D.I.F.F-I-cult Choices

31 03 2010


Say goodbye to an old staple.  The upcoming implosion of Texas Stadium had me thinking…

Times are changing as we’ve now seen the farewell to Reunion Arena and (in another 11 days) Texas Stadium.  Its a bit weird to imagine not seeing the white of Texas Stadium from the Loop.  All this change had me thinking about the Dallas International Film Festival and its “change”.  AFI is gone and its a bit weird to say the DIFF and not the AFI festival.  Anyways I guess all good things come to and end and we’ve got to move on.

So I thought today we’d take another look into the 2010 DIFF.  With over 160 confirmed films (still some more coming…wink), its a tough choice of what films to see.  Also don’t forget to check out the new venues and fun stuff happening over April 8-18th.  We here at PSD will be pretty busy, I know i’ve worked out that 32 films in 9 days is SO do-able.  But I was thinking if YOU just wanted to enjoy the full experience of DIFF what would you do?  So today’s post is all about how to experience the full effect of DIFF.  Since most of the films are $10 (galas are closer to $30) I wanted to make this experience affordable, fun and enlightening.  Below is a daily breakdown of how to witness all the different categories of films, all the venues and most importantly do it all for under $20 bucks a night (minus the gala nights – gotta spend a little if you want to see Michael Douglas ).


Friday, April 8th – Opening Night.

All the festivities will take place at the Angelika Film Center of Dallas and across the street at the Hotel Palomar.


There are a slew of films and it should be a crazy scene with over 2,000 folks wandering around Mockingbird Station.

I figured on opening night YOU would want to try something completely new and unique.

A Town Called Panic
Midnight Specials  (Belgium, 2009, 75 mins)   In French with English subtitles
Directed By:
Stéphane Aubier & Vincent Patar
7:45pm   @   Angelika Theatre 8
This is going to also be at CANNES and we know the hype that place can lead to for a film.  But by far this is one of the more unique films to see at DIFF.  Now its French and so the sense of humor is a tad bit dark and weird, but this looks like a raucously good time.  Be BOLD and try something outside your safe zone.  The film stars a HORSE – SOLD!
Friday, April 9th – Second night and all the crazy sparklers and confetti from opening night is flowing down the drainage of Mockingbird Ln.  TIME to check out the Dallas Museum of Art.
The Horchow Auditorium will screen…
Bill Cunningham New York
Premiere Series  (2010, 84 mins) Directed By: Richard Press
This is also on opening night, but it should be packed that night.  Also I think its better to see legendary photographer Bill Cunningham’s “story” in the comfort and beauty of the Dallas Museum of Art.  It gives you a chance to see the new venue, see a Premiere Series film, and who knows there maybe some fun guests for the screening.  (i’m meaning ME – i’ll be there for sure!!)
April 10th – the WEEKEND BEGINS!!! Ok so for the weekend days i’m going to give you TWO films to check out since there is just so much going on.
Special Presentations  (USA, 2009, 94 mins) Directed By: James Keach
4:45pm  @  Landmark Magnolia Theatre 5
This one is going to have some stars out and about and gives you a chance to enjoy the West Village and its centerpiece the Magnolia.  The wonderful Richard Jenkins is also in the film!
Now what to do after the film – well go have a bite to eat in the West Village and get ready to enjoy MIDNIGHT SHORTS – SPOOKY – the good thing is they aren’t actually at midnight.
They start closer to 11pm and so you don’t have to be out too late.
You can’t go wrong with titles like: Crazy Pig, Follicle Frolic and the S from Hell.
In total there are 7 short films – none longer then 15 minutes and the whole experience will last just over an hour!
April 11th – Gala time and a little Texas support.  Remember I’m saving you $10!!!
The Joneses
The Joneses –  a gala film is actually doing the “big” gala the night before – but it’ll cost ya $20 bucks – save that and go see the film at 2:45 on Sunday and use that $10 to support a local film.
Earthling – Director Clay Liford is from big D and most of the talent, locales and well everything in the film has a Texas stain to it.   Check back the week of the festival i’m sure we’ll have something special for this interesting little film.  You can now check off the Texas Competition section on your list.  (* though I’m highly impressed by the other nominees and we should have a few exclusives on them…like Carried Away…Wink).
April 12th – Moody Monday – you’re back to work and you just want to escape the world.  Well I have the perfect mind-altering experience for you.
The Good, the Bad, and the Weird
A tribute to the master of spaghetti westerns, Sergio Leone.   Its got a train robbery, secret treasure map, and crazy funny outlaws dueling to the end.
Tuesday, April 13th – A PSD Favorite – Guillermo Arriaga!!!!
Guillermo Arriaga Dallas Star Award Presentation and Reception
Guillermo Arriaga Dallas Star Award Presentation and Reception
Special Presentations  (210 mins)
In conjunction with the Mexican Consulate of Dallas’ yearlong celebration of the Mexican Bicentennial, the DALLAS Film Society hosts an all-day Mexican film event. The celebration will culminate in a presentation of a Dallas Star Award to filmmaker Guillermo Arriaga at 7:30 pm on April 13 at the Latino Cultural Center.   I know i’m going to be there and hopefully you’ll join me.  *If you want to see him a bit earlier, Tonight Arriaga will hold a free screening of his latest film The Burning Plain at the University of North Texas – RTvF Auditorium (where Mark and I slept through many a lecture!!!).
Wednesday April 14th – Environmental Awareness Time – aka EAT – yep I went there.
The River Why
Now this is a bit of a double header – not only can you check out one of the Environmental Visions Competition films, but you can see the behind the scenes film about the River Why right after.
This is the film about how the producers behind The River Why made the film environmentally safe.  It should be a real highlight of the whole competition.   You should sleep soundly knowing you’ve helped improve the earth in your own small way (supporting the film!).
Thursday, April 15th – Tough day to decide what gem to see.
Solitary Man
Another Gala event and so expect a fun red carpet experience an hour before the screening itself.  This night has a lot of great films happening, in fact i’m going to see John Lee Hancock at the Angelika.  But I figure this is the film to see because of the fun red carpet atmosphere at the Magnolia.  If I can steer you to have a chance to maybe see Michael Douglas (not yet “confirmed”) then so be it.  Should be a really fun night.
Friday, April 16th – THE TOADS ARE COMING!!
Cane Toads: The Conquest
This is one of the more recent additions to the line-up (its not on that nifty Dallas Morning News pull-out guide for instance).  The really cool feature this film has that no other film has ever had at an AFI or DIFF festival is 3D!!  Yeah I know anytime I see 3D I throw-up a little in my mouth.  I mean its such a crappy gimmick, but if done well then it can be really cool.  This is one of those potentially cool films – I plan on being there to see it for myself.
Saturday, April 17th – Jack Abramoff anyone?
CASINO JACK and the United States of Money
Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney brings us the portrait of Washington super lobbyist Jack Abramoff—from his early years as a gung-ho member of the GOP political machine to his final reckoning as a disgraced, imprisoned pariah—confirms the adage that truth is indeed stranger than fiction.
Sunday April 18th – Closing Night – how about JONAH HILL TIME!!
As you can see on the DIFF Film guide – Cyrus is coming to town.  It doesn’t have a picture on the guide!!  John C. Reilly and Jonah Hill = Gold.
I hope you’ve enjoy my idea of a good schedule just for YOU.  But with so many films you can’t really go wrong.  Just remember have fun and try your hardest to buddy up with Michael Douglas at the Hotel Palomar.  Everyone and there grandmother will be out for the festival.  Hope to see YOU out there amongst us all.



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