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Exclusive Sundance 2013 Special by Marci / »Beyond: Two Souls« gets release date and Willem Dafoe on 03/03/2013
Good things come to those who wait. Here finally is EPO's long announced »Sundance Special« featuring an exclusive report and reviews of both »Touchy Feely« and »The East« written by Marci. She served as volunteer for the festival and agreed to share her experiences and provide some exclusive photos and videos from the event that you can check out below as well as in the gallery. We hope you like what we have put together for you!
Ellen Page films such as »An American Crime« and »Wilby Wonderful« and her »SNL« always exceeded my expectations. I ended up watching EVERY.SINGLE.MOVIE she has acted in. Every time I heard her name on TV, late night show, trailers, I’d get so pumped and drop everything I was doing and watch an EP film to get my fix. I was hoping one day I could meet her at this point! I was ecstatic to find EPO where I found exclusive material and news about Ellen Page (Thanks Dom!!).
Around August of 2011 I decided to be more involved with film, so I took up volunteering at the Sundance Film Festival. The festival is about 10 days long and located in the beautiful Park City, Utah. I watched about 31 films in two weeks, developed insomnia, and made new friends. There were stars all around the little city it was nice to see a few familiar faces. I saw Katherine Heigl getting mobbed by fans/paparazzi I actually felt pretty bad. Yikes! I was placed in a theatre to work night shifts where many films were shown including »Touchy Feely«! While I was dosing off from working a 14 hour shift, out of all the people in the festival Lynn Shelton startled me. She was hilarious! Needless to say the best thing at Sundance was meeting my idol, Ms. Ellen Page! I came to Sundance not thinking she would be there or if I did, I’d see her from a mile away or something. I was lucky enough to catch her right when she was about to hop in a car after The Touchy Feely premiere. There was a tiny rumor that Ellen would come out of these doors... I took a risk and waited there. It looked about right since there were private cars parked there. I was more towards the end. There were plenty of people ready to see this Tiny Canadian. So many people were excited. My eyes were glued to the door and bam, there she was she came out, quick hi and bye I was the last person though my chances of any type of interaction was so small.
From the looks of it, she seemed either tired or overwhelmed. Totally understandable. I didn't want to be that person that would make her roll her eyes. I told her how amazing she was and how she inspired little filmmakers like me. I shook her hand and told her I got you something: handed her a rolled up photograph (A photograph I took in college of a pretty tree where I used to sit and doodle stories in my sketchbook and pretend Ellen would play the parts) along with a cool note. She was so thankful. We said goodbye and she got in the car. My back was facing Ellen's car and my friend that I'm talking to can see her opening the gift I gave her and Ellen is smiling so hard at me but I missed it! Ah well it's the thought that counts. Trying to remember meeting her appears to be very vague, because I guess this is the first time I ever got star struck. Usually I’m pretty okay with celebrities, but this was my idol...I felt like one of those Bieber fans...just lovely. The only unforgettable thing I could remember was when I met her again the following day during »The East« premiere. I asked her if she liked her gift, She responded with “that was you!?” and gave me a nice big thank you as she leaned over and hugged me! Yup, I died... Like twice. She is the sweetest/prettiest woman. No one can top this night. Nope. I can’t wait for more Ellen movies! Sundance was definitely a great success all around!!!
Touchy Feely - Review
I was lucky enough to be the first ticket holder in line to attend the premier for Touchy Feely. I have been anxious to see it for a long time same with “The East”. Touchy Feely is premiered at the Eccles Theatre in Park City, UT at 12:00 PM on January 19, 2013. The director of Sundance introduces the film and Lynn Shelton onto the stage as she gives a little intro about the film.
