Sundance 2002: the full competition, premieres and World cinema line-ups.
A comedyabout misfits in which a veterinarian becomes involved with a client, whosewife has begun acting like a dog. Lisa Kudrow plays the vet while Lee Tergensenis the frazzled husband, whose marriage is going to the dogs. Hank Azaria andVincent D'Onofrio also star as does screenwriter/comedienne HeatherMorgan as the canine wife. Propaganda Films co-produced; First Look willrelease in the US with its Overseas Filmgroup handling international sales.
Dir: Justin Lin
Lin, who madehis debut co-directing Shopping For Fangs, again explores the dark side of young Asian-American males- only this time in a Californian high school in Orange County. Thepsyches and communal identities of four teenage Asian-American boys areexamined in a story in which a specific instance of angst compels them tocommit a nihilistic act of violence. Lin is also the production coordinator ofthe Media Arts Center for the Japanese American National Museum in LA.
Taylor'sdebut, Dream With The Fishes, was shown as part of the American Spectrum sidebar in Sundance1997 where his buddy movie was picked up for US release by Sony PicturesClassics and then sold worldwide through Lakeshore. Now he graduates to themain dramatic competition with this follow-up, a stalker thriller in whichRobin Tunney plays a promiscuous, socially inept computer animator who runsover a cop while trying to evade an assailant holding her at gunpoint. Alsostarring are Tim Blake Nelson, Nora Dunn, Lindsay Crouse, and singer Liz Phair.
Dir: BerthaBay-Sa Pan
In her 1997thesis short film, also called Face, Pan depicted the relationship between a young Chinese Americangirl and her old world Chinese grandmother, and how that relationship changeswhen grandma discovers she is dating a black man. Now those themes are expandedinto a full-scale drama involving three generations of Chinese women dealingwith a conflicting American culture during the last couple of decades in NewYork City. Bai Ling stars opposite hip hop artist Anthony "Treach"Criss in a story written by Pan and Oren Moverman (Jesus' Son). Face is produced by Beech Hill Films,responsible also for Jim McKay's Our Song.
Until now,Jaswinski has been best known as a Hollywood screenwriter with a taste forblood; among his scripts area remake of See No Evil he penned for Columbia, the teen horror BloodOf The Gods for WarnerBros and a deadly cat-and-mouse thriller for New Line entitled Westward. His directorial debut, Killing Time, is rather different - an urbanroad movie without a car. A young student just out of college has an interviewin uptown Manhattan and walks the length of the New York City island to getthere, meeting all manner of people on the way. It is produced by indiestalwart Ira Deutchman.
Starring PhillipSeymour Hoffman, and written by Hoffman's older brother (a playwrightwith a theatre company in L.A.), Love Liza is the full-length filmmaking debut of Louiso, an actormost recently seen as one of the two record store clerks in the film version ofHigh Fidelity. But itis not his first time behind the camera: As it happens, Louiso directed athen-unknown Hoffman in a short film version of Tom Stoppard's FifteenMinute Hamlet in 1995.Here Hoffman stars as a man tormented by his wife's suicide and having todeal with his mother-in-law (Kathy Bates). Ruth Charney and Chris Hanley arethe producers; Paris-based Wild Bunch is handling sales.
A young mangraduates from high school in the Puerto Rican community of New York and isdetermined to escape the limitations he feels from that community.Eason's film is emblematic of the wide range of the Latino-inflectedAmerican cinema (as opposed to strictly Latin American or Spanish work) ondisplay at the upcoming Sundance. Eason joins such seasoned filmmakers as VictorNunez and Miguel Arteta (both with new films in the Premiere section), as wellnewcomers Patricia Cardoso (Real Women Have Curves and Franc Reyes (Empire).
After cuttinghis directorial teeth with the ultra-low-budget Blood, Guts, Bullets AndOctane, Carnahan got toplay with his first 35mm camera crew on Narc - and also a name cast. JasonPatric plays a narcotics officer at the end of his career who teams up with amurdered young cop's former partner, played by Liotta, to investigate thatdeath. Shot in the Toronto winter using reversal stock to enhance thegrittiness, Narc isCarnahan's answer to such seminal 70s cop classics as Serpico and The French Connection. Lions Gate will release stateside, withCutting Edge Entertainment handling overseas sales.
Dir:Prezemyslan (Shemie) Reut
By all accounts,one of the most visually experimental films in competition, Paradox Lake uses a hand held digital camera to tellthe story of a troubled young man who finds comfort by going to a camp forautistic children.
Even as the daughter of playwright Arthur Miller and now the wife of Daniel Day-Lewis, Rebecca Miller has had little problem carving herown identity in the artistic world, first as a sculptor, painter and actor, andnow as a filmmaker and author. Her second film - her debut, Angela, won her the Filmmakers Trophy atSundance in 1995 - is based on three of the seven stories that were publisheda few months back as a collection that bore the same title, PersonalVelocity. Starring,respectively, Parker Posey, Kyra Sedgwick and Fairuza Balk, each tells thestory of one woman's escape from men who confine their personal lives andall were shot by noted cinematographer Ellen Kuras in upstate New York. Like Tadpole (see below), Personal Velocity is among a handful of low-budget digital features produced through the InDigEnt initiative involving both the Independent Film Channel and Cinetic Media's John Sloss.
Dirs: TonyAbrams & Adam Larson Broder
As writers,Abrams and Broder penned the story that the Dead Man On Campus script was based on; as first-timedirectors they find themselves returning to the college milieu to tell thestory of a sorority member (Christina Ricci) who starts a relationship with adisabl