Occasionally even us jaded critic types can be bowled over by a film, which is exactly what happened Tuesday when Raw Deal: A Question of Consent threw us for a loop. The film, directed by University of Miami student Billy Corben, has sent many an audience member walking due to its explicit sexual content, but those who sit through it are passionately divided over whether the documentary's subject, Lisa Gier King, was raped in a Florida fraternity house in 1999. [For more about Raw Deal, read this story.] Corben lets the film speak for itself. After the screening, he even admitted that both he and his producer, Alfred Spellman, have done complete turnarounds with their own opinions in the time since the film was been completed.
Raw Deal is likely to find distribution in the next few days, as numerous acquisitions execs have been spotted at screenings. Sources tell Mr. Showbiz that it's unlikely that the film will go to the art-house division of a major studio, due to its explicit nature. That leaves true independents like Artisan and Lions Gate — both of which have experience with provocative material — as likely distributors.
Corben told the audience at Tuesday's screening that this was probably the last time anyone would ever publicly see the film as the filmmakers intended. "This uncut, unadulterated version will probably not remain this way," he said.
Deals Galore While Raw Deal continues to receive major attention, many other films are beginning to heat up the rumor mill as well. Business of Strangers, featuring a breakthrough performance from the already-red-hot Julia Stiles, will likely have a deal in place by close of business today. And the romantic comedy Jump Tomorrow (aka Joel Hopkins Untitled) had finished all of its festival screenings when it was announced that the movie would receive an additional public screening to satisfy distributor demand to see the film in front of an audience.
And while numerous distributors were spied walking out of the premiere of Richard Linklater's animated digital feature, Waking Life, Tuesday night, many major distributors remained and demanded time with Linklater and his reps following the screening to discuss immediate acquisition.
High on the Hedgehog A chance meeting on a Park City shuttle bus led the Mr. Showbiz gang to the party for old-school porn star Ron Jeremy — a living god to some — who's the subject of a new biopic screening at Sundance alternative fest No Dance. (Why it's not screening at the Lapdance fest, we don't know.)
Jeremy, traveling from the Salt Lake City Airport to Sundance, was initially coy with the Mr. Showbiz mole about his profession. Nonetheless, some of our knowledgeable staffers — whose appreciation of cinema is as wide as it is deep — admitted that they knew him as the man nicknamed The Hedgehog, which makes sense if you've ever seen him naked. (And we know you have.)