The second Friday at Sundance is a day when many observers have returned home. But the festival is not over, and our intrepid crew remains on the scene.
Deals. The sight of Ashton Kutcher 's naked gigolo butt evidently convinced Anchor Bay Films that David Mackenzie's Spread was the movie for them. Eugene Hernandez at indieWIRE reports that the sister company of Overture Films paid nearly $4 million for US and Australian rights. Kutcher served as a producer on the film, which also stars Anne Heche, Rachel Blanchard, Margarita Levieva, and Sonia Rockwell.
Speaking of Rockwells, Brian Brooks (also of indieWIRE), says that Sony Pictures Classics will distribute the Sam Rockwell-starring Moon, the science fiction flick directed by David Bowie's son, Duncan Jones. Sony Pictures Worldwide Acquisition Group pre-bought the film's rights before the festival. Sony Classics plans a June 2009 release. James Rocchi reviewed it for Cinematical last week.
Reviews/Interview. Our man James followed up his review of the doc We Live in Public by talking with director Ondi Timoner and subject Josh Harris. James also discovered Noah Buschel's The Missing Person, starring Michael Shannon; James says the film "isn't merely a clever, cool spin on the classic private eye story, but it also works as a private eye story." Finally, James got An Education from suddenly hot actress Carey Mulligan, director Lone Scherfig, and scripter Nick Hornby; the film's evocation of 1960s England struck James as "superbly constructed, yes, but those elements also connect." Be sure to catch up on all of Cinematical's coverage via the Sundance hub at Moviefone.
Blog Talk. Continue onward, brave reader, for a few more quotable quotes.
"Why would you ever show this?" -- Geoffrey Gilmore, Sundance director, interviewed at the IDFA web site. He was talking about the feelings of two people in last year's programming meetings, before he decided to accept James Marsh's Man on Wire for the festival. The doc went on to become one of the most critically-acclaimed films of the year, and was just nominated for an Academy Award for Best Documentary. Via A.J. Schnack at All these wonderful things.
"Without too much clinical consideration, I'd say this year's main theme appears to be child rape. How uplifting, filmmakers!" -- Michael Tully, Hammer to Nail.
"There's something about Kevin Spacey in a suburban environment that gets my station wagon engine running." -- Rebecca Sinn, Interview Magazine, referring to Shrink.
"The industry was still in attendance this year, but the high-roller fever that has gripped the festival for the last decade has cooled." -- Manohla Dargis, New York Times, in a must-read article posted on Thursday.