Lou Reed performed at the Sundance House Sunday night, transforming the room into an amazing, instant club. Backed by keys, strings, and his own guitar, he sang about ecstasy, sacrifice, glue, and small towns. He commanded a presence in the room from his chair with ease. And when a pseudo-heckler started doing a famous hum-a-hum-a-hum-hum loudly, Reed asked him, “You wanna come up here and do that?” He didn’t. After a long set, the crowd stomped and yelled for a full five minutes to bring on the encore of “Candy Says.”
Photo by Brandon Joseph Baker.
Todd Rohal’s midnight film The Catechism Cataclysm is not only funny but straaaaaange, even tense towards the end. The audience had a great time, laughing and/or reeling with confusion. The story of a priest looking for a new start with an old friend came from Rohal’s experiences when he worked at a theology school as a custodial and computer repairman and got to know a couple of priests, one of whom left the profession. He took artistic license after that, simply writing a crazy script and deciding it would all make it into the movie, no notes or outside influences allowed. While he was writing it he had a (miserable) job transferring digital media at an office that was next door to a performing arts complex. As he would write, intense cheering and screaming laughter would come through the walls. Rohal just got more and more jazzed. Each few pages elicited massive excitement from the building. Screams of yes! more! kept him going, the floor shaking with stomping fans with each joke or crazy scene he got down on paper. Rohal powered the unusual story into an unusual film. Pictured is the actor Koko Lanham, found by Rohal through a Craigslist ad in which he stipulated he was looking for “a big man.” That's a spider haircut for the premiere.
And one more quote from Rutger Hauer in his Cinema Café with Roger Corman (which Jon Korn wrote about earlier). Both have a long history of working with young talent - Corman with his films, Hauer with his school The Rutger Hauer Filmfactory, which fosters filmmakers making a short film. Corman on his love of how film festivals support people who take chances: “Just go – we’ll catch you.”