Sundance: Tripping in the Snow

Unlike previous years at Sundance, when drug use has either been closeted or non-existent, this year's evening parties seem to be bringing out the Ecstasy in record amounts. While Dilated Peoples were one of the featured hip-hop acts in Doug Pray's terrific documentary Scratch, it's the dilated pupils that seem to be more prevalent at parties around the festival. In fact, the Mr. Showbiz team dispatched to the Ron Jeremy documentary premiere party Tuesday was handed a promotional pill for the No Dance feature One Big Trip. Although a man in a green tuxedo claimed that the pills were really just one-a-day vitamins, Salt Lake City's ABC affiliate reported Wednesday night that local law enforcement officers had received one of the pills from a concerned Sundancer. While it may have indeed been a vitamin, police testing revealed that it was coated with LSD. We thought it was candy. Good thing we weren't in the mood for sweets.

The Luck Has Turned Tom DiCillo's early festival premiere, Double Whammy, starring Denis Leary as a down-on-his-luck detective and Elizabeth Hurley as his fetching girlfriend, has gotten a North American distribution deal with Lions Gate Films. The deal, reported to be in the mid-seven figures by IndieWire, is a bit surprising, considering the lukewarm reception the film received last weekend.

After a quiet early week, Miramax finally came to the table Wednesday, plopping down somewhere north of $1 million for Todd Field's debut feature, In the Bedroom. Field — whom you may remember as Tom Cruise's piano-playing buddy in Eyes Wide Shut or as the Joan Osborne-hating fiancé of Anne Heche in Walking and Talking — has crafted an audience favorite with his drama about difficulties among the members of a New England family.

Still buzzing at press time: Waking Life, Business of Strangers, Enigma, L.I.E., and In the Deep. The makers of Raw Deal: A Question of Consent, which we've reported on over the past couple of days, were deep in negotiations with a distributor past midnight Wednesday evening. There's no word yet on the outcome.

Fashion Police We haven't yet figured out whether the female partygoers we're seeing dressed in short skirts and tube tops or in leather pants that ride low and sequined tank tops are from Los Angeles or the party mecca of Salt Lake City. But more than ever before, the party scene is becoming less geared toward sweaters, jeans, and celebrities and more geared toward a night at the Viper Room or the Sky Bar. The celebs who do appear at these parties seem to be dressing climate-appropriate. Not that we're complaining about the revelers, but, um, it's cold here. Damn cold!

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