WOW! WOW! WOW! How's that for a start? :)
Cast and crew arrived on Friday to a whirlwind of activity on Main Street and all were anxiously awaiting our premiere Saturday night. John and Patty Sayre, John and Ann Parker, Linda Blackmore Cates and Eric Roos---all of whom were involved in Up With People and are featured in SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS---were among those that joined us for the screening. It was their first opportunity to see it and participate in an electric and emotionally moving Q&A that followed. I was surprised that the first questions would be about Glenn Close and her participation in Up With People. I was even more surprised when Linda Blackmore Cates delivered a moving and thoughtful response. We hope to post a video of the Q&A soon. It was a sold out show and the audience responded with great enthusiasm---laughing at times, perhaps tearful at others. There is no doubt all left still thinking about the experience of the film.
The premiere was followed by a party at The Spur. Although Jim Carrey RSVP'd to our guest list, he didn't show. Neither did Robert Redford or Ben Affleck (but then again, I didn't ask them to come when we met a couple of nights ago.) However, we did have a great rock band from Phoenix perform for us: Crisis! They traveled to join our celebration and play a song written especially for SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS called "Stand Up!". Check out their website and listen for yourself. www.myspace.com/crisistheband55 . A highlight of the party was to see Jeff Dowd (aka "The Dude") and Jack Lechner sing "Honky Tonk Woman" on stage with the band. It was a crowd pleaser to be sure, and they were good!! Hopefully I can post a clip of that soon too.
The next day was a blur with cast and crew leaving Park City, various press and TV interviews and yes, more parties!!! We are now gearing up for our second screening tomorrow night. If it is anything like the first, I'm confident we will have another lively audience followed by another thought-provoking Q&A.
- SMILE opens at Harkins Theaters in Phoenix, February 17-24
- SMILE screens in Michael Moore's Dangerous Docs at Traverse City Film Festival, July 30
- Harkins Theaters Presents SMILE 'TIL IT HURTS, Tucson, AZ July 27-31, 2010!
- Tribeca Cinemas Presents: Doc Series, NYC, May 24, 2010
- Salem Film Festival, Salem MA, February 27, 2010
- Sedona Film Festival, February 25 & 27, 2010
- Big Sky Documentary Film Festival, February 20, 2010
- Rocky Mountain Women's Film Fest, Colorado Springs, Nov 6-8
- FirstGlance Film Festival, Philadelphia, October 24
- Temecula Int'l Film & Music Festival, Sept 10 & 11
- DOCUWEEKS, IFC Center, NYC, Aug 7-13
- DOCUWEEKS, ArcLight Hollywood, LA, July 31-Aug 6
- NEWFEST Film Festival, June 5
- Full Frame Documentary Film Festival, April 3
- Florida Film Festival, March 28 & April 2
- Slamdance Film Festival, January 17 & 20
Recent Press and Praise
- Variety: Storey victory over IRS reassures community!
- Hollywood Reporter: Lawyer rescues doc film industry!
- IDA News on IRS Win
- NY Times notes "sigh of relief" for doc filmmakers
- Deadline reports on victory over IRS for documentaries
- Storey Speaks on IRS Case at IDA's DOC U Event
- Forbes Breaks Story on Knocking Down the IRS
- Filmmaker Magazine on WHY DOCUMENTARY FILMMAKING CANNOT BE A HOBBY
- New Times reports "it's sugary but pretty damn effective"
- Arizona Republic calls SMILE "a complex tale"
- Review from the Traverse City Film Festival
- Philadelphia Lawyer critically reviews "fascinating historical phenomenon"
- Madison proclaims SMILE "very relevant today"!
- New Review in Failure Magazine
- Cinema Without Borders gives us 5 stars!
- Hey U Guys UK review: "If you get a chance to catch this one, be sure to check it out."
- Hugh Hart's Industry Buzz on the "globe-hopping chorus"
- Dish Miss calls it "well-made...funny, fascinating, and very very entertaining!"
- NY Post tells how Glenn Close was Up With People
- LA Times singles out fast-paced doc!
- la2day's "Top Pick of the Week"
- Documentary.org interview with Director Lee Storey
- Rotten Tomatoes gives us an A-!"
- Conspiracy theories...often turn out to be true.
- Movie Dearest says "Up Yours, People!"
- LA Weekly cheers "Up With Docuweeks"
- Gordon and the Whale calls it "very funny, very strange, very affecting"
- Movie Geeks finds it "entertaining and enlightening"
- Village Voice proclaims "a withering critique"
- indieWIRE notes we are qualifying for an Oscar!
- pullquote's Can't Stop the Music Pt 2
- Highly rated review says keep an eye out for this one!
- Indie Week calls it especially interesting!
- Orlando Sentinel pokes a reluctant Glenn Close, by golly!
- Orlando Weekly trumpets 4 star review with 'deft wit'
- We're a hoot!
- From the San Franciso Bay Guardian
- Variety reviews our film!
- We've been blogged!
- L.A. Times gives us a nod
- The Salt Lake Tribune discusses films about music
- indieWIRE names us one of Five Films To Watch at Slamdance
- This just in from Variety's THE CIRCUIT
- Hollywood Reporter: Lawyer rescues doc film industry
Jan 19, 2009
Thoughts On Our World Premiere
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I was at the premiere screening on Saturday night. The film was excellent and provided a balanced yet probing look at the phenomenon that was Up With People. How was it that a squeaky clean show group was able to prosper as a counter to the counter-culture of the 60's? Who and what was behind them? Who's message were they delivering? And untold story till now. Well done and worth seeing.ReplyDelete
I haven't yet seen the film. As an alum of the program - which has evolve SO MUCH from it's roots and is now far from conservative and REALLY diverse (and celebrating of this) in terms of religion, nationality, beliefs, sexual orientation etc - I"m afraid to get a skewed view that presents the past as the present. WE used to laugh at how far we'd come from it's origins as we looked around the pierced, tattooed, long haired Buddhist, Athiest bi-sexual cast-members amongst us! You name it, we had it... and all were respected for their uniqueness. I'm hoping it's balanced and clear to point out how different the organization has been for the past 15+ yrs!!ReplyDelete
I have not yet seen the film but hear much about it. I too being a Sing-Out member and traveled with the National Cast, I will withhold opinion until I seen the entire film. Obviously times do change. I had a hard time accepting the changes for a time when I saw the dramatic wardrobe and music changes UWP did after 1970 with the longer hair, beards and more carefree lifestyle but my views were part of the MRA feed and "Tomorrow's American News" stuff I read. I still support UWP to this day and now that I am much older and wiser, I look back and know it was fun, and something I will never forget. My heart is in the 65 to 70 era but hey, times change!ReplyDelete