Sundance Shines With Various Gems in Queer Film
Yet again we abandoned our beloved New York for high altitude––and sometimes highbrow––antics at the Sundance Film Festival. It was a great year for movies. Our faves included: “Open Water,” which saw a scuba diving tourist couple abandoned in shark-infested waters; “Super-Size Me,” a Michael Moore-esque documentary demonstrating how a 30-day regimen of McDonalds fast food can decimate your physiognomy; the adorable “Wedding Banquet”-esque “Touch of Pink;” and the provocative boy band incest drama (a sort of “What if Nick and Aaron Carter got it on?”) “Harry and Max.”
We wanted swag for the New Year and boy we got it. Indeed, one can spend most of the festival at various “houses” and parties sponsored by brands like Diesel, Motorola, Hewlett Packard, and 2xist. The latter had set up shop at Village at the Lift, a veritable treasure trove for VIPs.
PARIS HILTON, MAGGIE GYLLENHAAL, CHRISTINA APPLEGATE, PERRY FARRELL, ASHTON KUTCHER & DEMI MOORE, MATT DILLON, and celeb stylist PHIL BLOCH are but a small sampling of folks who visited the Village and were swagged by 2xist (we love their Henleys!), Lee Jeans (which the “Queer Eye”’s Fab Five are fans of), Silhouette eyewear, Bocawear, and Pony footwear.
The festival’s sizable gay contingent could often be found at the bustling Queer Lounge sipping cocktails and sprawling on giant beanbags. Celebs also swung by for parties like TLA Releasing’s shindig. TLA’s upcoming “Latter Days,” c. jAY COX’s romantic tale of a gay Mormon and West Hollywood party boy, was just dropped from the Salt Lake City theater slotted to play it, allegedly due to threats from Mormon authorities. “I’ve been banned,” mused Cox, who visited the fest for its latter days. “I guess there’s a part of me that wants to have T-shirts printed up.”
At one point, MANDY MOORE, who stars in the deliciously acerbic religious school comedy (featuring a pivotal subplot about a gay teen), “Saved,” was asked by a Lounge staffer if she would be willing to pose in front of the Queer Lounge sign. She was game, but Moore’s manager bellowed “NO!” and snatched Moore away before a camera clicked. Saved co-star MACAULAY CULKIN, meanwhile, was happy to do an interview in the QL.
GRETCHEN MOLL will star as Page, the role screenwriter Turner had originally planned to embody. “I’m disappointed but that was decided two years ago,” Turner said. “I want the best possible movie to be made and that means a name [actress]. I could have insisted [I star in it] but I wouldn’t want to be in a situation where a movie that needs to be made for $10 million is only given $1 million.”
That said, Turner is a producer on the film and may yet appear in a smaller role––that of Page’s sister, who was apparently “prettier.”
A few post-screening Q&As with the filmmakers proved lively, although not always pretty.
ALEXANDRE AJA, director of French lesbian horror flick “Haute Tension,” was accused of plagiarizing novelist DEAN KOONTZ by an indignant audience member. Aja insisted the whole film was a tribute to horror genre works, and the back and forth escalated.
Neve Campbell plans to tackle Tourette’s Syndrome in a film called “A Private War,” an apropos title as Campbell’s younger brother has it. After catching our item on James Toback’s upcoming film, “When Will I Be Loved?” in The Post’s Page Six––we broke the film’s lesbian content–– Campbell, who stars, gave us a call. Currently on the other side of the camera as a producer of The Company, Campbell told us she “really wants to direct.” Showtime offered an opportunity last year but she passed. “If I want to direct, I want a project that’s close to me,” she noted. For example, a project on 20s flapper icon Louise Brooks, who did a little of her own girl-on-girl action in Pabst’s “Pandora’s Box” (1928), in which a lesbian kiss was edited out of many versions of the film.
Meanwhile, “Loved” director Toback is hoping to avoid the “idiotic bullshit [I’ve] gone through in the past” with the ratings board this time. Seems the MPAA counted Robert Downey Jr.’s head bobbing up and down 18 times during a sex scene with Heather Graham in “Two Girls and a Guy” and informed Toback he couldn’t get away with more than three bobs. Toback complied, but asked the female board member “please introduce me to the guy who got you off with three head bobs.” Yes indeed, please do.
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