This was a nice way to wake up.
Back in 2009, which was the first HitFix trip to Sundance, I enjoyed two of the movies we saw, "Humpday" and "The Freebie." This year, both creative teams are here in different combinations, and again, I think it's interesting work. In the case of "Black Rock," this is about as far away from Katie Aselton's first film as it could be.
"The Freebie" told the story of a married couple, played by Aselton and Dax Shepherd, who decide to give each other the night off from marriage, with no consequences, allowing their partner to sleep with anyone they want. There are, of course, ramifications to a choice like that, and the film did a nice job of showing how that fallout might land. This time, Aselton is working in a very different genre, one that she's not a fan of for the most part, and she had to develop a tight relationship with the two women who co-star both with and for her.
Sunday morning, my first scheduled activity was a sit down with Kate Bosworth, Lake Bell, and Aselton. And like I said, there are definitely far worse ways to start a day. I've interviewed Kate Bosworth a few times in the past, and simply put, she's a bright, charming working actor with no ego I've ever detected. When I hosted a screening for "The Rules Of Engagement" at the Egyptian in Hollywood several years ago, I went out for dinner with the cast afterwards, and what was clear from that conversation was just how up for a challenge Bosworth is in general. She took that role because she wanted to do something dangerous, and in "Black Rock," she seems equally up to the task.
I have not interviewed Lake Bell before, but I dig her work, and I think she's a really unusual presence. She's positively deranged when given free reign on something like "Children's Hospital," and she throws herself into her work with a specific physicality that isn't remotely concerned with looking cool. I've heard her described as a great collaborator by several people who have worked with her, and it sounds like Aselton had the same experience on this one. When we were talking about the conditions during shooting one scene in particular where Bell is freezing, her teeth chattering so hard it sounds like they might break, she admitted that she is, at all times, "the cold girl," the one who brings sweaters to the movie theater. She's just a big personality, even when she's paired with someone like Aselton.
And, as you'll see, there's a reason Aselton is the director here. She's the one who has the irresistible drive to tell this particular story. Once I got her started on a question, she was ready to go, and it feels like the same is true of the film itself.
I'll have my review up later, but for now, enjoy a leisurely and engaging chat with the ladies of "Black Rock." Thanks to the just-announced distribution deal they just signed with LD Entertainment, you'll get a chance to see it sometime soon.