Film Fracas -- Spokane filmmaker Andy Kumpon has a bone to pick with our recent coverage of Sherman Alexie's The Business of Fancydancing. Specifically, it was a line from last week's Sundance report in which Alexie was quoted as saying "I don't get to make movies without Sundance, period."
"He obviously hasn't done his homework," says Kumpon. "There are lots of ways to get your film made and there are a lot of other festivals." Kumpon should know; he recently returned from the 2002 TromaDance Film Festival, where his film Last Stop Station was shown. Taking place in Park City alongside -- but NOT part of -- Sundance, TromaDance is a less-cliquey, more genre-oriented alternative. Even before going to TromaDance, Last Stop Station had been picked up by a distributor, Brimstone Productions, and Kumpon hopes the film will soon be available at Blockbuster Video.
Made for $1,200, Last Stop Station is the brain child of Wayne Spitzer, Eric Gollinger and Kumpon. The trio is currently at work on future "guerrilla filmmaking" projects, and Kumpon says they're waiting to hear back from several film festivals about Last Stop Station, including the Seattle International Film Festival.
Poet Emeritus -- Tod Marshall, visiting professor in the department of English at Gonzaga University, has won the 2001 University of Georgia Press's Contemporary Poetry Competition.
Marshall, who worked on his manuscript, Dare Say, for eight years, tells us that the award is for a first book of poetry and that the judge (a poet of national stature) anonymously chooses two manuscripts to publish each year (often from more than 1,000 entrants). In his award letter, series editor Bin Ramke praised Marshall's manuscript: "Dare Say is a fascinating, engaging, assured work of art. It is in fact astonishingly accomplished for a first book; I am quite excited about it."
Dare Say will be published by the University of Georgia Press in the fall of 2002.
Up In Flames -- We buzzed over to Division Street the other night to catch the trotting-out of the Olympic Torch. Like watching runners in a marathon race, there's a lot of buildup and not much payoff at affairs like these: it has to be soon, I think I can see it, here it comes, I can see it now... there it goes. It's gone.
We noted two types of torch-watchers: a) those who stood in the wind and rain, waving their flags, screeching WHOO-HOO at passing motorists, and b) some of the passing motorists themselves, evidently unimpressed by all this Olympic hoo-ha, and wishing they could just get home in time to watch Judge Judy. Such folks have all their immunizations against catching Olympic fever.