Teen Sex Orgy Pictures
While that architectural paradox has in recent years set the tone for the Sundance Film Festival, this year its sway felt far less concrete. With no breathtaking breakthroughs, commercially or aesthetically, the festival seemed more diffuse. And the programming of in-demand pictures at the enormous Eccles Theater, along with improved shuttle logistics, made it easy enough to get around and avoid the crushing crowds — if not all the cell phone shouters.
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There was a special tribute to beat artist Alfred Leslie whose 1959 short Pull My Daisy (co-directed with Robert Frank and written by Jack Kerouac) is considered an underground classic. Leslie was present to introduce his films and take questions from the audience. In his The Last Clean Shirt (1964), a man and a woman get into a car, tape an alarm clock to the dashboard, and drive around with the woman talking continuously in an unknown language. This same action is repeated three times with different stream-of-consciousness subtitled narrations by poet Frank O’Hara. O’Hara’s writing brings a smartness to such silliness with lines like, "Our culture is embarrassed by its propensity to entertain." Birth of a Nation (1965), originally 120 minutes, was nearly totally destroyed in a fire, yet Leslie recovered fourteen minutes of the charred footage and recontructed the remaining pieces a few years ago. What remains is artist Willem de Kooning as Captain Nemo and actor Patrick McGee reading from the works of Marquis de Sade as two men and a woman tumble about in a freeform orgy.
The most notable panel was "Farewell to the Forty Deuce," a personal look at the sleazy days of 42nd Street before it got sanitized by politicians washing their hands in the pockets of real estate developers. Presented by June Lang and Jeff Krulik, panelists included Frank Henenlotter, director of the feminist classic, Frankenhooker, who presented clips from Something Weird’s video archive of rare ’50-’60s sex loops; Josh Alan Friedman, author of Tales of Times Square, who reminisced about the heyday of exploitation films, and exchanged teenage sneaky peaky stories with Henelotter; and Uncle Lou Amber, chauffeur to the strippers who had nothing but kind words to say about all the women he drove to oblivion. June Lang presented clips from her forthcoming documentary Farewell to the Deuce featuring Allen Ginsburg, porn maven Al Goldstien, and the cheeky Quentin Crisp who slyly proclaimed, "pornography is the endeavor to sell sex for more than it’s really worth." But the panel, and possibly the whole festival could be summed up by the awe I felt sitting behind Rudy Burckhardt as his films Square Times and Sodom and Gomorrah played on screen. His camera penetrated the faces of the hookers and patrons from the ’60s, while lingering on storefront windows with signs such as, "we give plaid stamps." Yes, 42nd Street once was this sexy place where it was okay to bring the wife and kids, and here was this artist who brought that history to my eyes; an old-timer who’s still making art, who’s survived it all in spite of the odds.
The International Competition, restricted to first- and second-time filmmakers, offers the Golden Alexander, a grand prize worth about $45,000, for best full-length film, which went to Yoichiro Takahashi’s unhurried teens-in-summer story, Fishes in August. (The lead’s sexual frustration sometimes matches one’s own in wanting the summer to turn to another season, another mood.) The Silver Alexander, worth about $27,000 prize was shared by Petr Zelenka’s ambitious slice of surrealism, Buttoners, from the Czech Republic, and The Flight of the Bee, a story of a poor teacher who digs a public latrine to embarrass a rich neighbor, by co-directors Jamshed Usmanov from Tajikistan and Korean Byoung Hun Min. Samira Makhmalbaf’s The Apple got a special mention, and a Special Artistic Achievement Award went to Kwangmo Lee’s affectingly written coming-of-age story, Spring in My Hometown. The Best Director nod went to Constantine Giannaris for From the Edge of the City. The inspiredly loopy God’s Got My Number, tracking the antics of a shy would-be womanizer by France’s Bruno Podalydes won the Heineken Audience Choice Award.
The prize went to The History of Cinema in Popielawach, by Jan Jakub Kolski, a bittersweet tribute to the passion that is cinema, and its fictionalized birth in the small town of Popielawach, Poland. Special Mention went to Hungarian director Gyorgy Feher’s Passion, a particularly passionless remake of The Postman Always Rings Twice. In the shorts category, the winner was A Perfect Accent by Nicola Sornaga, about an Italian immigrant’s nostalgia for home, with Swiss directors Frederic Choffat and Andrea Staka receiving Honorable Mentions for A Nedjad and Hotel Belgrade, respectively.
Yet, despite its consistently strong and far-reaching survey of world cinema, the festival was redolent with the rarified air of command performance purchased by and for the town’s wealthy visitors and retirees. Festival patrons have proven that they’re willing and able to shell out the funds necessary to mount the festival, even purchasing the future site for a $2 million-dollar festival complex, complete with three screens, a coffee shop and an "Italian street facade." Of course, the festival also provides a practical opportunity for studios and distributors to reach out to voting Academy members who’ve moved to this retirement haven. The opening night awards gala paid tribute to such old-school standbys as Debbie Reynolds and MPAA president Jack Valenti. Audience favorites – the only honor to be obtained at this non-competitive event – tended towards sentimental pictures that arrived with a favorable buzz, including Central Station and Carlos Saura’s Tango. Overall screenings were enjoyed not by swarms of industry seekers and eager talent, but by crowds of silver-haired film buffs. 041b061a72