Rosemarie Dewitt -- Abby [Paul’s sister and Jenny’s aunt]
Ellen Page -- Jenny [Paul’s daughter]
Josh Pais -- Paul [ Dentist/Jenny’s father ]
Allison Janney -- Bronwyn [Abby’s masseuse/therapist/friend]
Tomo Nakayama -- Henry [First patient/singer
Scoot Mcnairy -- (no character name given) [Abby’s boyfriend]
Ellen Page’s character (Jenny) starts off in the beginning of the scene looking very gloomy, lonely and continues to look that way throughout the entire film. Paul (Josh Pais) who plays Jenny’s father is blinded by his daughter’s livelihood which seems to be dismal by being his assistant at his dental clinic. Jenny is happy when it comes to cooking that in fact she insists in making the best homemade calzone for the man she crushes on who happens to be her aunt’s boyfriend (Scoot McNairy).
Jenny and Paul have the sweetest father/daughter relationship, yet they both have something in common, they are both lost. Paul and Jenny are not used to more than two patients a day until Jenny invites her good friend Henry (Tomo Nakayama) for a free cleansing. He complains about experiencing some pain and just by a touch from Paul he is magically cured. Thinking maybe that was out of the blue, Henry refers many of his friends and family to go to Paul’s dentistry to see him cure more people. Henry praises Jenny and Paul constantly for curing his pain after suffering for two years, which kept him from singing. Soon Paul and Jenny see there is a huge waiting line for patients to see the dentist to get “cured”.
Jenny is striving to be a chef in the future and in fact, she fills out plenty of Culinary College Applications, but does not send them out, due to money shortage and the fear of having to leave her father behind. Abby’s (Rosemarie Dewitt) character on the other hand brings more confusion to the film but at the same time she is rather intriguing. Abby plays a masseuse who all of a sudden gets scared of commitment when asked to move in with her boyfriend. She begins to feel strange about skin and isn’t able to touch him or anyone else. Abby goes to her personal masseuse, Bronwyn (Allison Janney) this hippy, bubbly friend who advises Abby to take Ecstasy to relieve some stress. Abby is a mother figure to Jenny and encourages her to explore the world, but Jenny refuses. Henry meets with Jenny to give her debut tickets to see him perform live after 2 years, along with a gift that puts the only smile on her face during the film. Henry performs an amazing song, playing guitar where you see the emotion in each of the character’s faces. Tomo Nakayama (Henry) brought great attention during the Q&A session at Sundance where audience members were dying to find out where his song can be downloaded. Henry is from Washington, where Lynn Shelton had first heard him play in a café and casted him immediately.
One of the most talked about scenes according to the audience, friends and myself was when Jenny runs away crying after a shift from work from all the stress she has and shows up to Scoot’s house and asks him if he wants to hear music. They end up going to check out Henry’s performance in a church -- like auditorium. Turns out Paul is looking for his daughter after she runs out and goes to a night club where there is dirty dancing expecting Jenny to turnout. After Henrys concert, Jenny goes to his apartment telling Scoot how much it hurts having the longing to kiss someone so badly but she can’t. He tells her it would be wrong and that he loves her aunt (Abby). The faces that Ellen Page makes throughout the film makes you want to hug her and tell her everything will be alright ... you just feel bad for the girl! After being letdown by Scoot, the movie ends with everyone reuniting at Jenny’s house, including Henry as Jenny’s date eating dinner.
The movie was sweet, and caring, but at the same time the ending was a little ‘lost’. It ended with a lot of unanswered questions, but during the Q&A Lynn Shelton pointed out that she purposely left it ‘mysterious’ so that the audience could speculate what would happen next ... I guess they can imagine their own ending for this film? I was lucky enough to ask Ellen a question that was recommended by Domink Keppner the author/designer of the EPO website since I was too nervous to think of one myself.
Q: This is for Ellen Page, I know you play a dentist’s assistant ... I’m wondering how scared you are from the dentist in real life?
A: I can’t say I’m particularly afraid of the dentist. I’d say I’m neutral about the dentist. I wouldn’t say there was some sort of incredible excitement (Laughter) about going to the dentist. But I guess I’m not afraid. But I’d say it’s like a fair neutral. It's like you know how I am about needles it's also like a neutral ... like a neutral zone. (Laughter)
Watch video | Download (Format: AVI | Codec: XviD | Duration: 11:02 min | Resolution: 640x360 | Size: 93,9 MB) Credit to Marci - Exclusive video
The East - Review
The ticketholder line for The East was so long! Sundancers were ready to see this Eco thriller that Zal has been teasing us about and finally the day had come! The East premiered at the Eccles Theatre in Park City, UT at 3:30 PM on January 20, 2013. Zal gave a small intro before showing his film as we all waited anxiously on the edge of our seats.
