Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

The Set-up

Sundance 2008 blog Bruce LaBruce is one of Canada’s most audacious filmmakers. His satiric, sexually graphic work includes Super 8 ½ (1993), Hustler White (1996) and The Raspberry Reich (2004). His latest picture is the gay zombie film Otto; or Up with Dead People. The film has its world premiere at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah, which runs Jan. 17-27. LaBruce will be blogging about his adventures at Sundance for CBCNews.ca.

arts_labruce_392.jpg
Filmmaker Bruce LaBruce. (Bruce LaBruce)

This is the fourth time I’ve been invited to Park City, Utah to attend Bob Redford’s little vanity project (which has become one of the top five film festivals on the planet), and it’s my third world premiere. Funny place to have a world premiere, in a remote mountain ski resort in one of the more conservative states of America — especially considering I don’t ski — but that’s show business.

When I first traveled to Sundance in 1995 with my movie Super 8 ½, the festival was essentially two snow banks and a pre-eyeliner Jared Leto. But even then it had apparently become too mainstream for some disgruntled film folk, who started up a parallel film festival, Slamdance, that year. (A few years later, an alternative to the alternative, called Slamdunk, would emerge, followed by Tromadance, the only festival with no entry fee and free screenings.)

I can’t remember much about my screening in 1995, but I do vividly recall attending Larry Clark’s Kids, the sensation of the festival, as the guest of its executive producer, Gus Van Sant, and its writer, Harmony Korine. I remember because Gus and his then-boyfriend, D-J, and I smuggled a bottle of tequila into the screening and kept slipping it to Harmony, who was under the legal drinking age. Fun times!

The following year, I presented the world premiere of my movie Hustler White. at Sundance. Hollywood had really begun to descend on the festival with a vengeance, like a plague of sewage (see: the South Park episode about Sundance). It was still fun, but there were too many agents and entertainment lawyers and other men in black running rings around the poor Parker Poseys, desperately looking for the next big thing. As I had partly financed my film by pre-selling U.S. rights, they pretty much left me alone. Besides, a movie featuring an amputee hustler who pleasures his clients with his leg stump isn’t necessarily the kind of indie fare they’re looking for to break into the multiplexes.

Four years ago I returned to Sundance with The Raspberry Reich, a sexually explicit movie about the leader of a gang of extreme left-wing terrorists who makes her straight male followers have sex with each other to prove their revolutionary commitment. Once again, it wasn’t exactly Little Miss Sunshine, and as it had been pre-sold to US. distributor Strand Releasing, I wasn’t paid much mind, although the film did go on to play at over 150 film festivals worldwide. This time I was a little shocked to discover that Sundance had become so overrun by Hollywood types that Paris Hilton herself was in attendance. In fact, at one party, I was asked to relinquish my banquette beside the DJ booth to make way for the Queen of All Emptiness. Only to prove that chivalry wasn’t quite dead yet, I magnanimously complied.

Returning this year with my new movie, Otto; or, Up with Dead People, all bets are off. It’s another world premiere, but this time we haven’t pre-sold the U.S. territory. I will be attending with my Canadian co-producers, Jennifer Jonas and Leonard Farlinger of New Real Films, and our sales agent, Charlotte Mickie of Maximum Films, who will have the pleasure of trying to sell a melancholy gay zombie movie with political overtones to a mob of distributors looking for the next Juno. On the upside, I’m in the Park City at Midnight section alongside Diary of the Dead, directed by recent Toronto resident George A. Romero, the master of the zombie genre. Apparently we used the same camera to shoot our respective zombie movies, the Panasonic 900 HDX. I couldn’t be more thrilled.

Main | Next Post »

This discussion is now Open. Submit your Comment.

Comments

Cait

Ott

Good on CBC. Bruce Labruce is the perfect antithesis for Sundance coverage.
We are eagerly awaiting more installments.

Posted January 17, 2008 09:07 AM

jrob

alberta

hey bruce la b. - very droll but also very funny - look forward to more entries.
stick to your guns with the "emptiness" factor a the festival - beware of hanger-ons and keep it real ... oh btw - good luck with selling your film.

Posted January 17, 2008 10:35 AM

Anthony Glassman

If there is one person whose experiences at Sundance could be expected to be interesting, amusing, witty, incisive and completely honest, it's Bruce LaBruce. One can only hope he's so tired of her publicity that this year, instead of relinquishing a banquette next to the DJ booth to her, he instead slaps Paris Hilton.

Posted January 17, 2008 10:35 AM

Stef

It must be the end of the world. Bruce LaBruce at cbc.ca?! Finally, some real counter-culture for the Corp. It hasn't been the same since Brave New Waves was cancelled (and even then... not since Brent left BNW).

