The past week have been a whirlwind of movies, film makers and movie stars at the Dallas International Film Festival. I tried to attend at least 2 movies each day, but with some of my chosen films playing at the Angelika Film Center in Plano, I fell a little short of my goal. If you don’t live in Dallas, Texas you might not understand that what looks like a 15 mile drive from Dallas to Plano, can result in an hour-long drive at the wrong time of day. And, as all my friends know, I don’t go ‘outside the loop ‘(LBJ Freeway). Even so, I managed to see several movies.
It Pays to Be Friendly in Elevators
I like to start conversations in elevators. I mean really… you are sharing this 60 second journey, you might as well be friendly. Right? This week it worked out well for me. Saturday, after the Red Carpet event at NorthPark Center for Soul Surfer, I went to the Angelika Film Center at Mockingbird Station to see Potiche. I rode the elevator with 3 young men who I had seen earlier at NorthPark. So I asked…
“Didn’t I see you guys at NorthPark earlier. You didn’t stay to see the movie?
No, our movie is playing here later tonight.
Really? You made a movie?
Yes. I’m a director. My movie, Between Notes screens here tonight at 9:30. I hope you come and see it, I think you will like it.
He gave me his card and told me to call him if I wanted to interview them for my blog. ( Me? Interview a real film director?) That was how I met Chris Grissom and Matt Brown the director and screen writer of Between Notes, one of my favorite films of the film fest.
Starbucks Might Not Be the Best Place for Interviewing Film Makers
I finally mustered up the courage to contact Chris and Matt for an interview about Between Notes. This was my first interview with real film makers and I think it went OK. Note to self: Don’t do video interviews in a Starbucks. I am currently transcribing my interview because the barista is screaming out orders for a non-fat/half caf, cappuccino in the background.
It was crowded (as are all Starbucks), so we sat in the corner. Amateur, that I am, I recorded the interview on my iPhone. Matt was sitting with his back to the window and he was totally in silhouette. If I can figure out iMovie, I will post the audio. Fortunately, they were both really nice guys and Mad Men fans too.
Hanging Out & Trying to Be Cool in The Pressroom
The DIFF Press Room was located in the luxurious penthouse of The Joule Hotel in downtown Dallas. I picked up my press pass on Friday morning and learned that I could also borrow preview screeners of some of the movies. This came in very handy, since many of the movies I planned to watch were scheduled at the same time.
One day, I was passing time between movies and stopped by the Press Room to hang out and try to be cool like the ‘real press’. While I was there emailing, Tweeting and Facebooking, guess who walked in, the Easy Rider himself, Peter Fonda. How cool is that? I completely missed the screening of Beautiful Boy, but when will I ever see Peter Fonda again?
So Many Movies, So Little Time
With more than 150 movies, documentaries and shorts playing in such a short period of time, there were bound to be some movies that I couldn’t see. I planned a schedule of all the screenings wanted to attend, but I still missed out on several excellent films. Despite my reticence to driving to from east Dallas to the historic Texas Theater in Oak Cliff to the Angelika in Plano in one day, there was just so much to choose from. And watching films from Mexico, India and Ireland in the same day can be a bit confusing. Next year, I will plan my screenings with driving distance and language in mind.
In the coming days, I will review a few of my favorites film from the film fest. Please check back with me.