Sundance Watch: ‘Cobain’ premieres, women talk Hollywood
PARK CITY, Utah — The Associated Press is all over the Sundance Film Festival, from its premieres to the Hollywood glitz. Here’s what they’ve seen and heard:
AMATEUR PORN SPOTLIGHTED IN ‘HOT GIRLS WANTED’
“Teen” is the most searched term in online pornography, and thousands of young people enter the amateur porn industry every day, lured by promises of quick money and hopes for fame.
The disturbing world of amateur pornography — professionally produced films made to look like home movies — is exposed in the new documentary by Jill Bauer and Ronna Gradus, “Hot Girls Wanted,” which premiered Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival.
Teenagers who have grown up in the age of the Internet have always known porn is easy to find. And as pop culture has become more and more sexualized, the taboo against sex on film has faded for them, the attitude being, “We’re doing it anyway, why not get paid?”
Tressa, an 18-year-old girl featured in the film, was attracted to porn as a way to escape her Texas hometown. She said she earned $25,000 in her four months in the industry, but after paying for lingerie, manicures, makeup and biweekly STD tests, she only had about $2,000 in her bank account when she quit the business.
“It’s easy to take advantage of an 18-year-old girl,” she said.
—By Sandy Cohen
MINDY KALING QUICK QUOTE
“I have a personality defect where I sort of refuse to see myself as an underdog… It’s because of my parents. They raised me with the entitlement of a tall, blond, white man.”
—Mindy Kaling at Sundance, on where her confidence comes from
FRANCO, QUINTO FIND CHEMISTRY IN ‘I AM MICHAEL’
In “I Am Michael,” a drama based on Benoit Denizet-Lewis’s 2011 New York Times article “My Ex-Gay Friend,” James Franco plays the part of Michael Glatze, the ex-gay friend in question.
The film, which premiered Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival, is a sensitive, complicated and provocative story about a prominent gay activist who, in just a few years, denounces his homosexuality.
At the heart of the story is the relationship with his longtime boyfriend, Bennett (Zachary Quinto). The two have an easy, intimate and wholly lived-in chemistry when portraying Michael and Bennett as a happy couple.
But the actors, who look so comfortable together on screen weren’t even acquaintances in real life prior to the film.
“We met through the process of getting ready to shoot the movie,” said Quinto on Sunday. “For me it was just a really clear entry to the character through his love for Michael and his unwavering commitment to trying to make their relationship work. I thought it was really well-crafted in terms of this intimacy they share and how it devolves into this maelstrom of really damaging emotional upheaval.”
—By Lindsey Bahr
CHRIS PINE QUICK QUOTE
“ I got into acting because I think the first play that I did I played 20 parts, so I think my whole concept of what acting was in the beginning was precisely that, getting the opportunity to disappear into multiple, multiple roles.”
—Chris Pine at the Sundance premiere of “Z is for Zachariah,” on big budget versus independent films
DUNHAM, KOHAN, WIIG, KALING WEIGH IN ON WOMEN IN HOLLYWOOD
Lena Dunham dreams of the day when a man might say, “It’s impossible to get into Hollywood. It’s an old women’s network.”
The creative force behind HBO’s “Girls” shared the stage with “The Mindy Project” creator Mindy Kaling, “Bridesmaids” star and co-writer Kristen Wiig and “Orange Is the New Black” show-runner Jenji Kohan for a discussion on women in Hollywood Saturday at the Sundance Film Festival.
All said they realized early on that if they wanted to tell the stories they cared most about, they’d have to take the reins and do it themselves. And they found TV a far friendlier environment for female voices than film.
They hope their current successes help pave the way for other women with Hollywood dreams. All four rely on writing teams populated by mostly women, but they don’t count men out.
“You shouldn’t have to just limit yourself to one gender,” Kohan said. “You want to work with whoever is the best at what they’re doing.”
—By Sandy Cohen
COURTNEY LOVE, FRANCES BEAN APPEAR TOGETHER FOR ‘COBAIN’
Courtney Love and daughter Frances Bean made a rare public appearance together at the premiere of the documentary, “Cobain: Montage of Heck,” at the Sundance Film Festival.
Love, the widow of Nirvana frontman Kurt Cobain, and Frances, their daughter and an executive producer on the film, have had a rocky relationship but presented a united front on the red carpet Friday.
The film, directed by Brett Morgen, is the first authorized film about Cobain. Morgen says it took eight years to make it happen and he finished color correcting the movie less than a week ago. When he was finished he “went to the bathroom and cried for about 25 minutes.”
“I wasn’t crying because Kurt died,” he said.” I was crying because I wasn’t going to be able to spend time with him anymore. And for the last two years he’s been everything in my life.”
The movie premieres May 4 on HBO.
—By Alicia Rancilio