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Sundance Film Festival

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Sundance Opens With Claymation

Sundance's opening-night film? 'Mary and Max,' a claymation drama starring Philip Seymour Hoffman and Toni Collette.

By Logan Hill

Adrienne Shelly's Killer Sentenced to 25 Years in Prison

Adrienne Shelly
Diego Pillco, the construction worker who killed actress-director Adrienne Shelly in November 2006, pleaded guilty to manslaughter earlier today. He confessed to strangling her while attempting to rob her (he later set up the crime scene to make it look like it was a suicide). Pillco will serve 25 years in prison. Adrienne is survived by her husband, Andrew, and their young daughter, Sophie. Not long after her death, Shelly's award-winning film Waitress debuted at the Sundance Film Festival. Her next screenplay, Serious Moonlight, is soon to be produced. Related: Shelly Lives [NYM]

Michael ‘Bao’ Huynh Out at Bun; A Le Cirque Documentary

Michael “Bao” Huynh has left his post at Bun, saying he couldn’t get along with his partner. Next up: a new noodle shop in Tribeca. [Insatiable Critic] Burgerphilia: a new term about burger obsessives we won’t be using. [Time] Related: Daniel Boulud’s Downtown Burger Place Finally Signs the Lease A Table in Heaven, a documentary that looks at Le Cirque’s move from the Palace Hotel to the Bloomberg building, was screened at the Sundance Film Festival and promises to show Sirio Maccioni’s tendency to exceed the restaurant’s 2 percent cap on free meals. [NYDN]

Philippe Starck Pans the New Royalton Lobby

Philippe Starck
Philippe Starck doesn't like the $17.5 million redesign to the Royalton Hotel, which he once designed. Heatherette isn't having a show this Fashion Week, and Richie Rich may be out for good! Russian model Natalia Vodianova had what may be her last catwalk during the final Valentino show in Paris and plans to take the designer to Moscow for a week and then to Brazil for Carnivale. Contrary to rumors, Puff "Diddy" Daddy says he is not considering changing his name back to Sean Combs. Paris Hilton and Stavros Niarchos hung out at the Beatrice Inn. Michael Richards and a blonde girl ate at a vegan restaurant at Columbus Circle. Cindy Adams claims that the writers' strike will be over in two weeks and that Mayor Bloomberg is 50-50 about whether to run for president. Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner and boyfriend Matt Nye just had twins via surrogate parent. New York Times writer Alex Kuczynski will have a baby via surrogate mother in April.

Tom Arnold Doesn't Have Sex for Money, His Producers Do It for Him

Tom Arnold
Tom Arnold can play the game — so well that it's kind of scary. When we caught up with the former Best Damn Sports Show Period host in Sundance at the Greenhouse, he showed us a Machiavellian side we never knew he possessed. See, back in 2003, news reports wrongfully linked Arnold to a sexual-harassment suit filed by a hairstylist against his colleagues on Fox's Best Damn Sports Show Period. According to the actor, he asked the network to pay his legal bills, and the female head of human resources told him no. This is where his tale of devious retribution begins. Arnold and his co-workers had a party a few days later and invited the fortysomething HR director. When she arrived, Arnold "sent her a couple drinks," and then enlisted the help of a young producer on his show, nicknamed "Firepubes." ("He has red hair," explained Arnold. "He's 24.") "I say, 'Come here, you gotta do something for me. Keep giving her drinks, and I want you to dance with her,'" the True Lies star explained. "So he goes in, and he's dancing." As the night progressed, Arnold told young Firepubes that he was worried for the HR director's safety. "I need you to drive her home," he commanded. "And I need you to have sex with her."

Katrina Survivors Score a Sundance Hit

Two days before Katrina hit, small-time hustler, sometime drug dealer, and non-stop motormouth Kim Roberts bought a used video camera for twenty bucks. Then she filmed as she and her husband helped 25 neighbors survive and escape the waters.

Celebrities Skipping Out at Sundance

Adrian Grenier
Hey, have you noticed how the celebrity supply in New York has been depleted these past few days? (Thankfully, we still have Tom Brady wearing a boot in the West Village.) It's because all of the actors and directors are at the Sundance Film Festival in Utah. But it seems like even in the celebrity fustercluck that is Park City right now, planners still can't get enough star power to fuel their events. Apparently, Sundance schedules are so jam-packed with appointments, parties, and swag-suite visits that it's no wonder they don't make half the events they (well, their publicists) say they will. Of course, some no-shows you can see coming: Robert De Niro and Quentin Tarantino "expected" at a dinner for 50 Cent sponsored by VitaminWater? Um, sure. And we look forward to seeing Paris at the poetry reading.

Sundance Report: Paris Hilton Dodges Snowballs, Suffers Hookup Amnesia

Paris Hilton
Paris Hilton is, of course, the living embodiment of everything cinephiles hate about Sundance. She doesn’t even have a movie in the festival, for one: She says she’s promoting her new flick, The Hottie and the Nottie, which one critic friend of ours described as “as close as you can get to straight-to-DVD without being straight-to-DVD.” More likely, though, she's here to get paid (as the gossip columns claim) to show up at parties, including one thrown this weekend by the folks behind NYC club Stereo, which she fled from in tears before they could get their money’s worth. In a more private moment, she made out with also inexplicably famous Simon Rex at 5WPR’s Escape Mansion, deep in Deer Valley — apparently forgetting, according to a publicist we know, that she’d done the exact same thing at Sundance four years ago, at a Motorola party.

City to Reenact Calorie-Display Rule; Bloodbath Near Spotlight Live

The city’s Board of Health is set to reenact its legally contested rule requiring all restaurants with fifteen or more eateries nationwide to post the caloric value of food items on their menus. [NYDN] Related: Fast-Food Biz Wins Fight Against City Hall Restaurants and nightclubs currently owe the city $14 million in health-code violation fines, which means that high-roller venues like the Rainbow Room can get away with stiffing the city out of $50. [NYP] Times Square’s Spotlight Live became the latest scene of club violence when one man was killed and five others stabbed there yesterday morning. [NYDN]