'Enigma' at the Sundance Film Festival
January 22, 23, 24

News 'Bits' (see 'News' page for more items):

Jan 29: The Hollywood Reporter relates that a deal for distribution is 'expected to close shortly.'

Jan 29: A UK writer reported on the Enigma premiere:
The 1,200-seat cinema was packed, with hundreds more waiting outside in the cold for return tickets.

Jan 28: The Salt Lake Tribune has a feature article on Enigma at Sundance (see 'Features' page).

Jan 26: Rough Cut reports on Jagger's attendance at the premiere, along with Apted, Northam and Coster-Waldau.

Jan 26: Roger Ebert interviewed Jagger (thanks, Sylvia):
'It's not just about code-breaking," Jagger said, "but about love, and it's got some underlying moral questions also about how many lives can be lost for the greater good.'

Jan 25: Great new reviews!

Jan 25: Apted said yesterday, "Everything seems to be going well. Now the feeding frenzy begins. We hope.''

Jan 25: Jagger and Apted revealed Paramount Pictures passed on the film because of fears the story was 'too complicated'.

Jan 24: There's a very positive review in today's Variety!

Jan 24: Thanks to Tamara and Dougray Net for this item:
Nigel Sinclair was overheard being concerned that the film was too dense for American audiences, and suggested the marketing campaign would have to be engineered to educate them about the code breakers. Kathleen McInnis for Filmfestivals.com

Jan 23: Reuters has a story about the film and Jagger. It's posted on the 'Features' page.

Jan 23: Mick Jagger is at the festival - He was spotted at Sunday's night's party for 'MacArthur Park'.

Jan 22: Variety report - 'At Sundance, Buyers Bear Up'

Jan 19: The Salt Lake City Tribune has Mick Jagger and Kate on their 'totally unofficial, incomplete and potentially erroneous list of folks you might spot' at the festival.

Jan 19: Variety reports on the opening day "Sundance Film Festival Slowly Waltzes Into Action"

Jan 19:  From the Hollywood Reporter (thanks Sylvia of Dougray Scott in Focus):
Overall, buyers' buzz bins are filled with films that include built-in commercial appeal -- projects from proven talent, preferably with "name" casts. Look for Michael Apted's World War II thriller "Enigma"…

Jan 19: From CNN.com (thanks, Sylvia and Kathy):
This year, 100 dramatic and documentary contenders hope to come away with a big distribution deal. Among them: "Enigma" -- This $20 million thriller, directed by veteran Michael Apted, written by Tom Stoppard, and produced by Mick Jagger, tells the story of code breakers in World War II.

Jan 18: From the Chicago Tribune (thanks, Sylvia and Missy):
Among the higher-profile films looking to land deals are 'Enigma,' a World War II espionage thriller from director Michael Apted ('The World Is Not Enough') and writer Tom Stoppard ('Shakespeare in Love'), starring Dougray Scott and Kate Winslet.

Jan 18: BBC News reports on opening day - British film Enigma is unlikely to have celebrity backing at the festival, but it could still grab attention. The adaptation of Richard Harris' novel, starring Kate Winslet, chronicles British efforts to decode German transmissions during World War II.

Jan 18: David German, AP Movie Writer, reports on the festival entries -- "Sundance Entries An Eclectic Mix"

Jan 17: Entertainment Daily says 'Enigma' is one of the most 'buzzed about' entries at the festival.

Jan 17: Jeffrey Wells of Reel.com says 'Enigma' is one of the films buyers are 'going to be paying special attention to.'

Dec 7: BBC News has a nice feature article about 'Enigma' being selected for the festival.

Dec 5: The NY Post reports:
Among foreign films, the most prominent debut is the British 'Enigma,' from 'The World is Not Enough' director Michael Apted. Kate Winslet and 'Mission: Impossible 2' villain Dougray Scott star in this fact-based story about World War II code-breaking.

Dec 4: Jeffrey Wells of Reel.com reports:
Michael Apted's 'Enigma', with Kate Winslet and Dougray Scott, is supposed to be pretty good.

Nov 30: From Variety:
The Sundance Film Festival will unspool Jan. 18-28. Pictures expected to join the lineup include… Intermedia's 'Enigma,' produced by Mick Jagger.

Nov 30: From Inside.com:
The waiting is over for filmmakers who submitted their work for next year's Sundance Film Festival. Although the lineup has not been completely finalized, festival organizers this week began notifying the chosen ones whose films will be shown during the Park City, Utah, event, which runs Jan. 18 through 28... Among the other films expected to screen are... Michael Apted's 'Enigma', starring Kate Winslet and Dougray Scott.
Jan 29: 'Joe Bradley' of Ain't It Cool News chose the film as one of his Sundance Top 10:
It's a good movie. Starring Kate Winslet and Jeremy Northam, the movie centers around British codebreakers during WWII. Impeccably cast and shot (coming from director Michael Apted, that's not a shocker), and lots of fun. The movie was produced by Mick Jagger, who showed up at the screening and generated more rubbernecking than any other celebrity at the festival.

Jan 26: More nice words from a critic for Kate's performance:
Kate Winslet dons plain-Jane specs, dowdy hair and extra weight to play a frumpy friend of the vanished Burrows who first helps to solve all the puzzles and then de-frumps herself in time to win the hero's heart. The audience's heart this doughty, versatile actor wins from her first scene.

