Sundance 2007: Day Five

Cancellations and other disappointments : Anthony Hopkins slipstreams his way into a muddle, but at least Scotland's own Kate Dickie takes time to chat.

by Amber Wilkinson

Anthony Hopkins in a "no secret meaning" vanity project.

Anthony Hopkins in a "no secret meaning" vanity project.

Scheduling (pronounced Skedyuling round these here parts) is an all-important part of Sundance - and a complete nightmare. If you're not finding that an interview is clashing with a screening you're just desperate to see, you're being ditched unceremoniously from the interview list. Scheduling, in fact, carries an obligatory SPF 40.

Interviews cancelled so far including Antonio Banderas, Gina Gershon and Brenda Blethyn. Sob. Just as well then that Red Road star Kate Dickie still found time to speak to me - and what a lovely lady she is, quite the highlight of an otherwise frustrating day.

Even the films didn't lift things. Began the day with the customary 6.30am start and headed to the press screening of Anthony Hopkins latest directorial venture, Slipstream. It is scheduled as part of the New Frontier section - where the cutting edge of film-making is intended to live. If cutting edge equals confusing, then it is certainly in the right place.

A sub-David Lynch meander, it starts well, with quick cuts and flashbacks, confusing and intriguing in equal measure. The cast are big-hitters, from Hopkins himself to Invasion Of The Body Snatchers Kevin McCarthy and Christian Slater... but a good cast cannot a good film make. What would have perhaps made an excellent short subject becomes a cumbersome, confusing and deeply unsatisfying mess of a vanity project.

I was unable to attend the press conference, since I was chatting to Kate Dickie by that point but those that did say Hopkins is unbelievable passionate about the project (though some have suggested the passion was close to annoyance with the attendant journalists).

When asked about the film's meaning, Hopkins, apparently, insisted it was personal to him and didn't have any secret meaning to be divined. Oh. Kay.

Kate on the other hand was full of beans and eager to talk about both Red Road and the future movies in the Advance Party trilogy. There's something refreshing about talking to someone who is actually keen to talk about their projects rather than fed up with interviews, so hats off to her. We'll be bringing you a full report on the interview soon.

Sadly, the interview was as good as the day got, with the second film also hitting the bar. Four Sheets To The Wind was, sadly, a bit, well, sheet. Telling the story of a family of Oklahoma Native Americans and their trials and tribulations, it was so deeply average on all counts that it failed to rise above the utter pedestrian. In fact, the day was so disappointing Eye For Film lost the will to review at that point and headed home for an early night. Very excited about the prospect of Brit flick Son Of Rambow tomorrow morning, though.

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