Here's a brief snapshot of the things people are buzzing about today at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival ...
-- The festival's most successful film so far is obviously Drake Doremus' 'Like Crazy,' which Paramount finally picked up for somewhere near $4 million after critics and festgoers (including us) fell head over heels for the romantic drama about two kids (Anton Yelchin and Felicity Jones) struggling to maintain a long distance relationship.
-- 'Bellflower' is one of the smaller films here, and there's a good chance it won't be picked up (unless Magnolia takes it), but people are certainly buzzing about this pre-apocalyptic anti-love story about angry kids in bad neighborhoods boozing it up, having lots of sex and building Mad Max-esque flame throwers in their spare time in case, ya know, the apocalypse were to happen. It's certainly not for everyone -- and the consensus among some critics is that Tim League should pick this up for his Drafthouse Films and do a rolling roadshow complete with Mad Max cars and flame throwers -- but until something awesome like that happens, we'll stay put and make sure 'Bellflower' wasn't just some crazy festival-induced dream.
-- Kevin Smith's 'Red State' finally premiered after an insane amount of ridiculous circus-like build-up, and instead of indeed holding an auction for the distribution rights, he'll be self-distributing under his Smodcast banner. It will open October 19th, but Smith will be going on a 15 city tour with it before that, beginning with NYC on March 5th. As for the marketing, he says, "We're not gonna spend a f**king dime on marketing."
Some quick reactions from our colleagues on Twitter:
Me (@erikdavis): "Red State: Bloody, violent, random, preachy. I dug it, but didn't love it"
Katey Rich of Cinema Blend (@kateyrich): "RED STATE: nah. Action and bloodshed as generic as it comes, typical talky Kevin Smith dialogue kills all tension and energy."
Alison Willmore of IFC.com (@alisonwillmore): "RED STATE: Nasty fundamentalist caricatures vs nasty law enforcement ones. Literally and figuratively preachy."
Eric Kohn of indieWIRE (erickohn): "I guess RED STATE is a change of pace for Smith. But what works is the usual Smithean chatter, not the gunfire and brimstone."
Peter Knegt of indieWIRE (@peterknegt): "'Red State' is a well-intentioned mess."
James Rocchi of MSN Movies (@jamesrocchi): "RED STATE: It's nice to contemplate how Kevin Smith wants to make films that aren't comedies. Too bad he tried to make all of them at once."
Matt Dentler of Cinetic (@mattdentler): ""Red State" was good, and also not what I expected at all. "
Jordan Raup of The Film State (@thefilmstage): "Red State, while fun, is also very silly and not as smart as it thinks it is."
Peter Sciretta of /Film (@slashfilm): "Red State is a well made film, but not without it's problems. Overall I think it's more original than anything Smith has produced in years"
Ethan Anderton of FirstShowing.net and Collider (@ethan.anderton): "Vile extremist poetry and bloodshed make RED STATE powerful & unlike anything he's done before. Michael Parks' performance is Oscar worthy."
Scott Macauley of Filmmaker Magazine (@filmmakermag): "There is something genuinely ugly about "Red State," and I mean that as a compliment."
The Films People Are Loving Today: 'Like Crazy,' 'The Guard,' 'Hobo with a Shotgun,' 'The Future' and 'Homework.'
Actor/Actress with the Most Buzz So Far: Tie between Elizabeth Olsen and Felicity Jones.
Film People Are Really Looking Forward To: 'Take Shelter,' which premieres Monday.