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comedy storms Slamdance: It’s snowing laughs in PC !

COMEDY STORMS SLAMDANCE: It’s snowing laughs in Park City!

Happily married in Park City, Salt Lake, Deer Valley and Provo

Comedic tour de force John Leguizamo summed up the typical Park City experience perfectly.
“I saw a lot of REALLY depressing movies and then went home.”

In the digital era of documentary overload, one Independent voice is quietly laughing back from the grave. For the past 10 years Sundance and Slamdance have learned to co-exist in near-harmony providing festival goers a double dose of new voices, attitudes and spirit. But as the starched studio reps descend on the dance, most will confess that you can fake dramatic taste but to catch comedy onscreen is “Lightening in a bottle.”

ARE WE THERE YET? Not even close. Read: Ice, Ice turkey.

The Slamdance Film Festival (Jan 21-28) offers narrative and documentary features ranging from the wild to the weepy but this year Comedy is King. The 2005 slate was determined from over 2,800 submissions from over 30 countries.

Festival Director Kathleen McInnis comments “Fresh voices from filmmakers almost always shy of resources but always rich in storytelling. They embody the extraordinary line up of films that showcase risk and passion.”
Director of Programming Sarah Diamond adds “We have come into our 11th year with a film program more diverse than ever.”

From Park City premieres to the trickle down programming of 2005, watch for these 4 fantastic stand-out comedies banking on buzz and selling out seats.

Four Eyed Monsters
USA (85 min) 2004 World Premiere

Four glittering eyes, two pink mouths, and eight limbs wrapped around itself.

In a brittle and brutal world (NYC, actually) two lonely twenty-somethings find the key to connecting romantically…they stay disconnected. Through a random kaleidoscope of video clip chaos balanced by street strangers’ confessions, this uniquely paced feature delivers a powerful narrative punch. Life moves – lovers move on - but you still have to get up and go to work. Do these libido bruised singles mope and wax suicidal? Not in the least. And that’s where the film finds its pulse. There is a frantic vibrancy displayed by the ‘true to form’ cast that draws you in and pushes back much in the same way each 2 eyed monster mashes each other.

Director: Arin Crumley
Writers: Arin Crumley & Susan Buice
Cast: Susan Buice, Arin Crumley, Joe Griffin, Marc Scrivo

http://www.foureyedmonsters.com

Mall Cop
USA (97 min) 2004 World Premiere

Frank works as a mall night watchman.
Frank loses his arm in a freak accident.
Part of Frank goes back to the mall.

Who would think that BEANCAKE (Cannes Short Film Winner 2001) director David Greenspan would deliver such a pop-culture delight. All is fine & dandy for a quiet night watchman until he loses his arm in a botched mall heist. What follows is one man’s quest to stay still so that the world can slow down and catch up with him. Although there is nothing remotely amusing about “Amputees,” this physical liability empowers Frank (Derek Cecil) to take chances, go for the girl and find his missing arm in the most bizarre place…all while being tailed by a menacing figure known as White Wedding. Funny but never jokey, deadpan but never dreary, the comedy erupts not from what’s spoken but by who’s speaking. Clap when it’s over. Frank would have liked that.

Director: David Greenspan
Writers: Selena Chang & Matt Reynolds
Cast: Derek Cecil, Kathleen Robertson, Nick Searcy, Jennifer Morrison

http://www.mallcopthemovie.com


Phil the Alien
Canada (86 min) 2004 U.S. Premiere

No one gets me but the beaver.

Thank God for goofy Maple leafs. Canada may well be the last bastion for cheap prescription drugs and silly laughs played for just that. With great homage to SCTV (PHIL actor Rob Stefaniuk bears a striking glance to Rick Moranis…and wait isn’t that Joe Flaherty in a raccoon speedo?) the craziness kicks off when a nerdy alien lands in the woods of ‘The Great White North.” After he befriends a trigger happy boy, a super intelligent beaver (not what you’re thinking) and bar band buddies, Phil quickly descends into alcoholism. But what could’ve been played as a flat “fish out of water” farce, instead winds itself tight delivering a botched government plot on top a hard lesson in redneck ethics. Surprisingly, Phil grows more endearingly loopy as the ugly earthlings scramble to save what they’ve already sacrificed.

“I gotta party with that alien,” may be the great dorm room chant of 2005.

Director: Rob Stefaniuk
Writer: Rob Stefaniuk
Cast: Rob Stefaniuk, Nicole Deoer, Brad McGinnes, Bruce Hunter

http://www.philthealien.com


Zombie Honeymoon
USA (83 min) 2004 Park City Premiere

In sickness and in health, till death do us feast!

Basking on the beach in nuptial afterglow, a couples’ bliss is interrupted when a mysterious figure emerges… to maul them! Danny & Denise are thisclose to starting their life together when Danny is attacked by the undead and dies…for awhile. What follows is a marital dilemma: A new bride must reconcile her hubby’s hankering for “brain food” with her sacred vows. Trapped somewhere between graphic satire and stark drama, HONEYMOON delivers on a profoundly hysterical level.
Every spouse is a closet something, and if yours privately feasts on the flesh of the innocent, that’s still WAY better than a secret subscription to “Corn Fetish Weekly.”

Director: Dave Gebroe
Writer: Dave Gebroe
Cast: Tracy Coogan, Graham Sibley, Tonya Cornelisse, David M. Wallace

http://www.zombiehoneymoon.com

A brief history:
The week long Slamdance Film Festival has expanded physically expanded this year to include a second screening venue and new box office at 608 Main Street in Park City. The Festival has also expanded the Salt Lake City screening rooms to include the newly refurbished vintage movie house, The Murray Theatre and the brew pub theater space, Brewvies.

Happily married in Park City, Salt Lake, Deer Valley and Provo — Festival Reporter: Craig Parish


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