Before you start, yes – I realize we’re mere hours away from Night 2 of the Dallas International Film Festival and here I am finally posting about Night 1. But I have a good excuse – I was at the Dallas Theater Center’s 2010-11 season announcement this morning. Still working on cloning myself.
Anywhoo … Opening Night didn’t have quite the glizt and glamor of, say, last year when the gala was held in the courtyard at NorthPark Center or the years before that when it was at the Neiman Marcus flagship location downtown. (Which is not to say the glitzy and glamorous were not out in full force. They somehow found their way to the Angelika.)
But the major difference between this year’s opening night and previous ones was what was on the screen. In the past, opening night centered around one film. Last year, The Brothers Bloom showed on two screens at the AMC NorthPark, with Adrien Brody in attendance to add a little star power.
This year at the Angelika, audiences had their choice of four films. That variety really made the afterparty feel like it was a film festival party and not just a collection of nicely dressed people. As I walked around the room, I constantly heard people asking, “What did you see? Oh really? How was that?”
For me, that’s one of the great joys of attending a film festival – the conversation that develops about the films. I thought that I was fairly happy with my choice of A Town Called Panic (more on that here). It had a manic, kinetic energy to it that reminded me of classic Looney Tunes. But when I spoke with Chris Vognar of the DMN and Dallas photographer Allison V. Smith about Bill Cunningham New York, all the sudden I had a bad case of buyer’s remorse. That documentary follows the New York Times photographer who follows all of the city’s fashion trends and was described as “amazing” about a billion times last night.
The good news is: it screens again tonight at 7 at the Dallas Museum of Art. And thanks to the chatter last night, I know where I am headed after work.
It should be noted that Opening Night wasn’t without its problems. A projector on the fritz in the house showing Bill Cunningham delayed the film’s start time by about an hour and caused a ripple affect on other start times (A Town Called Panic ended up being about 30 minutes late). I didn’t see anyone walk out in a huff, though.