hiking shoes, and a black zipper-neck sweater, Booker was in non-politician mode as he spoke with the show’s executive producer Forest Whittaker, and co-directors Marc Levin and Mark Benjamin in front of a small audience gathered at the Bing Bar on Main Street. Also in the house: Isabella Rossellini and Rosie O’Donnell, who before the screening was posing with a small rescue dog wrapped up in a snow-suit. “It’s going to be a photo spread, me and my puppy,” O’Donnell joked.

This season of BRICK CITY, which feels like a docu-version of The Wire, focuses more singularly on Booker as he fights for re-election, and faces severe budget-cuts, a rising crime rate, and a faith-losing constituency.

The year “was a battle for him,” Benjamin said of Booker. “Because every incumbent in America is suffering a lot of pushback because of government and dwindling funds and resources for everything… It’s been a tough year for him.”

Sundance Film Festival Review Roundup: THE GUARD

Sundance Film Festival Review Roundup: THE GUARD

Another Sundance Film Festival movie getting good buzz: John Michael McDonagh’s Irish-inflected buddy-cop film THE GUARD, starring Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle, which premiered Thursday night as part of the festival’s World Cinema Dramatic Competition. Some critical responses: “It’s McDonagh’s wicked one-liners – and the skillful timing of Gleeson and Cheadle – that gives this…

Paul Rudd Tackles MY IDIOT BROTHER

Paul Rudd Tackles MY IDIOT BROTHER

With his MY IDIOT BROTHER, Jesse Peretz seeks to follow in the delicate footsteps of successful dramatic-comedy hybrids from past Sundance Film Festivals like LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE and “(500) DAYS OF SUMMER,” the Los Angeles Times notes. Paul Rudd plays the film’s bearded, Croc-wearing, granola-eating, idealistic title character, who works his way through the households…

Sundance Film Festival Deals: MARGIN CALL

Sundance Film Festival Deals: MARGIN CALL

Lionsgate and Roadside Attractions announced Sunday that, following all-night negotiations, they had teamed up to acquire the domestic distribution rights to J.C. Chandor’s financial-industry thriller MARGIN CALL. The film, which officially debuts at the Sundance Film Festival on Tuesday, Jan. 25, but was screened for the press and members of the industry on Friday morning,…

Festival Parties: James Franco Channels Suzanne Somers

Festival Parties: James Franco Channels Suzanne Somers

James Franco’s installation at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, THREE’S COMPANY: THE DRAMA, sounds like something you have to experience firsthand to fully appreciate. In it, he seeks to examine the classic ‘70s sitcom, featuring those three kooky roomies Chrissy, Janet and Jack, by, according to the official description, “breaking out individual elements of narrative,…

Lizzie Olsen is this year's "It" Girl

Lizzie Olsen is this year's "It" Girl

Lizzie Olsen at Sundance Channel HQ. A week ago, Elizabeth “Lizzie” Olsen was just another 21-year-old senior at NYU who happened to have two very famous half-sisters: the TV-movie-fashion-and-overall-marketing phenomenon known as Mary Kate and Ashley. This week, thanks to the Sundance Film Festival, where she’s starring in two much-buzzed about films (MARTHA MARCY MAY…

Sundance Film Festival Deals: LIKE CRAZY

Sundance Film Festival Deals: LIKE CRAZY

In what Entertainment Weekly is calling “the first big sale” at the Sundance Film Festival, Drake Doremus’s LIKE CRAZY got snatched up by Paramount Pictures on Saturday night following “an all-night bidding session.” The film, a long-distance love story starring Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones, from the director who brought the very different film DOUCHEBAG…

Morgan Spurlock Does It Again

Morgan Spurlock Does It Again

Morgan Spurlock (Photo by Jeff Vespa/WireImage).

There aren’t many people who can figure out how to make a documentary featuring both Noam Chomsky and Ben Silverman, but Morgan Spurlock is one of them. In his new film, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold, which premiered on Saturday afternoon, having already picked up distribution from Sony Pictures Classics, Spurlock sits down with both the cognitive scientist and bad boy former TV exec to talk about branding.

The film is a documentary-within-a-documentary experiment in which Spurlock sets out to make a movie about our marketing and advertising-addled culture, and yet have that culture (i.e., sponsors) pay for it.

Spare a Thought for the Festival Screeners

Spare a Thought for the Festival Screeners

With all the attention paid to the filmmakers, actors, and other Sundance Film Festival movers and shakers, won’t anyone take a moment to consider the unsung heroes of this and other film festivals, the screeners? The Los Angeles Times has. The paper notes that these dedicated workers sign up to watch hundreds of films of…

Harry Belafonte: 'Take a Look at the History'

Harry Belafonte: 'Take a Look at the History'

What prompted Harry Belafonte to throw his support behind a documentary about his life and the work he and others did to advance civil rights in the United States and around the world? At first, the 83-year-old singing/acting/activist icon wasn’t sure he was up for it. “It looked like self-indulgence,” he told Reuters. But as…

The Refreshing Candor of Elizabeth Olsen

The Refreshing Candor of Elizabeth Olsen

And one more thing about Elizabeth Olsen, the 21-year-old younger sister of famous twins Mary-Kate and Ashley who stars in two buzzed-about films at this year’s Sundance Film Festival, the aforementioned (see previous post) MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE and the horror film SILENT HOUSE: Olsen, who goes by the nickname Lizzie and is being hailed…