Posted January 17, 2008 11:02 AM

Joshua

Who woulda figured a boy from Port Elgin (or was it Kincardine) would become such a darling of the dark-star set? We love you Bruce!

Posted January 17, 2008 07:12 PM

Laurie Gordon

...and now here I am at Sundance about to venture out.I will comment here perhaps on my Sundance newbie Sundance impressions. Personally I am happy to shmooze top level execs in the hopes my film(s) and ideas become as commercial as heck so Canada can be proud of me and claim me as their own. Oh Canada still doesn't recognize my brand of CHIWAWA music but are supporting our films (the Late Ryan Larkin's animation film Spare Change and a documentary on his reanimation to creativity) are in production and the Canadian film industry has been by far kinder to me then the Canadian music insiders. Viva Sundance.I'll keep you posted on my hopes, hits and disappointments.
cha cha cha
Laurie Gordon

Posted January 18, 2008 10:48 AM

Waub WAUTERS

Vancouver

Yes, it is a relief to see Bruce blogging for the CBC. Laurels (this time) to the CBC. As a media junkie, it's refreshing to come across honest (or is it un-self-censored?) commentary. It's equally interesting that the CBC recognizes that art and artists have something more to say than their art alone offers. I'm impressed. Thanks Bruce. Have fun for us all, B.

Posted January 18, 2008 03:44 PM

Jon Champion

Who are you? Since the demise of UK's The Face I thought all underground pop-culture was dead.. fantastic read...thought provoking and quite interesting...writing as an australian in toronto at the moment (-10 not really my thing) its intriguing to see this kind of post on a conglomerate news website...especially considering how commercialised the bbc has become... will definately be tracking down some of your films... who knows maybe someone will put them up on quicksilverscreen.com? the end of the world is coming and i love it! rock on

Posted January 22, 2008 03:45 AM

Laurie Gordon

I've slept two hours and I am exhausted.I have a meeting in two hours with one network and a half hour later with a second. I want to sleep for the next 48 but life has it that this is impossible. I have been in the same breathing space as many celebrities in the last 100 hours and as many investors.
I am happy to say that I am happy , impressed and at times thoroughly disgusted. All at once, with the beautiful, deranged, ugly, and persistent I am me in the abstract. I have been in a house with 50 Cent - who was in a secured room playing Celebrity Poker. Stakes at amounts like $60,000.00...beautiful girls with dilated pupils headed the way of Edie Sedgwick. Harry O's, the disco everyone's there aligned with giant body guards bigger than vikings. The excess and the pretense is worthy of an anthropological study. Deirdre Hall from Days of Our Lives is nice. Morgan Freeman is suffering from altitude sickness...couldn't get up Main street easily..."Wait Up..."Val Kilmer who seems to be at a normal wait again and actress who's name escapes me are serious tennis players and trained yesterday...Kanye West plays tonight. Now time to be a filmmaker.Off to meeting I will be uploading moving images soon...later.
I am proud of my Canada pin pinned ( freak in a parka image) to my coat next to my NERD button. . I love saying I am Canadian. Montreal has the cool factor. "WOW, I LOVE Montreal." jazz fest....
yawn Yippee
ps saw Bruce at the TELEFILM Lounge at the Yarrow Hotel..."who's that? "Oh , that's Bruce LaBruce."
No introduction and off he, Bruce, went after delivering poster...

Posted January 22, 2008 10:50 AM

Main | Next Post »

Post a Comment

Disclaimer:

Note: By submitting your comments you acknowledge that CBC has the right to reproduce, broadcast and publicize those comments or any part thereof in any manner whatsoever. Please note that due to the volume of e-mails we receive, not all comments will be published, and those that are published will not be edited. But all will be carefully read, considered and appreciated.

Note: Due to volume there will be a delay before your comment is processed. Your comment will go through even if you leave this page immediately afterwards.

Privacy Policy | Submissions Policy

Story Tools: PRINT | Text Size: S M L XL | REPORT TYPO | SEND YOUR FEEDBACK

World »

Updated Donald Trump's choice of generals for top posts 'extremely unusual'
The procession of former military officers nominated for top jobs in Donald Trump’s administration is raising concerns over whether the appointments could defy an American constitutional tenet: civilian oversight of government.
South Korea president Park Geun-hye is impeached
South Korean lawmakers on Friday voted to impeach President Park Geun-hye, a stunning and swift fall for the country's first female leader amid protests that drew millions into the streets in united fury.
Dutch court finds Geert Wilders guilty of hate speech
A Dutch court convicts populist anti-Islam lawmaker Geert Wilders of hate speech, at the end of a trial he branded a politically motivated "charade" that endangered freedom of speech.
more »

