Latest Posts

SUNDANCE ‘09: Tuesday, January 20th

Today provided a bit of an emotional Sundance lull for me, and not because of the inauguration. Was it just a general case of mid-festival doldrums? Or, hmm, maybe it was the countless beers I drank at the funner-than-fun Cinetic party last night. As for this morning’s dilemma, being the devoted professional that I am, I chose cinema over President Obama’s speech (which I will obviously watch in full once I return to normalcy). Here are today’s most notable moments inside a theater:

Children of Invention — Tze Chun’s tender drama superficially calls to mind Craig Zobel’s Great World of Sound. Maybe I’m the only one who sees those similarities, though. Chun’s story of a struggling Chinese mother of two in Boston is a fine lesson in restraint, how one need not force things in order to create a work of weight and merit. I’m looking forward to talking to Tze tomorrow to find out how he pulled such great performances out of his young cast.

The Girlfriend Experience — Word on the street had been building for several days that tonight’s “conversation” with Steven Soderbergh was in fact a sneak preview of his latest Bubble-esque low-budget experiment starring porn star (and legitimate cinephile!) Sasha Grey as a high-priced call girl in New York City. Word on the street was right. Out of respect for Mr. Soderbergh, I won’t speak about the footage itself. That’s like judging the facial features of a not-yet-born fetus. If he’s looking for feedback, I would be happy to send him my own personal notes (of which I have many). What I will say is that it takes a lot of courage to show a clearly still-being-formed work to an audience of 1300 at the Sundance Film Festival, where it can’t help but feel like a world premiere. I’m afraid to show my films in the early stages to more than five people at a time. 1300? No, thank you!

— Michael Tully

Liked it? Take a second to support Hammer to Nail on Patreon!

Michael Tully was born and raised in Maryland and now lives on Tennis Court in Brooklyn. His most recent narrative feature, Septien, world-premiered at the 2011 Sundance Film Festival and was picked up for distribution by Sundance Selects. In addition to directing Cocaine Angel (2006) and Silver Jew (2007), he is also a proud alumni of Filmmaker Magazine's annual "25 New Faces of Independent Film" club (2006). Visit his indieWIRE blog Boredom at its Boredest——for more sporadic personal updates.

Post a Comment