Dawn Keezer, director of the Pittsburgh Film Office, will send dispatches of her experiences from the annual Sundance Film Festival, which runs through Jan. 25:
Last day at Sundance, can't believe how fast the time goes every year, seems like I just got here and now it will be time to go. I have until 4:30 a.m. on Tuesday, so will try to make the most of my remaining hours.
The final day started with a new Robin William's film "World's Greatest Dad," directed by comedian Bobcat Goldthwaite. Over the years, Bobcat has had a few films at Sundance and each one has a something a little different included and this one is no exception. I will leave the description at that, but it is a film that is not suitable for children.
Pittsburgh was referenced in this film, even though it was shot in Seattle. At one point, Robin's character is speaking about zombies and how much he likes them. He goes on to talk about how he only "likes the real zombies, from movies like "Night Of The Living Dead." At a later point in the film, Robin is watching television and the opening scenes of "Night of the Living Dead" are shown on screen, it was fun!
The Q&A section was a lot of fun with Bobcat acting as master of ceremonies. He was a comedian before he became a director and he made the Q&A very lively and fun.
As he introduced the cast from the film, he told the audience that most of them had been in his other movies. He said, "I only work with my friends and some of them are even talented."
At one point in the film Robin Williams appears nude. Someone from the audience asked "who's idea was it for Robin Williams to be nude?" Bobcat chuckled and then did an impersonation of Robin Williams asking to be nude in the scene, it sounded just like him. Bobcat also told the audience that, "I liked Robin's idea, so I decided to be nude that day, too." That brought the house down with laughter.
After, I caught up with some friends for lunch on Main Street, I did one last loop through the various marketing booths and stopped by the Sundance House to see what was happening. (The Sundance House is opened during the festival as a place for festival-goers to attend seminars, go to special events or just hang out) While I was there they were running a Sundance Trivia contest. It is Sundance's 25th anniversary, so they were asking questions covering the past 24 festivals. It was fun to watch and amazing to see how many people knew what film was voted the "audience favorite" ten years ago.
Next on my schedule was a special presentation with Steven Soderbergh ("sex, lies and videotape," "Ocean's Eleven," and "Che" to name a few of his many films). I had thought it was going to be a Q&A with Steven about his career, his films and his use of new technology in his work....I was wrong.
Turns out, Steven decided to show his new, almost-finished new film "Girlfriend Experience." He explained prior to the screening that it was a definite "work in progress" film and still needed a lot of work to complete. It was very cool to see a film from Steven Soderbergh that isn't close to being released . . . however, it was a little hard for me to follow. I look forward to seeing the finished film, this version left too many loose-ends for me.
As Steven took the stage he said "You were never here, this never happened." That was almost the "quote of the day" but then someone from the audience asked him, "what did you think of what you just saw?" I took it to mean that I wasn't the only one confused as to what we had all just watched for the past 90 minutes.
After Soderbergh's event I was off to my final Sundance Party, the Kodak Party. Kodak throws one of the greatest events each year at Sundance. The party starts at 10 pm and includes a great live band and is attended by almost every Director of Photography that has a film in the Festival. I had a great time, but left before midnight, so I could grab a little sleep before my 4 a.m. wake-up call.