Gleeson delivers as schlubby, corrupt cop

Gleeson delivers as schlubby, corrupt cop

With everyone fussing about who the new, fresh faces are at Sundance, not much has been said about one of the older, less fresh faces who is nonetheless emerging as one of the festival’s early delights: Brendan Gleeson, the 56-year-old Irish actor who was once told by a Hollywood agent that he was “too old…

The Making of MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE

The Making of MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE

Here’s a curious (vaguely creepy) detail about the making of MARTHA MARCY MAY MARLENE, directed by Sean Durkin and starring Elizabeth Olsen (in a breakout role — the New York Post is calling her “the new supernova in the Sundance galaxy”) as a girl who escapes from a cult in the Catskills and struggles to…

Sundance Film Festival Review Roundup: WIN WIN

Sundance Film Festival Review Roundup: WIN WIN

Tom McCarthy’s WIN WIN, starring Paul Giamatti as a small-time New Jersey lawyer and high school wrestling coach who takes over guardianship of one of his elderly clients, is shaping up to be an early Sundance Film Festival favorite. Marshall Fine, writing in the Huffington Post, calls the film “touchingly funny” and says it features…

Where Do All the Women Directors Go?

Where Do All the Women Directors Go?

So what’s with the continued disparity between the proportion of women directors represented at the Sundance Film Festival (27 of the 117 features screening at the festival this year were directed by women) and the number of women making big films in Hollywood (only three of 2010’s 100 top-grossing were made by women)? Brooks Barnes…

Sundance Film Festival: A Reinvention Destination

Sundance Film Festival: A Reinvention Destination

The Sundance Film Festival is many things to many people. And for some actors and filmmakers, the Los Angeles Times notes, it’s the place they go to reinvent themselves. Because so many show business eyes are focused on so few films, Sundance also can facilitate résumé rewrites. As the received wisdom goes, an appearance in…

THE SON OF NO ONE: Tracy Morgan Gets Serious

THE SON OF NO ONE: Tracy Morgan Gets Serious

At the very beginning, a hint of the end. As the Sundance Film Festival gets rolling, a trailer for the festival’s closing night film, Dito Montiel’s THE SON OF NO ONE, has just been released. The picture stars Channing Tatum and Tracy Morgan as two men who got away with murder as young boys and…

Chimp caught in tragic human love triangle

Chimp caught in tragic human love triangle

Who knew that a chimp could get in the middle of a human love triangle? And enjoy the pleasures of marijuana? 2008 Sundance Grand Jury (and 2009 Oscar) winner Director James Marsh, evidently, whose new documentary, PROJECT NIM, is about the chimpanzee (Nim), who in the 1970’s was taken from his mother and sent to…

Sundance Film Festival: Brisk Business, Bargain Prices

Sundance Film Festival: Brisk Business, Bargain Prices

If the flurry of pre-Sundance Film Festival acquisition deals has made you wonder if Hollywood was back in an indie-film shopping mood after the recession, the New York Times’ Brooks Barnes reports that, yes, wallets are open, but they’re a little less fat. Among other factors, the strong box-office performance of specialty films over the…

Sundance Film Festival Deals: THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD

Sundance Film Festival Deals: THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD

Morgan Spurlock’s THE GREATEST MOVIE EVER SOLD has sold. On Thursday, Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisitions announced that it had snapped up the U.S. and Canadian rights to the documentary, which is set to have its world premiere Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival, the Hollywood Reporter reports. The film, in which the SUPER SIZE ME…

Redford: No Plans to Retire

Redford: No Plans to Retire

It honestly hadn’t occurred to us to be concerned that Robert Redford might retire and hand over the Sundance Film Festival reins anytime soon, but now we really don’t have to worry about it. In response to a reporter’s inquiry about retirement plans at the opening press conference for the 2011 Sundance Film Festival on…

5 Ideas for Sundance Film Festival Wannabes

5 Ideas for Sundance Film Festival Wannabes

For those of us who are stuck at home during the Sundance Film Festival once again this year, gazing longingly at the films and the fun from afar, Flavorwire has come up with a list of five ways to enjoy the festival from the comfort of our own couches. Ideas include watching this year’s movies…

Sundance 2011: Previewing the Park City party scene

Sundance 2011: Previewing the Park City party scene

Which Park City music venue will feature cuisine from Mr. Chow’s Michael Chow and “Iron Chef” winner Jared Young and welcome stars like Kate Bosworth, Parker Posey, Vera Farmiga and Ben Foster during the 2011 Sundance Film Festival, which kicks off Thursday, Jan. 20? Which will host events for films including Ewan McGregor’s PERFECT SENSE…

Sundance Deals: BECOMING CHAZ

Sundance Deals: BECOMING CHAZ

Oprah Winfrey’s new OWN cable network has snapped up Fenton Bailey and Randy Barbato’s BECOMING CHAZ, which will screen in the Documentary Premieres category at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23, Deadline reports. The film, by the veteran Sundance directors behind THE EYES OF TAMMY FAYE, PARTY MONSTER and INSIDE DEEP THROAT, chronicles the…

Sundance Watch List: Gregg Araki's KABOOM

Sundance Watch List: Gregg Araki's KABOOM

It’s been called a “hyper-stylized TWIN PEAKS for the Coachella Generation,” “a sexier, more colorful, and more comedic DONNIE DARKO,” and even a zany, radical version of DUDE, WHERE’s MY CAR? Gregg Araki’s KABOOM, which premiered last year at the Cannes Film Festival, will have its U.S. premiere at the Sundance Film Festival and be…