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Redford Kicks Off Festival; Graydon Ticks Off Yippie

Oct. 27 2008, Published 7:07 a.m. ET

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10+1=0 Chicago 10 and Carter (inset)

Robert Redford wants you to know he's sorry. After opening the Sundance Film Festival Thursday night with Chicago 10—director Brett Morgen's odd, half-animated documentary about the 1968 Democratic National Convention and subsequent trial of the Chicago 7—

Redford lauded the film's anti-war message and apologized for his post-9/11 decision to lay off political films at his humble mountain film fest.

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"We put all of our concerns on hold and let leaders lead," he told the audience. "I think you're owed a big apology." (To think, if only the scrum of coked-up junior agents and TV starlets who swarm Park City every year had seen the right movies...)

The film, which opens with an archival shot of Lyndon Johnson announcing his intention to send more troops to Vietnam, isn't shy about drawing parallels between '68 and today. And if you're wondering how the little-known director wrangled stars like Mark Ruffalo, Nick Nolte, and Jeffrey Wright for voice-over work that didn't involve adorable cars or anthropomorphic fish, you need only know that Chicago 10, like Morgen's 2002 film The Kid Stays in the Picture, was produced by Vanity Fair honcho Graydon Carter.

While Carter will have ample opportunity to lavish praise on the cast in VF's Hollywood Issue, he's stingier when it comes to their real-world analogs. After the screening, Paul Krassner, founder of The Realist and a Yippie-era cohort of Hoffman's, was heard complaining that Carter had refused to pick up the tab for his hotel room.

Wait till he finds out he was also cut from the Hollywood Issue...

More news from Sundance as it happens.

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