Seen and heard at Sundance

AP News
Posted: Jan 23, 2013 10:26 AM
Seen and heard at Sundance

Associated Press journalists open their notebooks at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah:


Some of the CIA officers who helped hunt down Osama bin Laden were no match for Nicole Kidman's security detail at the Sundance Film Festival.

Greg Barker, director of the Sundance documentary "Manhunt: The Search for bin Laden," came to the festival with three ex-CIA operatives interviewed in his film — Marty Martin, Cindy Storer and Nada Bakos. While heading into a building for an interview, Barker and his CIA companions "were mowed down" by Kidman's guards.

"Suddenly, all these heavy guys ... are like, 'Get out of the way!' And they started pushing them, pushing them, forcing them through this narrow opening. It's Nicole Kidman, you know," Barker said, laughing. "So clearly, we're here talking about taking out bin Laden, and the CIA, it does not matter compared to Nicole Kidman. I get it."

"Now I know where we stand in the totem pole," joked former CIA analyst Bakos. "'Thank you for your service, but get out of the way, because Nicole Kidman's gotta come through.'"

Kidman was at the festival for her upcoming film "Stoker."

Martin, a top CIA official who led the search for bin Laden after the Sept. 11 attacks, quipped that he may have shared a moment with Kidman.

"Just for the record, I was not intimidated by the beefy guys at all," Martin said. "And I also think they were a little concerned, because Nicole was probably eyeing over and thinking, 'Hey, I don't know who that guy is, but hello.'"

— David Germain



Shia LaBeouf couldn't be happier about making his first trip to the Sundance Film Festival for the premiere of "The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman," in which he stars opposite Evan Rachel Wood.

"It's an honor to be here, for me especially, coming from a different world," he said. "In a strange way, it's vindication. In a strange way, in a small way."

The "Transformers" star said he's "been making a certain type of a movie for quite a while, and it's nice to work on other things."

So what about the fourth installment of the shape shifting-robot franchise?

"I know that they're going to work their best to make the best movie that they can, and I know there's a lot of talented people involved," he said. "I'm quite happy with who they cast. And I think they're going to kill it, really. I think it'll be an awesome movie."

— Ryan Pearson, Twitter:



Deals keep coming at the Sundance Film Festival. The latest: Daniel Radcliffe's "Kill Your Darlings," which has the festival buzzing over the "Harry Potter" star's explicit gay love scene.

The film has been picked up by Sony Pictures Classics for distribution in the United States and a handful of other territories.

Directed by John Krokidas, the film features Radcliffe as young Allen Ginsberg in a dark story of desire and murder involving him and fellow future beat writers Jack Kerouac and William S. Burroughs.

The film co-stars Dane DeHaan, Ben Foster, Jack Huston, Michael C. Hall and Elizabeth Olsen.

— David Germain



Kevin Pearce had mixed feelings about a return trip to Sundance. A top contender for the U.S. snowboarding team at the 2010 Winter Olympics, Pearce sustained a serious brain injury while training in Park City on New Year's Eve in 2009.

Director Lucy Walker's documentary "The Crash Reel," which premiered at Sundance this year, chronicles Pearce's long recovery and his attempts to get back into snowboarding.

This wasn't Pearce's first trip back to Park City. He also attended Sundance last year and felt anxious about returning to town.

"It was a lot worse last year. It's still there a little bit," Pearce said. "I haven't been back up snowboarding on the mountain yet. I don't know when I'll be ready for that, but it's not right now. I've kind of just been trying to take it all in and just kind of understand that it went down and I've got to live with it, and just try to deal with it the best I can."

— David Germain