Tag Archives: peter jackson

A Bittersweet Return To Sundance: Great Films and an Even Greater Loss

This year, after an eleven year absence, I made my return to the Sundance Film Festival and yes, there were a lot of changes but as the saying goes, plus ça change, plus c’est la même chose! There were new hotels and condos, new restaurants and a much better transportation system but there were also the same old throngs of pseudo celebs and their hangers on that were only there for the gifting suites, club nights and seemed to not even know there were films being screened. Like I said, the more things change….

The Sundance lineup always looks good on paper. There are dozens of films from directors both new and unsung that virtually no one has seen, including one (Amy Berg’s West of Memphis) so fresh that producer Peter Jackson literally hand-carried the print to Utah from New Zealand!

A Singular Doc Experience

An emotional moment at the Q&A for Kirby Dick's "The Invisible War."

By the time the awards were handed out on Saturday night, it seemed like many categories had six or seven favorites, although a few were pretty obvious. One of those obvious winners (to me, anyway) was Kirby Dick’s The Invisible War which won the audience award for documentaries. A heart-breaking and shocking look at rape in the military, Dick’s film details the pain, shame, horror and lasting damage caused by the attacks and the shocking hypocrisy and cover-ups endorsed by the military establishment.

Why was it obvious to me that it would get the audience prize? Simple: I have never seen an audience reaction and a post-screening Q & A like this one. Not in over 20 years and well over 150 film festivals have I seen a crying standing ovation with an audience full of senators, US representatives and celebs, including Mary J. Blige, who is writing an original song for the film. Packed with stories and statistics that can do nothing but inspire action and outrage, The Invisible War is a perfect piece of advocacy filmmaking.

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Spielberg, Peter Jackson and Tintin?!? Sounds BRILLIANT!

While I am not a huge fan of Steven Spielberg’s most recent work (granted I haven’t actually seen one of his films since 2001’s A.I., I am NOT one of those “I loved him when I was younger now he sucks” people, either.
I am a HUGE Peter Jackson fan, and consider him a genius.
As a result, I am highly chuffed about the news that the pair are going to collaborate on a trio of films based on Hergé’s (aka Georges Remi’s) Tintin series! “The two filmmakers will each direct at least one of the movies; studio wouldn’t say which director would helm the third,” reports Variety. Jackson also told the paper that “we’re making them look photorealistic; the fibers of their clothing, the pores of their skin and each individual hair. They look exactly like real people –but real Hergé people!”
I don’t know about you, but I can’t friggin’ wait! Tintin was a constant companion for me as my parents dragged me around the world when I was a child and probably had a good measure of influence on my curious nature.
What’s not to like? A teenaged investigative journalist whose best friends are a white terrier and a cranky, drunken Scottish sea captain? The there are the twin bowler-hatted Thom(p)sons, the dotty professor Calculus and many other friends and villains that Tintin encounters along the way. And while he’s doing this? No talking dogs, no stoned sidekicks and no one says “Jinkies!”
Now we have to wait to see which three adventures they choose. My choices? There’s no way I can stick to three, but….:

Destination Moon/Explorers on the Moon
(maybe they can combine them?) – Two stories from 1953-4 that 15 years before the Apollo 11 landing are damn advanced!
The Secret of the Unicorn/Red Rackham’s Treasure (ditto)-Oh MAN that would be cool!
King Ottokar’s Sceptre – a 1939 story about preventing a fascist coup. Ring any bells around the time period?
Oh, who am I fooling? I’d love them all.

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Artwork Copyright © Hergé / Moulinsart