Wednesday, April 27, 2011
North Texas movie news and notes: Your worst Frightmare edition
The USA Film Festival and Texas Frightmare Weekend headline this week's film-related happenings.
- Angelika Film Center & Cafe
5321 East Mockingbird Lane
Both Texas Frightmare Weekend and the 41st Annual USA Film Festival happen over the next several days, with USA Fest's events starting tonight at the Dallas Angelika. What a hectic several days of film activity we have coming up here in North Texas! I'm gonna need more caffeine.
Tonight at 7 p.m., the USA Fest folks are putting on An Evening with Jennifer Grant, daughter of another famous Grant you may have heard of: namely, Cary. The program includes a screening of the Cary Grant/Grace Kelly-starring feature To Catch a Thief (1956), as well as a Q-and-A and book signing by Cary's lovely daughter (with Dyan Cannon), Jennifer.
OR you might consider taking in the David Hyde Pierce-attended screening of The Perfect Host, in which Pierce plays a guy whose dinner party is infiltrated by a bank robber. Sounds delicious!
Frightmare activities kick into high gear tomorrow night, with the gala red carpet Texas premiere of The Woman. Filmmaker Lucky McKee will tread the crimson pile at the Lewisville Studio Movie Grill, along with film stars Sean Bridgers, Shyla Molhusen, and Carlee Baker — the last of whom also stars in McKee's short film Blue Like You, which will be shown in a double bill with The Woman.
Quick recap of numbers from this year's DALLAS International Film Festival (DIFF), as provided by the organizers:
Number of films shown: 184 (91 features and 93 shorts)
Number of countries represented: 27
Number of screenings: 192
Number of screening venues: 10
Number of filmmakers who attended the festival: 250
Number of red carpets: 10
Number of volunteers engaged in Festival: 956
Number of press members: 350>
One of the items auctioned off on the evening of the big awards ceremony was a limited edition bottle of The Macallan single malt scotch, featuring a custom label depicting an Albert Watson photograph. The bottle (along with a print signed by Watson, Larry Hagman, Peter Fonda, Steve James, Scott Burns, and Dean DeBlois) went for $6,000 — all of which goes to support the Dallas Film Society.
It would be tough keeping this relic intact to preserve its full collector value, given the heady 20-year-old whiskey decoction within. (Speaking as someone who didn't spend $6,000 for it.)
Here are highlights of what's coming up at Oak Cliff's Texas Theatre in the next few weeks:
Wednesday only: a Eurotrash vampire classic, 1971's Daughters of Darkness, billed as "an erotic nightmare of vampire lust." So there.
Thursday: horrormeister Stephen King's one and only (so far!) directorial effort, Maximum Overdrive. About homicidal machines with a will of their own. Like my toaster oven.
Friday: lip-smackingly delicious burlesque girls of the Ruby Revue put on a show by taking off their clothes, live onstage! Special guest Tammi True (who danced for Jack Ruby) joins the troupe for what will undoubtedly be a memorable two hours (starting at 8:30 p.m.). Totally un-film related, but I'm including it anyway. Because I can.
- The Texas Theatre
231 West Jefferson Boulevard
Saturday & Sunday: Terry Southern Weekend, with the Southern-scripted Barbarella and Easy Rider playing back to back on Saturday night, and Dr. Strangelove on Sunday. Southern's son Nile will attend the Sunday show.
A bit farther out on the horizon, but worthy of mention all the same: Legend of the Fist: The Return of Chen Zhen shows up on May 13, featuring the fierce side of Kato (plot keywords per IMDB: Intense Violence and Public Execution); and then Grindhouse trailer contest winner Jason Eisner's feature Hobo With a Shotgun (starring Rutger Hauer) shows up on May 27. Pump-action at its finest!
The retrogaming-themed neo-Western (!) Johnny Arcade, a film by Dallas area production company Leviathan Media Group (managed by partners Adam Scott Thompson and Ezra James), is currently in the casting stage, with filming expected to begin in and around Big D in mid-June.
Ez tells me that auditions are set for the second week of May, and encourages interested parties to head on over to the Leviathan website for further details (or to be considered in the casting process).
Pretty much a three ring circus on tap for next Saturday (May 7) at Northpark Mall, designed to promote the movie Judy Moody and the Not Bummer Summer (from the children's book series). After a screening of the film, there'll be a live performance by Camryn, who contributed some songs to the movie's soundtrack, and a book reading featuring author/co-screenwriter Megan McDonald. Unspecified "fun activities" for the screening audience and other mall patrons are also part of the program, according to publicists. Some of this will likely involve starts Jordana Beatty (Judy Moody) and Parris Mosteller (Stink), who will be attending the day's festivities.
The Barnes & Noble store across the street from Northpark will host a second meet & greet/autograph signing later the same day, in case you have something else on your agenda that morning.
I'd be remiss (and stupid!) not to mention the upcoming horror film series I'll be hosting at Dallas' Studio Movie Grill. We're calling it "The Horror!" which seems both succinct and appropriate. The great and creepy crew at Zombie Manor are co-sponsoring our classic creepshow film series, which I hope some of you will plan on attending once or twice over the next few first Wednesdays of each month (at 10 p.m.). It'll be a great chance to catch some of my (and hopefully YOUR) favorite horror movies on the big screen.
Speaking of Zombie Manor, they'll be opening their dreary doors for "One Night of Fright" on Friday the 13th of May, from 8-11 p.m. (They'll also be adding their special living dead flavor to Frightmare Weekend: Look for them to be featured prominently in the Hearse & Hot Rod Car Show in the parking lot behind the Sheraton Grand Hotel.)