x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

Sundance Film Festival: notes from the inside

Journalists in Park City, Utah, open their notebooks to share some of the oddest occurrences.

Film? What film?

Corey Feldman doesn't have a movie at the Sundance Film Festival but that doesn't mean he's not making the most of his time in Park City.

On Friday night, Feldman and a bevy of beauties danced as Dave Grohl and his Sound City Players performed a marathon concert at Park City Live. And on Saturday, Feldman got into the act himself. Dressed in what appeared to be a leather-like suit reminiscent of his former friend and idol Michael Jackson, he lip-synched during a high-energy performance. He was accompanied by women dressed in white and sporting angel-wings and halos like angels.

"This is a new form of entertainment," Feldman said.

A familiar story retold

Osama bin Laden remains big in the box office with the thriller Zero Dark Thirty, which, incidentally, opens in the UAE tomorrow.

The story of the Al Qaeda leader is also being told at the Sundance Film Festival with the documentary Manhunt: The Search for Osama bin Laden, which premiered on Sunday at the independent-film showcase.

The director Greg Barker's film chronicles bin Laden's rise to power during the Soviet occupation of Afghanistan and his call for jihad against the United States in the 1990s. Using interviews with CIA agents and analysts, the film traces the evidence that Al Qaeda planned a major assault on the United States in the months leading up to the terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001.

Manhunt then recounts the immense increase in resources committed to the CIA's hunt for bin Laden, the story that is dramatised in Zero Dark Thirty.

Delayed reaction

The Twilight author Stephenie Meyer is attending Sundance as a producer on Austenland, the directing debut of the Napoleon Dynamite co-writer Jerusha Hess.

Meyer said she and Hess hit it off right away and have a lot in common, even though Meyer didn't appreciate Napoleon Dynamite when she first saw it. (The the 2004 world-of-weirdoes comedy was one of thebiggest hits to come out of the Sundance Film Festival.)

"I was with another 30-something mom in a theatre full of teenage kids and they're laughing. And we're sitting there going, 'Am I that old? I don't get it,'" Meyer said. "I kind of was like, wow, I feel bad. I didn't get this. And then I went home, and the next day I started quoting it and I'm snickering to myself all day... It was like this weird delayed reaction. "

Wild about Dan, not Harry

Dane DeHaan, one of Daniel Radcliffe's co-stars in the Sundance premiere Kill Your Darlings, confessed in an interview that he only started watching the Harry Potter films "when we got finished filming" Kill Your Darlings.

DeHaan promised that he eventually would watch all the Harry Potter films but said his real admiration was for the actor playing the Hogwarts hero.

"I'm a Dan fan," DeHaan said.