Brit Marling - Sarah [Detective Spy]
Ellen Page - Izzy
[The East member/Benji’s lover]
Alexander Skarsgard -- Benji [The East leader/ Izzy’s lover]
Wilbur Fitzgerald -- Robert McCabe [Leader of community/The East’s target]
The film starts off with a bang as Izzy (Ellen Page) narrates what sounds like the ritual that her anarchist gang follows ... which goes something like this:
"We don’t care how rich you are...We want all those who are guilty to experience the terror of their crime ... it’s easy when it’s not your life ... easy when it’s not your home but when it’s your fault, it shouldn’t be so easy to sleep at night especially when we’ll know where you live. Lie to us, we’ll lie to you. Spy on us, we’ll spy on you. Poison us, we’ll poison you. We are The East". While Izzy chants this ritual, the opening scene is a bit daunting with synchronized images of a house being broken into and ultimately destroyed by oil being dumped in its living room along with the shattering of windows etc. by The East. The film continues with scenes of damage being done to the community as well; such as pharmaceuticals generating poisoned pills that are sold to the country which are ultimately killing people. Robert McCabe (Wilbur Fitzgerald) is stated as a leader in the community who’s at fault for throwing bad water, and oil spills into the lakes/rivers killing their animals and poisoning the community. Sarah (Brit Marling) who is one of the writers of the film and lead actress plays a young detective who yearns to go undercover and finds out who this gang of terrorists really are. As an audience member you feel for "The East" and want to side with them but at the same time they are secretly committing heinous crimes by going after anyone involved in the area of production.
Brit Marling gets the chance to spy on them and reports to her boss. She lies to her boyfriend about going to Dubai when really she is going a few blocks away into the wilderness to be with The East. Benji (Alex Skarsgard) plays the main leader who oversees all of the group’s decisions. The East has their own way of life, by living in a dark cabin away from society, yet they still manage to have human recreation with one another. Ellen (Izzy) who happens to be Benji’s lover comes off very cold towards Sarah and wants nothing to do with her. One of the most talked about scenes after the film was when Izzy meets Sarah in a closed room and asks her to wear a white straight jacket otherwise she couldn’t have dinner. Sarah looking rather puzzled does as Izzy desires, and proceeds to the dining room where everyone is staring at her. Benji asks her to begin eating. As an audience member, this kept me at the edge of my seat wondering what the heck she is going to do next! And I found myself asking myself: how can someone eat with their arms strapped with a huge wooden spoon and a bowl on the table?! It’s not possible; unless you attempt to eat like a dog. And that’s exactly what Sarah did. She began to stuff her head in the bowl because she was unable to maneuver her arms. She stops and then Benji gives the cue for the rest of the gang to dine. You begin to see everything unfold so beautifully with every other person picking up the wooden spoon with their mouth scooping the food and then feeding it to the next person, in an impressively systematized fashion. It brought to my attention that Ellen’s character was a mix of Hard Candy with a touch of Super except she never smiled or laughed. She was very fierce, a fighter, and extremely demanding all because she is heartbroken by what McCabe has done to their land.
The East has "Jams" which means attack. They plan out who has done what and appear innocent only as a means to poison/hurt the people involved. One of the jaw dropping jams was when Ellen is looking drop dead gorgeous in a dark blue dress to have "dinner" with her father who she hasn’t seen in years. Meanwhile the rest of her crew is keeping an eye on her and the father for what they have planned next.
