Saturday, January 22, 2011


What is the difference between a documentary about Harry Belafonte and a fictionalized film about a recovery from life in a cult? EVERYTHING.

Sing My Song, co-produced by Sage Scully who produced Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune which screened in the 2010 Woodstock Film Festival is an inspiring documentary about the life and time of Harry Belafonte. Passionate and proactive in American Civil Rights movement for decades as well as social justice throughout the world, Belafonte's spirit comes to life on the screen, empowering and inspiring, and hopefully moving the younger generation of potential activists to step up. This tireless pursuit of justice and equality, coupled by footage from some of Hollywood's earlier and more colorfully wonderful footage, makes the film a joy to behold and an inspiration to experience.

Following Sing My Song I went to see Martha Marcy May Marlene, a film that was shot in Upstate NY. There has been growing buzz about the film here and since we know so many people in the film I was anxious to see it. And boy, was I glad I did. First of all, Elizabeth Olsen's performance was AMAZING. It made me think of the year when I saw Vera Farmiga in Debra Granik's Down to the Bone. For Vera this performance was her breakthrough and turning point, and my sense is that the same will happen for Elizabeth Olsen in Martha Marcy. The film itself was crafted beautifully, with excellent cast, thoughtful cinematography, great, eerie sound track and carefully nuanced pace that takes you along a spiraling journey that is both frightening and insightful. Its a dark film though, we'll see who it will be acquired by.

In between films there are always parties of course. Yesterday there was US Weekly's party celebrating the publication of our good friend Thelma Adam's book Playdate, IFP's 7 Faces to Watch Party, Israel's Consulate Party, Various films parties, and on and on.

With the weather continuing to be nice (coming from NY, things are always relative...), today promises to be super busy everywhere as the first weekend of Sundance begins. Lots of premieres are afoot and lots of parties are ahead. I'm off to headquarters to get some more tickets for public screening and then off to hit the theaters once again.

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