Sundance just got Spiked.
E! News spoke to Spike Lee about Passing Strange, his documentary about the Broadway musical of the same name, at another sumptuous cast and crew dinner Friday night sponsored by Bon Appetit magazine and all-star chef Scott Conant, owner of Scarpetta of New York City. (See previous report here.)
The occasionally prickly director perked up big time when talk turned to Washington DC where he'll be Monday, speaking at Howard University as part of a series of Martin Luther King Jr. holiday events the day before Barack Obama is set to be inaugurated as America's first black president.
Other celebrities seen and heard:
Despite a tax evasion conviction hanging over him, Wesley Snipes turned up at the premiere party for his latest film, Brooklyn's Finest, a thriller co-starring Richard Gere, Ethan Hawke and Don Cheadle. When asked about his impending three-year prison sentence, the Blade star told E! News he was "winning" his appeal and quipped, "But hey, it's an interesting thing. I didn't have any of my money with Madoff." He also said he was looking forward to working with Spike on a biopic of the late Godfather of Soul, James Brown. That may have to wait until he's out of jail.
Kevin Bacon and Kyra Sedgwick (who did have some of their money with Madoff) also dropped in at the Brooklyn's Finest bash.
And finally, kicking off midnight movie madness at Sundance was Grace, a creepy horror film from first-time filmmaker Paul Solet, which this reporter happened to catch. The flick stars Jordan Ladd as a woman eight-months pregnant who survives an accident that leaves her unborn baby lifeless inside of her.
She carries the stillborn child she names Grace to term only to miraculously will the baby's corpse back to life. While, predictably, something's not quite right with the tot, this low-budget shocker has everything going for it in all the right places, including way up there on the gross-out scale.
In fact, two people passed out at the screening I attended. Let this be a warning: view at your own risk. Definitely an early buzzworthy movie to come out of The Dance so far.