That’s our pal Parvesh Cheena at the Youtube Party last night, representing YOMYOMF. As for me, Elaine and Justin, we had late screenings, there was a major snowstorm, and our collective creaky bones couldn’t muster the strength to go all out partying. As for me, I needed to head back to the massive house that Justin rented for the family and get my sore and cold feet on some heated, hardwood floors. So, after a quick Burger King run, we made it home and just talked shop for hours.
It was also a great way to catch up, since the three of us are on totally different schedules — Justin, being on the main narrative jury, was being ushered in and out of his scheduled screenings, while rubbing elbows and comparing notes with his fellow jurors including actor Anthony Mackie (THE HURT LOCKER) and former Red Hot Chili Peppers drummer and film composer (DRIVE) Cliff Martinez; Elaine has earned the rightful title as “The Machine” with her marathon screenings and meetings; and me with screenings and looking for potential talent out there for the YOMYOMF Network.
As for the film program, it’s really an interesting year of new talents with the documentaries representing the stronger selections. Two docs were also just bought — THE QUEEN OF VERSAILLES and SEARCHING FOR SUGAR MAN were bought by Magnolia and Sony Pictures Classics, respectively. Both were entertaining and probably the best of the crop of films this year. For me, the best film I saw is BEASTS OF THE SOUTHERN WILD, a gorgeous, abstract, allegorical tale set in a post-Katrina/apocalyptic world.
The director, Benh Zeitlin, crafts a film that is part DAUGHTERS OF THE DUST (which is having a revival 20th anniversary screening here at the Festival), part Huckleberry Finn and part Hayao Miyazaki magical realism. It’s pure cinema and just a lovely film overall.
With such a broad scope, Sundance also has a lot of crowd pleasing films and one in particular I quite enjoyed — FILLY BROWN stars Gina Rodriguez, in a star making role, as a young Latina rapper based in Los Angeles, who’s trying to keep her family together, while launching her career. Rodriguez is so damn good, and apparently, had to learn how to rap before taking the lead role. Check out the trailer:The film is a definite crowd pleaser and is co-directed by Youssef Delara (a friend of mine) and Michael D. Olmos. I’ll write up a more comprehensive Sundance 2012 “Best Of” List at the end of the week.
It’s 12:30am and I’m back at the house, in my jammies, writing up this blog. Justin has turned in, since his family is here, he’s going to need some shut eye. Elaine “The Machine”, however, is still out and about. She’s a real trooper and the backbone of this YOMYOMF field trip. She gets things done, while us men are sipping hot cocoa and staying indoors. Happy Lunar New Year, everyone!