Film Scouts Diaries

1996 Sundance Film Festival Diaries
Sundance Follow-Up

by Leslie Rigoulot

Feb 10, 1996

L. M. Kit Carson has had an added benefit from the Sundance Film Featival this year. He is now an independent producer with Mike Medavoy's new company, Phoenix Pictures based in New York. Last year he sheperded "Bottle Rocket" through the Sundance rapids and it will be released this year through Columbia Pictures. He hopes to do the same for "The Spartans" which was shown as a fifteen minute short at this year's festival. Richard Hull, "The Spartans" producer and Carson are alums of the same prep school. Although the twentysomething Hull jokes that he and Carson were classmates, Carsn's wife and co-producer Cynthai Hargrave admits that they attended "in different decades".

Carson's script for "Count of Monte Cristo" will be directed by Robert Rodriguez and may even star Antonio Banderas. They are just waiting for him to be available.
Yeah, me too.


"Scorpion Spring" is still looking for a distribution deal. So it will continue to make the festival circuit until Brian Cox the director/writer gets an offer. I have to admit that I'm surprised since I thought someone would snap up this suspenseful tale after the first show. For Angel Aviles, the trip to Sundance is a familiar one. Her "Mi Loco Vida" made it into the niche marketing of limited distribution. Angel has spent the year since her last Sundance film trying to fight the typecasting of female Latin gangster. As she told me recently, "That is nothing like me. But the other Latin stereotype is the welfare mom with ten kids. Neither is accurate."

Alfred Molimo, who is most easily recognized as the adventurer who tries to betray Indiana Jones in the opening scenes of "Raiders of the Lost Ark", loves the independent movies because the "people who make them are visionaries. They are younger and not tied to making the mortgage payments." With his balancing act between studio flicks such as "The Perez Family" and his current indie project "A Further Gesture", Molimo has a solid perspective on the movie industry as a whole. "It is an uneasy alliance between art and business." he told me while getting ready to go on stage in the New York production of "Molly Sweeney". "But releasing movies into the art house theaters also creates a false sense of elitism. There are only two types of movies: good ones and bad ones."

With dedicated and capable actors like Molimo and Aviles, "Scoorpion Spring" is definitely one of the good ones.


Some random quotes from Sundance. Do I see a trend here?

Al Pacino: It took three and a half years to make "Looking for Richard". I did three movies and two plays".

Alfre Woodard: Some times you have to make "A Gun in Betty Lou's Hand Bag" to be able to make a movie like "Follow Me Home".

Dennis Hopper: "Spacetruckers" pretty much paid for the year. I can do what I want now.

Studio movies versus Independents

John Goodman: The money.

Dennis Hopper: The money. There is nothing wrong with making money.

Diane Wiest: If "Drunks" had been a studio movie? Coffee, we could have afforded coffee.

Wish I knew who to attibute this to, but I heard it at a large press conference: It isn't that the independents are being eaten up by the studios; it is the studios who are being eaten by the independents. They need us.

Christopher McQuarrie, screenwriter of "The Usual Suspects": THere is nothing wring with the studios, as long you as a writer, keep control. They need us.

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