Injecting a Taste of the Flush and Flashy ’80s Into Sundance
Van Redin/Senator Entertainment
Mickey Rourke in “The Informers,” a film showing at Sundance that was adapted from a book of Bret Easton Ellis stories.
LOS ANGELES — From a glass-walled penthouse above the Sunset Strip it is impossible not to observe that times have changed.
Just down the street, the original Spago restaurant, that emblem of the flush 1980s, is an empty shell. And here in the penthouse offices of Senator Entertainment, Bret Easton Ellis, another symbol of those super-slick times, is sprawled in a soft chair, wearing decidedly unslick running shoes and sweats.
Mr. Ellis, now 44, was 21 when he chronicled this city’s high life in “Less Than Zero” (1985), his debut novel.
Asked last week whether he missed any of it — the heat, the flash, the coke-blurred frenzy of Los Angeles past — he shuddered. “Oh, no,” he said, and appeared to mean it. “I don’t miss it at all.”
Still, Mr. Ellis and Senator are bringing a bit of that lost world to the Sundance Film Festival next week.
On Jan. 22 they are planning a premiere screening of “The Informers,” directed by Gregor Jordan and based on Mr. Ellis’s collection of stories of the same title. Written during his college years, the stories describe the beautiful wreckage of lives in and around the expensive part of Los Angeles, about 1983.
The film has sex. “I think Amber Heard wears a dress once in the entire movie,” Mark Urman, Senator’s president of distribution, said. He was speaking of a young actress, last seen in “Pineapple Express,” who spends much of “The Informers” undressed, and in bed.
The movie — “a guilty pleasure,” Mr. Urman calls it — also has drugs, alienation and enough glam-rock to set it apart from other work at this year’s festival, which begins on Thursday in Park City, Utah, and runs through Jan. 25.