January 23: Many thanks to my pal Sylvia of 'Dougray Scott in Focus' (see site link in left column) for sending me these comments from 'Christie W', who saw Enigma last night:
"OK, I'll try not to give away any plot details, but the film was fantastic! This is not your typical Hollywood popcorn movie. This is a fascinating film, filled with mystery, intrigue, action, and yes, good old fashion sex (well sorta). I relate it to a 1940s genre movie - when movies still had plots and told stories and entertained us! (Hollywood should take lessons from the Brits and even Spielberg would be proud of this film!) We need more of these spell-binding movies instead of all the high-budget garbage Hollywood tries to stuff down our throats.
Dougray was excellent as Jericho, although as a Dougray fan, I would have preferred to see him less emaciated. Kate was outstanding - I didn't even recognize her at first. Wonderful actress! Saffron Burrows was the sexy female lead and Jeremy Northam was very good at the semi-antagonist.
This film definitely needs to be shown in the US - if for no other reason than to set Americans straight about the true story of Enigma. But even beyond that - it's a wonderful film and goodness knows we are in need of a wonderful film to watch for a change!"  - Christie W

January 23: Jeffrey Wells of Reel.com wrote about the Enigma premiere, along with a mini-review, for his "Sundance Confidential" column today. The article is posted on the 'Reviews' page. Excerpt:
Michael Apted's Enigma, the $25 million (give or take) World War II espionage drama with Dougray Scott, Kate Winslet, and Jeremy Northam, screened to a packed crowd last night at the Eccles Theatre... The response to Enigma was somewhere between admiring and appreciative.

January 23: Enigma producer Mick Jagger has been at the Sundance Film Festival, promoting the film, and gave interviews prior to the film's premiere last night. 'Jagger Journeys Into Film Producing' is posted on the 'Enigma-Features' page. Excerpt:
Despite his and Michaels' fame, Jagger said "Enigma'' came into Sundance much like any other independently financed film, with the producers hoping they could land a distribution deal. "I figure that in a way, Sundance is sort of changing,'' Jagger said. "It's not only unknown filmmakers anymore who bring films up here. Ours has got big-name people in it, but it's still an independent movie.''
 …"Enigma'' entered Sundance as one of the hottest films available for acquisition. Jagger and Michaels said they were confident they would leave the festival with a distribution deal. "We think obviously we're going to have a buyer, but it's interesting to see who in the movie industry thinks this is an interesting film and who says, 'Oh, we can't deal with it,''' Jagger said. "This is an intellectual film.''

January 22: Here's the latest 'scoop' from E! E! correspondent Anderson Jones, who is covering the scene in Sundance:
'On The Acquisition Front' - Miramax has sent out an email advisory - complete with contact number - announcing that although they are screening no films here, they do expect to make some acquisitions… I also expect some noise around Enigma, thanks to its pedigree - Tom Stoppard wrote it, Michael Apted directed it. And it doesn't hurt that Mick Jagger produced this period piece, along with SNL's Lorne Michaels, about British WWII code breakers, spies and Nazis. Dougray Scott and Kate Winslet star. It's sure to be snapped up by the end of its premiere party Monday night.

Jan 20: A mention of 'Enigma' at Sundance, and Kate:
By Kathryn Cowles,Daily Utah Chronicle
Salt Lake City -- Sundance somehow manages to perplex the independent-film world year after year. Everyone complains about the not-so-independent nature of some of the films (as well as the corporate sponsorship of such organizations as Blockbuster and Mercedes Benz USA), but when push comes to shove, everyone ends up going to Sundance. Why? Because the films are good-better than just about anything you'll find in mainstream Hollywood. So in the interest of good film, here are some highlights:
Premieres/ Feature Films
"Enigma" -- This little ditty, shot in the classic-film genre, has some big names pushing it. Director Michael Apted, is responsible for the famous "Up" series, which followed a group of 14 British school children around in 1963 and adds a new update every seven years-the latest installment being "42 Up."
Leading lady Kate Winslet (despite her unfortunate involvement in "Titanic") continually picks interesting roles and films, like that of a young hippie mother in "Hideous Kinky."
Screenwriter Tom Stoppard is possibly the best playwright of our time, and the names of the oddly paired producers, Mick Jagger and Lorne Michaels, speak for themselves.
The plot goes like this: A team of 1943 code breakers have to crack the enigma code, which was unexpectedly changed by the Nazis. This code is so indecipherable because it changes every time it's used. The lives of 10,00 men are at stake. Expect suspense, drama and, of course, entertainment.

Jan 18: From imdb.com (thanks, George):
Sundance Starts Today -- The biggest indie event of the year, the 2001 Sundance Film Festival opens today. It's where hipsters and hucksters mingle over canapés to shape the future of independent film. The 2001 roster includes more than 100 feature films and 64 shorts--some from around the corner, and others from the far corners of the world. Now it's up to the star-studded audience and festival judges to see which ones get notoriety and distribution...and which ones stay snowbound in Utah. Stay tuned to IMDb's Independent Film section for full Sundance coverage (from this year and last), including interviews, photo galleries, and regular updates throughout the 11-day event.

From Roughcut.com:
Beginning on January 17, 2001, roughcut.com will be shifting our headquarters from sunny Southern California to snowy Park City, Utah, the site of the annual indie film party known as the Sundance Film Festival. We'll be covering every angle of Sundance, as well as all the other spin off festivals that bask in Bob Redford's ethereal glow. Learn about the daily goings on and find links to coverage written by the roughcut writers at Sundance and The Other Dances.

Jan 15: Greg Dean Schmitz of Upcoming Movies will be reporting from Sundance:
Thursday, I fly out to Utah for the full ten days of the 2001 Sundance Film Festival. I'll be posting journal entries of my (mis)adventures there, and reviews, as I can… This is such a great year at Sundance, it appears. In 2000, I don't think my 'must see' list was even half this long going in; now, I've got this sinking feeling I'm going to miss one great film for every two I do see. ['Enigma' is included on his 'wish list'.]
Official Site:

[E! Online's page]

Jeremy Northam (Wigram)
at the festival