Odds and Ends of the DALLAS IFF 2011

12 04 2011

I’ve always thought the saying ‘odds and ends’ meant remnants  or miscellaneous items.  This definition seems better though, – The first official odds and ends were found in lumberyards—odds were pieces of board split irregularly by the sawmill, ends were pieces trimmed from boards that were cut to specific lengths.

Farlex Trivia Dictionary. © 2011 Farlex, Inc. All rights reserved.

Here are those irregular (or how bout unique) bits and pieces mixed in with those specifically cut trimmed boards that make the DALLAS IFF 2011 stand up and out.

We’ll start things off with an amazing moment from Opening Night!!

Being Elmo was a bit of a bold choice for opening night film but to see a real American success story, like Kevin Clash‘s real life, effect so many people was a tremendous experience.  It would have been amazing to have the red hair of Elmo, the red hair of Ann-Margret and the red of The Winspear Opera House all in one epic photo/video.  In the end though, we did have another beautiful red haired lady on the red carpet on opening night, very pregnant Arianne Martin with her hubby Justin D. Hilliard.

I have to re-post my favorite word for DALLAS IFF 2011 – Uterus.  Thanks Justin for this fun moment.

Video shot and edited by PSD’s George Wada.

From birth to the selling of our babies futures.  Documentary filmmaker Morgan Spurlock shocked and amazed a packed audience with his epic film, The Greatest Movie Ever Sold.  It was most fitting that our bald impresario Dallas Observer‘s Bob Wilonsky was on hand for the Q & A.  A debate ensued and DALLAS IFF 2011 had another fun building block moment in its young history.

Morgan opened things up by explaining who helped make this film possible.

What’s helped make Bob into one of DFW’s most recognizable and respected Bald Heads in town?  Ask and you shall receive.

Something about this picture just sticks with me.  It’s the back of Big Fan Boy‘s Mark Walters (Darth Vader) and UnFair Park’s Bob Wilonsky (Bald Captain Lone Starr).

Morgan talked about the real heart behind the film.

Robert asks a great question about the benefits of advertising in places like school and it allowed for a wonderful response from Morgan.

Another quiet moment that not a lot of folks witnessed or experienced was the wild trip that Miranda July‘s The Future takes you on.  A shout out to  Neal Director Geoff McGee for this nugget of gold and for keeping my seat in the back row, which also is where the Lone Star International Film Festival’s Artistic Director, Alec Jhangiani, was seated.  The movie is a tough film to encapsulate after just one viewing.  I’m not sure if we’re supposed to be rooting for the dying cat who’s narrating the movie, sympathizing with Miranda July’s Sophie who’s actions give the story its much needed tension, or maybe we’re supposed to believe Hamish Linklater‘s character Jason’s  ability to give us all one infinite moment to figure out a plan.  I left that screening wondering what in the hell life is really about and why our futures are so mystifying.  Good times!

I’ll be sharing my favorite Red Carpet encounter later in the week, but those that paid attention noticed that PSD chose to interview a majority of folks off of the RC.  With that said I do have a Red Carpet moment that stands out.  Easily the funniest interview, for its hysterics and wildness, is thanks to actor Bryan Massey.

There’s something amazing about having the beautiful Nicole Leigh looking over Bryan’s Shoulder, Gabriel Horn and his lovely wife battling Bryan, UNT Alum Michael David Weis setting the record straight and George Wada having to worry about Casper right behind us.

One of my favorite screenings in the festival was independent Canadian film,  Daydream Nation.   Director Michael Goldbach gives a great synopsis to his film.

I think what really made this film stick out to me, is that darn Kat Dennings.  Not sure what it is, but she’s pretty damn captivating.  I asked Mike what was it like writing for female characters and his response gave great insight into his sense of humor.

In between getting to know fun filmmakers like the gang behind Rainbows End.

Or getting to catch up with Austin Pals like the Award Winning Berndt Mader, Ezra Venetos and all those darn Austin Film Festival folks (Dulce and Kelly amongst the full group).

Speaking of  Kelly, I think it was either him or Alex Garcia Topete that educated me on the “The Peruvian Coen Brothers”, Daniel and Diego Vega.  Every AFI Dallas or DIFF so far there’s been that foreign film that stands out. This year  The Last Circus was wild as all hell and Irish film The Runway was heartwarming.  The Vega Brother’s  October really stuck with me though.  It might have been the tough world the Vega brothers showcased or just the full change in Bruno Odar‘s character Clemente from a harsh cold loan shark to a not so harsh and cold loan shark.  I’m not sure what inspired the bros to tell a story of raising a child in the seedy districts of their home city, but I admire the hell out of their honesty.  Brothel whores, thieves, cheats, and survivors seem to engulf the mangy landscape of the Vega Bros Lima, Peru.  If you want a new Director(s) over which to fawn then get to know the Vega brothers, Diego and Daniel.

Of course the Austin film world has an impact on the way Dallas’ film rolls.  It should be vis-versa, but that is what Liener, Tanya, Michael, James, and the whole DIFF family are striving to attain.  It’s impressive to note that Liener did let the world know that the DALLAS IFF is expanding.

Thanks so much to Bob for showcasing this big moment in the history of the Film Festival.

I do think the moment that seems the most beautiful of the entire festival and showcases what Dallas can do with its International Film Festival, is the Euforia Live event held at the Nasher Sculpture Garden.  The auction on closing night might have been a bit weird and unusual, but the beauty and majestic nature of the artwork that was created at the Nasher is purely unforgettable.  Yeah Unforgettable!

I’d like to end this first edition of Odds and Ends by highlighting one of the four horsemen that have risen the Texas Theatre back to its storied state.  Jason Reimer, along with Eric Steele, Barak Epstein and Adam Donaguey have resurrected the classic oak cliff staple and given us a raucous venue.  Here is Jason making sure that the closing night films were going to play.

I can’t imagine any other way to end the festival then cruising along down Houston past Dealey Plaza, The Red Brick House and onto the viaduct across the MIGHTY Trinity River.  Zang to Jefferson and swing a right along the strip in front of the TT.  I think this venue/festival partnership is the greatest achievement of The Dallas IFF 2011.

Its the odd end piece to this odyssey.

Burke and Hare was a kick ass Closing Night Film.




2 responses

12 04 2011

Sexy stuff.

12 04 2011

I come here for the odds and I leave with the ends. It feels good every time. Plus, Gadi is a sexy man.

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