Canada »

Live Trudeau, premiers meet in Ottawa today to craft climate deal video
Canada's first ministers are finalizing the details of a national climate change strategy to be announced at a high-level meeting in Ottawa today, but Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has made it clear he won't sign on to make it unanimous.
Russia threatens retaliation over latest round of Canadian sanctions video
Russia is threatening to retaliate after Canada quietly imposed additional sanctions on Russian nationals over the annexation of Crimea and Moscow's ongoing support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Collecting Starbucks or WestJet rewards? They may never expire thanks to Ontario bill
Ontario's new law banning loyalty programs from slapping an expiry date on points based on the passage of time alone will benefit many consumers — not just Air Miles collectors.
more »

Politics »

Russia threatens retaliation over latest round of Canadian sanctions video
Russia is threatening to retaliate after Canada quietly imposed additional sanctions on Russian nationals over the annexation of Crimea and Moscow's ongoing support for separatists in eastern Ukraine.
Live Trudeau, premiers meet in Ottawa today to craft climate deal video
Canada's first ministers are finalizing the details of a national climate change strategy to be announced at a high-level meeting in Ottawa today, but Saskatchewan Premier Brad Wall has made it clear he won't sign on to make it unanimous.
U.S. VP Joe Biden says 'Vive le Canada' as he kicks off 2-day trip north video
U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden used pre-dinner remarks at an event held in his honour in Ottawa to tout cross-border ties and urge the Prime Minister Justin Trudeau be a leader on international issues.
more »

Health »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Arts & Entertainment»

Jessica Chastain and Miss Sloane director John Madden lobby for the anti-hero video
The political thriller Miss Sloane stars Jessica Chastain as Elizabeth Sloane, a ruthless and sought-after lobbyist in the middle of the U.S. gun control debate.
Donald Trump remains executive producer of Celebrity Apprentice
Donald Trump is gone from the boardroom of NBC's Celebrity Apprentice reboot but he has kept a connection to the reality show.
Rolling Stone's Mick Jagger welcomes birth of 8th child
Mick Jagger's representatives say the rock legend and Rolling Stones frontman has welcomed the birth of his eighth child with girlfriend Melanie Hamrick.
more »

Technology & Science »

Former astronaut, U.S. senator John Glenn dead at 95
John Glenn, whose life took him to the celestial heights as the first American to orbit in space, then into the trenches of congressional infighting as a longtime Democratic senator, before he re-entered space as a 77-year-old, has died.
'We lost a good man today': Chris Hadfield on the death of John Glenn video audio
Col. Chris Hadfield, Canada’s most recognizable former astronaut, says the death of his idol and colleague John Glenn is tragic.
Researchers sound alarm over millions of tonnes of plastic dumped into oceans video
Members of an international organization based in Denmark that aims to raise awareness about the consequences of the increasing plastic pollution of the oceans, are set to collect data and measure levels of micro-plastics floating in the water.
more »

Money »

Collecting Starbucks or WestJet rewards? They may never expire thanks to Ontario bill
Ontario's new law banning loyalty programs from slapping an expiry date on points based on the passage of time alone will benefit many consumers — not just Air Miles collectors.
Americans getting better deal than Canadians on rebate for Samsung washers
A Samsung customer says Canadians are getting a raw deal compared to Americans when it comes to a rebate offered by Samsung on its recalled top-loading washing machines.
TSX, New York stock markets rally as crude prices top $50 US
Major stock markets in New York climbed to set new records today amid a broad rally from banks, materials and technology companies.
more »

Consumer Life »

Sorry - we can't find that page
 
CBC.ca

Sorry, we can't find the page you requested.

  1. Please check the URL in the address bar, or ...
  2. Use the navigation links at left to explore our site, or ...
  3. Enter a term in the Quick Search box at top, or ...
  4. Visit our site map page

In a few moments, you will be taken to our site map page, which will help you find what you looking for.

more »

Sports »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
Doping report details 'institutional conspiracy' in Russia involving more than 1,000 athletes
More than 1,000 Russian athletes competing in summer, winter and para sport were involved in or benefited from an institutional conspiracy to conceal positive doping tests, according to a World Anti-Doping Agency-backed doping investigation.
Penny Oleksiak wins bronze, sets new Canadian record video
Canada's Olympic star Penny Oleksiak won bronze in the 100-metre freestyle at the world short-course swimming championships Thursday, setting a new Canadian record in the process.
Coming Up World short-course swimming championships video
Watch the heats at 9:30 a.m. ET as Canadian Olympians Kylie Masse and Taylor Ruck compete at the world short-course championships in Windsor, Ont.
more »

Diversions »

[an error occurred while processing this directive]
more »