A great twist comes up when the father is introduced as Robert McCabe. Therefore revealing that Izzy’s real name is: Kate McCabe. Izzy proceeds to ask him one question that is to stop ruining the water and stop selling the pharmaceuticals pills. After he refuses, she attacks him with a poison injection and pretends that it was something in his meal and calls for help. Izzy and The East kidnap a woman associated with McCabe. This scene with Ellen Page is one of my favorites since Hard Candy, Ellen is powerful and dramatic here by fighting two women at the same time ... the kidnapped woman and Sarah who is trying to stop Izzy from throwing the woman into the poisoned water. Sarah is holding her tongue because she sees a crime in front of her face but can’t take any action or otherwise The East will suspect her being in the police force. Robert McCabe turns out of nowhere and jumps into the water to apologize to his daughter. The Police begin to rush over and The East dashes for fear of getting arrested. Izzy begins to cry out loud and is shrieking for her father who is about to die. Benji picks her up and sits her on his motorcycle before anyone gets caught. Shots were being fired, as everyone was scattering. It was complete mayhem! Once they all arrive at the cabin, Izzy begins to mumble and slurs her words and loses sight of the world. She has been shot terribly in her abdomen. The worst part of it all ... after surgery and patiently waiting for days of recovery, Izzy passes away and The East’s torn apart. Benji ends up getting cozy with Sarah on the day of Izzy’s death (Shame on you Benji). Benji wants one last jam with Sarah. Sarah refuses, but later she goes anyway. He ends up driving to her corporation office. Benji knew all along that Sarah was a detective. Gasps were heard around me in the theatre. Benji spying on Sarah surprised everyone.
Overall this movie was so amazing! It had a great flow, each scene had its own unique intensity, and nothing was tedious. Ellen as always did a great performance as well as the other cast mates.
I was able to ask another question to Ms. Ellen Page.
Q: Was it hard to be in character while showering in the lake or being killed? Or any scene really?
A: To be honest I was just excited to be in this film and to play this character and to be with these group of people I’m standing with are the loveliest, loveliest people the experience was just amazing and we all connected profoundly and I think it was a feeling of safety and trust that existed and as an actor it's always fun as for the opportunity to go to new places so I wouldn’t say it was necessarily hard, no.
» Sundance 2013 - The East Premiere Screening (01/20/2013) «
Watch video | Download (Format: AVI | Codec: XviD | Duration: 8:47 min | Resolution: 640x360 | Size: 74,3 MB) Credit to Marci - Exclusive video
Meanwhile, »The East« has been selected to screen as the closing night film at the South By Southwest Film Conference and Festival (SXSW), which runs from March 8-16 in Austin, Texas. Word is that Zal Batmanglij, Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård and Ellen are scheduled to attend this event. The movie will also be in US theatres starting May 31, 2013 in a limited release.
At this point I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this special news article. In particular, Marci for all her efforts, her commitment, the nice conversations and for grabbing some collectibles in Park City. Also my proofreaders Wayne and Trisha for their tireless work as well as Ryan Burton for contributing a photo from the Chicago screening of »Touchy Feely«. Concluding thanks to myself for spending almost 2 days (the entire weekend) with formatting and coding this article, editing and converting the video clips and uploading all the stuff you can access here.
It has become apparent that the rumors are true regarding Willem Dafoe's involvement in the upcoming PS3 video game »Beyond: Two Souls«. Last Friday Quantic Dream released a new trailer and new gameplay footage showing the actor as Nathan Dawkins, a government scientist who works with Jodie Holmes to analyse her powers. He apparently becomes a mentor and father figure to the main protagonist and will play an emotional and likely tragical part within the story.
In this context, Sony has confirmed that the game will be released on October 8, 2013 in North America (with details on additional territories still to come) and announced preorder bonuses. Those who reserve a copy at GameStop (or EB Games in Canada) will receive an exclusive 30-minute playable additional scene DLC. And while supplies last, all pre-ordering customers will get a free upgrade to the special edition of the game, which includes a steelbook packaging, a behind-the-scenes video feature, the game's soundtrack, a PS3 dynamic theme, and a PlayStation Network avatar bundle.
» Beyond: Two Souls - Willem Dafoe Gameplay Trailer (03/01/2013) «