Freeheld stumbles over too many hurdles to recommend it. The film’s heart is in the right place, but its focus is not.
• Kartina Richardson in Park City
Why is it that the culture surrounding art is so far removed from the process of making that art? I suspect this week is hell for many filmmakers here. The world you have to exist in as a great artist (one that values the interior over the exterior, the spiritual over the corporeal) is directly opposed the world you have to exist in to get your movie made. I wonder how many other people here are wondering what's wrong with them. How many people are pretending they love partying in order to not feel like a weirdo.
I wish I could bundle up all the filmmakers and creatives and whisk them far away to a magical island where movies are made and seen without any of this bullshit hustle-bustle.
My friend Te'Devan doesn't agree with me. He thinks Sundance is great, and I know that in a way he's right. No place is really inherently the pits, and if there is no "I" nothing can bother you. I met Te'Devan on the subway in New York a year ago, and I never saw him again until he appeared before me here at Sundance. Te'Devan is a wandering spiritual nomadic couch surfer, in our terms, and a sadhu, in eastern terms. A sadhu is a spiritual seeker who renounces everything in the quest for god.
Says Te'Devan: "Im not a real sadhu because I'm still involved with the world and I'm still involved with projects. I wouldn't be considered a full sadhu by strict Indian standards -- after all I do have a phone -- but by western standards I would be considered a sadhu. I travel with one bag."
As my Sundance buddy, Te'Devan is the Oscar to my Felix. Or I am the Toto to his Dorothy. Or he is the Oprah to my Lance Armstrong. Or I am the Eyore to his Winnie the Pooh. When Te'Devan walks down the street the people love him. Everyone talks to Te'Devan.
He brings spirituality, joy and perspective to a very stressy Sundance.
An interview with Michael Shannon on Freeheld, 99 Homes, Boardwalk Empire, and more.
Our monthly series digs into the career of Wes Craven and comes out with his 3D 2010 film, "My Soul to Take".
A comparison of Frank Costello in The Departed and Whitey Bulger in Black Mass reveals weaknesses in the latter.
A letter to Angelina Jolie about the casting of her upcoming take on "Cleopatra."