Skidding through Sundance
Smith, Michael, The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)
Coming soon from Miramax--me. You know Miramax, the folks who brought you Gwyneth Paltrow? Well, from one luscious blond to another the torch has been passed. It was the talk of the Sundance Film Festival, the bacchanal that takes over the small town of Park City, Utah, for ten days every winter.
OK, so it wasn't exactly the talk of Sundance. But if you don't count Three Seasons, the big prizewinner shot entirely in Vietnamese, or the fact that Robert Redford still looks good even when slipping on the ice and nearly skidding down the length of Main Street, it was all anybody was talking about.
OK, maybe it was all I was talking about. But that was why Miramax had sent me to Sundance: to appear at screenings of Get Bruce! the documentary about my gay and giddy life in the comedy gulag that will hopefully be entertaining filmgoers in malls around the world any month now.
It's a bizarre learning experience, having a film made about you. Embarrassing incidents and opinions you thought you'd dismembered and put through the wood chipper years ago suddenly spring up, fully reconstituted and ready to unnerve you anew. The filmmakers have so much incriminating stuff that they're already planning a sequel--Bruce: Pig in the City. But that's a cross to bear at a later date.
The task at Sundance was to get people to pay attention to this movie. This would not be as easy as it seemed, even with a sex symbol such as myself in the saddle. Several dozen movies were screening at the festival, and almost everybody you saw was there to promote one of them. In addition to Sundance, which had tied up all five movie theaters and the town library, there were Slamdance, Nodance, Souldance, and Lapdance, alternative-to-the-alternative festivals that tied up all the makeshift screens hanging over the major bars. I would scan Main Street, searching for people who might loosely be termed The Audience. There weren't many.
But the Get Bruce! posters had gone up, and people noticed them. They featured me in a pose that tantalizingly recalled Tanya the Elephant, but they were colorful. …